5c Sustainable Building Design
Calculated, Comfortable, Cost-effective, Carbon positive, Certified
David Halford Certified Passive House Designer
I specialise in reducing energy consumption in buildings to a level that can be provided by solar power, while enhancing comfort and avoiding pitfalls such as condensation.
In my experience the simplest and most cost-effective way of achieving comfortable, healthy, low energy buildings is by using Passivhaus methodology. When used correctly it can provide guaranteed results and reduce expenditure due to over specification. Although the detailed design and calculations require extra effort prior to construction, the changes required on site are only a tiny part of the overall work on site (and an equally small proportion of the budget). Building to the specification and sealing the airtight membrane are the main variations to standard construction but this is obviously within the capabilities of any careful builder. Passivhaus does not limit the design or form of construction as is illustrated by the varied projects on this website.
After several decades as a UK architect (see previous c.v.) designing low energy, educational, commercial and residential buildings for a wide range of clients including social housing providers, royalty and education institutions, I established 5c Sustainable Building Design in Australia in 2012. Since then I have completed building designs for a dozen Passivhaus projects as well as Passive House consultancy for other designers, builders and owners. In common with the Australian Passive House community I aim to contribute towards Passivhaus becoming mainstream in Australia so this website freely shares my experience with projects ranging from simple low budget (e.g. Sunstone), very low energy (e.g. Springdale) and complex forms (e.g. Casacurvatura).
The benefits and parameters of Passivhaus design are described here.
Experience from my Passivhaus designs has shown that the comfort, health and low energy benefits can be achieved cost effectively in a variety of Australian climate zones. They generally use about a tenth of the heating energy of standard construction which allows them to be energy positive (Passive House Plus) with a small pv array. I now cannot justify providing anything less than Passive House designs.