Passivhaus Balgowlah


Designed by Knut Menden and Bettina Steffens this 2-storey extension to an existing house from the late 1920s was erected in a small backyard in Balgowlah, near Manly in NSW. The budget for the house was very modest, but still required a high level of finish to achieve a certified Passivhaus rating.

The cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure was prefabricated offsite, including the stair and cut-outs for lighting, power and equipment, and installed in just 15 hours over two days with the help of a 130 tonne mobile crane.

The interior of the building will feature fully exposed timber walls, floors and ceilings, which in combination with the Passivhaus ventilation system will ensure a healthy indoor environment for the occupants. The building is designed to work year round without the need for artificial heating or cooling, which is made possible by the airtightness of the envelope, high level of insulation and triple glazed timber windows.

A great team effort between the builder and CLT installer was key to the success of this installation. We’ll show you the project when it’s complete, to give a full ‘before and after’ perspective of the building.

Design: bettiundknut