What is traditional double brick construction?
Traditional double brick construction is the most common method used when building a
home in Perth. It consists of two panels of masonry with a space in between the bricks.
At regular intervals, steel ties are used to connect the panels to one another.
The purpose of the cavity in between the outside and inside bricks is to prevent water
from getting inside the home. If filled with insulation, energy loss is regulated.
The internal walls of the house consist of a single brick and usually involve a second
concrete block or brick which is either lined with board or plaster.
Advantages of double brick
- Requires very little maintenance
- Temperatures can be controlled to some degree
Disadvantages of double brick
- Poorly insulated
- Inefficient temperature control
Passive construction is a relatively modern approach for building houses in Perth
where its focus is energy efficiency. The house is built in such a way that it locks
out the outside temperature while maintaining the desired temperature inside.
Passive homes must have continuous insulation, must be air-tight and have double
or triple glazed windows to maximise the energy efficiency.
Reasons why someone would want a passive house
- Heating and cooling in passive homes is easier than in double brick homes
- The inside temperature is very consistent unlike double brick houses where temperatures fluctuate
- The air inside a passive house is free of fumes as a result of the air being circulated
- Even when there is no electricity, homes will maintain a comfortable temperature for long periods of time.
How is a passive house built?
Most of the materials used are the same as those in regular houses. Alterations in the
home design is what differentiates a passive home from a regular double brick home. During
the design stage, architects will incorporate methods to minimise heat loss and improve
Is passive construction expensive?
No. Large homes that include passive elements will not affect the budget to a great
extent. Building a standard size passive house costs 5 to 10% more than a traditional house.