Sullivan, New Zealand

A true story – a developer asks his architect how to elevate the living quality of their project. Simple, the architect replies. We need better windows, better insulation and to install ventilation systems.


Higher thermal performance

"Our client wanted to offer a point of difference with higher thermal performance and more comfortable homes. "So, we specified the aluplast 4000 uPVC joinery with double glazing, mechanical ventilation systems and improved the insulation," says Joseph Lyth, associate architect and certified Passive House designer with Respond Architects.

Project details

Lyth was working on Sullivan, a collection of 15 contemporary terraced homes adjoining parkland in the Auckland suburb of Mangere Bridge, currently under construction by Nest or Invest Group and originally designed by Wendy Ryan and Cici Zheng from the Respond Architects team.

Nest or Invest is a private developer that seeks to build medium to high-end homes offering a better quality of living. Lyth says they presented the facts on thermal efficiency in homes to Nest or Invest managing director Jasnish Gujral.

"We explained how buildings lose energy and increase condensation risk via thermal bridging, and the importance of energy balancing in homes. Jasnish then discovered the advantages of Passive Houses and asked us to explore what changes would be required for the homes to achieve the Passive House standard."

Passive house standard

So, Respond Architects energy modelled all 15 home designs and found a block of five terraces already close to the thermal performance required by Passive House standards, so Jasnish said ‘let’s do it!’. Lyth says they didn't need to upgrade the aluplast uPVC window joinery. Instead, they further enhanced the glazing and insulation specification and insulated the top of the ground floor concrete slab. "It's not that difficult to create a Passive House in Auckland, especially if you consider it upfront," Joe remarks.

"As I said before, you just need better windows, insulation, minimize thermal bridging, and include a balanced mechanical ventilation system; all assessed by an energy model to ensure they achieve the performance requirements, before the project even starts on site"

Lyth said he had specified Starke Windows and Door systems on previous projects and recommended the developer look at uPVC systems with Starke.

"uPVC offers a large boost in thermal performance over standard aluminum joinery, and is much less likely than powder-coated aluminium to fade in sunlight. It also offers better security, airtightness and acoustic protection," he says.

Lyth and the team at Respond specified the German-designed and manufactured aluplast Ideal 4000 series in black from Starke for the terrace homes, complementing the terraces’ high contrast modern exterior schemes.

The aluplast Ideal 4000 series is Australasia's most popular uPVC window and door system. It's noted for its sustainability, made by aluplast with recycled materials and 100% recyclable. The system's high insulation properties leads to significant energy savings. The Ideal 4000 series is manufactured in Germany and carries the RAL seal of approval, ensuring high-quality production and regular external auditing. This certification adds a layer of trust and reliability to the product.

The five Passive House (pre-construction certified) terraced homes feature aluplast's tilt and turn windows and sliding doors; the other 10 high thermal performance homes have awning windows and sliding doors. Sullivan's 15 terrace homes include four blocks of homes, some with four bedrooms, some with a large roof deck; the other houses with two-bedroom layouts. All have open-plan living, kitchen, and dining areas with a private courtyard or deck and are set in private landscaped gardens, while the site borders on a large open reserve.

The homes are constructed from timber framing on solid block foundations with the NZ-fabricated German-produced aluplast uPVC window joinery and are finished with vertical cedar and aluminium Nuwall cladding and brick. Interiors feature timber flooring, high-quality carpets, granite benchtops and Miele appliances.

The aluplast Ideal Series 4000 joinery stands out for its durability, safety features, energy efficiency, design quality, and aesthetic options. It's a well-received product in the market, with high customer satisfaction and quality assurance through certifications and rigorous manufacturing standards.

The aluplast window and door system is suitable for various applications, especially in the residential sector. It offers various opening types, including tilt and turn, casement, awning, bi-fold, and sliding windows.

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