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Canadian Bay Road, Mt Eliza

The residence located in Canadian Bay Road, Mt Eliza, represents one of the few large houses in Australia to adopt a systematic approach to energy conservation. The client set a clear brief: to achieve world’s best practice in several areas of sustainability. This aligned with work undertaken by Demaine Partnership over several years investigating the optimum approach to achieving verifiable conservation outcomes, which identified the German Passivhaus method as world’s best practice (see Passivhaus presentation in Discovery).

This required a detailed design approach to create an airtight envelope of exceptional integrity: thermal bridges were largely eliminated, subfloor insulation was detailed for continuity with the wall insulation, SIPs panels were used for the wall construction, and airtight membranes installed to ceilings and walls. The building was pressure tested to 50 kPa negative pressure and leakage points identified and taped. All windows are double glazed, provided with multipoint locks and double sealed, while an Energy Recovery Ventilation system with small add on heating and cooling coils supplies fresh air at low velocity to all key rooms, precisely balanced with the exhaust air, from which energy is recovered at better than 90% efficiency.

The base design of house was supplemented by extensive PV, hot water and pool heating solar systems to the roof, sufficient to offset the energy consumption of the house for much of the year.

The house represents the first of a number of forthcoming buildings targeting the verifiable Passivhaus standard of 15kWh/square metre/year nett energy consumption for heating and cooling: roughly 1/3 the energy use of a 6 star house. These will demonstrate that outstanding thermal performance delivers outstanding comfort levels, high quality of internal air, draught free conditions, acoustic benefits and high quality construction for a modest premium over regular, leaky, low performance designs

Project Team

Demaine Partnership


Canadian Bay Road, Mt Eliza

Project Elements

Residence and studio


Davies Henderson

Time to complete

12 months

Type of Facility

Private Residence