Passivhaus Balgowlah wins Sustainability category in the 2020 Timber Design Awards - Make it Wood News

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Passivhaus Balgowlah wins Sustainability category in the 2020 Timber Design Awards

December 8, 2020

David Rowlinson


Passivhaus Balgowlah has won the Sustainability category in the 2020 Timber Design Awards, which were announced a virtual event on 2nd December.

This 2-storey extension to an existing house was erected in a tight backyard in the northern suburbs of Sydney. The budget for the house was modest, but still required a high quality finish to create a sustainable, healthy living environment for a young family. 

Prior to the commencement of the project, the client was not aware of the benefits of CLT construction and Passivhaus design, which were introduced to them by designers Knut Menden and Bettina Steffens. The project is the first certified Passivhaus building built in cross-laminated timber in NSW.

The interior of the building features fully exposed timber walls, floors and ceilings that, in combination with the heat recovery ventilation system, provide a healthy natural indoor environment. The building is designed to work year round without the need for artificial heating and minimal cooling, which is made possible by the airtightness of the envelope, high level of insulation, triple glazed timber windows and external shading.

The external facade is clad in local untreated Blackbutt timber battens left to naturally grey over time.

“It’s an exemplar of the significant environmental and health benefits and synergies that mass timber construction can provide,” said Timber Design Awards judge David Rowlinson.

You can see more finalists and winners here


David Rowlinson

David hails from Lancashire, England and has lived in Australia since 1994. He studied Architecture at Sheffield University and also has an MBA from Macquarie University and a Master of Marketing from UNSW. Prior to joining Planet Ark in 2016 David was Marketing Manager then CEO of a major Sydney-based manufacturer of modular carpets used in all commercial building applications. His proudest achievement was the development of an industry-leading environmental sustainability agenda, including the unique Earthplus product reuse program.