I’m not making a comment about the building in this picture. I haven’t been inside it.

But right now, in Melbourne Australia, I have been experiencing high rise office buildings when it’s between 30 and 40 degrees celcius outside.

One of these buildings was recently built. Very recently.

And no expense was spared.

So how come the rooms facing North-West become completely untenable on these hot afternoons?

I can’t really understand it.

Do we really have to have all these pure glass facades? Are they really so beautiful that their aesthetics trumps everything else? (Personally, as I walk around on the city streets, I don’t care if the facade way up above me is all glass. I’m just as happy walking around in places where the buildings have a bit of solid wall. In fact, it can even be more interesting.)

My Dad said years ago, as he pulled down the external blinds on our west facing wall, “you’ve got to keep the sun off the glass”. Kind of basic.

And with our Superpod® certified passive house, we had to instal external shading for the same reason. Sure, in winter you want to warm up the building. But not on summer days like this.

The Passive House Standard uses building physics, modelling, and temperatures outside to work out how to make the building efficient and comfortable.

Generally speaking, glass is the weakest link. An all glass facade is pretty hard to make efficient. I don’t know if it’s even possible.

We at Superpod® have designed a passive house system. Anybody who finds the Passive House Standard a bit of a stretch (which it is, for designers) can contact us and we will licence the use of our design. We’ve done it. It’s available. You can save on energy costs and improve on the comfort of your occupants.

Or design your own from scratch.

The Passive House Standard makes sense. Climate change is real. There’s no excuse anymore for office buildings that overheat, for airconditioners that pump out carbon. Carbon’s invisible, I know. But it’s real.

Dear designers, architects, engineers, draftspeople, – do start to use the Passive House Standard to design comfortable efficient buildings – do turn your minds to this now, we are counting on you!

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