Catherine Lye and Gavin Salt now hold Passive House certification


We are delighted to share Catherine Lye and Gavin Salt‘s recent Passive House certification. At i2C we recognise the profound impact our work has not only on the buildings we design but also on the communities and environments in which we live, which is why sustainability is a top priority for us.

Passive House is a voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building’s overall energy consumption and carbon footprint. Although the property and design industry has long employed environmentally grounded principles like positioning the building for the best daylight orientation and using eco-friendly materials, Passive House takes sustainability to a whole new level.

Passive House buildings are well-insulated and ventilated, meaning they use far less energy to heat and cool. This results in minimal use of heating and cooling appliances as the seasons change, which makes a lot of sense in an Australian context.

The physics and calculations behind the mechanics of the ‘wrapping’ component of Passive House are intense and must be very concise, but it all leads back to five core principles on which the entire philosophy is based. These include; high indoor air quality, low energy use, air sealing for durability, cost-effectiveness, and overall of level comfort.

Senior Project Architect Catherine Lye and Associate, Residential Lead Gavin Salt are excited to have obtained Passive House certification. They will share their learnings with the broader i2C team and offer sustainable design solutions to clients.

“Every person regardless of economic status has a right to housing that is healthy, safe affordable and environmentally sound. Passive House principles support better building outcomes, particularly for social housing developments.

The cost of living has increased the focus on the cost of heating our homes. Uninsulated and poorly ventilated buildings are harder to heat and often have mould issues. High energy bills mean that some residents are unable to afford to heat their homes. Passive House designed housing can reduce heating costs by 90% which is important for social housing providers. Reducing mould in homes also has a positive effect on residents’ health, while the improved ventilation systems provide better indoor quality.

Another positive aspect element is that properly sealed houses reduce the level of noise inside the building. This is important given social housing developments are often situated in busy areas.

Passive House is not just for new builds, we are working with social housing providers on retrofitting their existing housing stock which is rewarding to be part of.” says Gavin Salt.

“As a professional who holds a Green Star Accreditation and has been working with various sustainability initiatives over the years, I have always maintained a strong interest in exploring sustainable strategies that may not have been previously considered in my projects. I am committed to identifying opportunities to incorporate additional environmentally conscious design elements and making positive contributions to society and the environment.

Unlike other initiatives or strategies, Passive House design principles offer a more holistic approach to sustainability. To achieve certification, designers must apply five specific principles to their building’s design and construction. When I was first introduced to the course, I found the calculations involved in determining heat gain and loss, air tightness, thermal comfort, mechanical ventilation and energy costs to be overwhelming. However, by the end of the course, I understood how these principles worked together seamlessly and the importance of not compromising any one principle.

Certified Passive House buildings have demonstrated a reduction in energy consumption by 50% to 90% compared to conventional buildings. A Certified Passive House building enables users to monitor and manage their energy usage more efficiently throughout the lifespan of the building. In Built-to-Rent (BTR) environments, operational, maintenance, and running costs are often higher. Thus, integrating Passive House design and building principles in BTR is highly recommended.” says Catherine Lye

i2C takes great pride in the recent Passive House certification of Catherine Lye and Gavin Salt, bringing the number of our team members with a Passive House certification to four nationwide.

i2C Architects

i2C Architects