Australia’s First For Sale Plus Level Certification Passive House unveiled

While the wind blew a gale outside, builders, designers, politicians, and other local influentials celebrated a temperate evening inside Toowoomba’s very first certified Passive House – 16 Sorrento Dr, Kearneys Spring. 

Mayor Paul Antonio was excited to have this futuristic style of building happening in his city. “This is  the kind of development we want to encourage to better community and environment” 

Along with Mayor Antonio, other guests at the event included the new Queensland Opposition Leader, David Crisafulli MP (Member for Broadwater), Sam O’Connor MP (Member for Bonney) and local David  Janetzki (Deputy Leader of the LNP, Member for Toowoomba South), Cr Tim McMahon, and Cr Megan O’Hara-Sullivan

“This concept makes a lot of sense so I’ll be looking into how we could get more of these Passive  House standards and methodologies across Queensland.“ commented Sam O’Connor MP, the Shadow  Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Shadow Minister for Science and Innovation. 

Also excited about the house was Cr McMahon, who shares the environment portfolio in council. “This  house is changing the game in design, heating and cooling in green, energy efficient ways. It’s a real  asset to our region that can be heated by a hairdryer” 

This Passive House certification is one of the most rigorous in the world. It scientifically measures how  the house performs in the areas of energy, sustainability, healthiest living conditions, and temperature  control.  

Current owners and designers Scott and Madonna Stewart were thrilled with the turnout and how  many people showed an excitement for these building principles. “After tonight’s preview, we are even more 

excited to see what this property will mean for the future of building focused on sustainability,  health and the environment.”

Some statistics on benefits of Passive House design are listed below.  

80-90% reduction in energy costs 

Inside temperature stays between 20-25 degrees Celsius all year round 

Over 75% of airborne allergens are kept out of the air in the house 

50% less ambient noise 

This property is also the first in Australia certified at the Plus Level in Passive House Certification to  go on the market.  

Mr and Mrs Stewart (based in Northern New South Wales) were adamant in employing local  suppliers wherever possible. They are very impressed with the high quality of work for this project,  particularly the local builder Titanium Homes. 

To see more information about the property see website

16 Sorrento Passive House
This home is about to be on the Toowoomba Real Estate Market! See here for the online brochure.

Toowoomba’s first Certified Passive House in Toowoomba and only the seventh certified to Passive House Plus level in Australia (at time of writing). 

Nation-wide, there are about 30 certified Passive Houses and a handful of commercial buildings. This home was designed and developed by LAB Design and built by Titanium Homes. 

The successful completion and certification of this home proves that Passive House can be done on a reasonable budget, making healthy and energy efficient homes accessible to many Australians. This house was the pilot project for the PHI (Passive House Institute) LAB Design Certified Construction System. 

Born out of necessity, we created our very bespoke office. We outgrew the desk in our dining room and as managing Skype meetings with a baby in the house became increasingly difficult, we needed a new space fast.

Over the course of many weekends (not so fast in the end) we converted our insulated shipping container into a very comfortable place to work (and stay if you are our guest). And because you can’t unlearn Passive House principles, it’s got all those feature too!

We are now assisting a client in Portugal replicate the process to act as accommodation and a control room for a fully automated aqua/agriculture system.

As their website says, the Cornerblock is setting the new benchmark for sustainable workspaces. It will be the world’s first building to pursue the standards of Green Star, Passive House and the WELL Building Standard.

LAB Design have been working with the inspiring development team to assist with achieving their Passive House goals. There will be much more to read about this exciting development in the coming  months as certification draws closer.


Scott presented at the virtual SPPHC on the 16th of October 2020.

The presentation showcased the LAB Design Certified Passive House Construction System developed to produce the most cost-effective method to build Passive Houses in particular climates.

It is based on the Australian Standard Timber Framing Code (AS1684) in order to de-mystify Passive House and apply existing building techniques to expedite the increase of Passive House in Australia. Once officially certified, the details will be available on a subscription basis via our website on the Passive House Hub.



Our tech savvy Newport clients wanted a comfortable and energy efficient home which balanced their traditional and modern styles and their family needs.

This owner-builder home is now complete and is being enjoyed by the family. Although not certified, this home was designed to the Passive House standard which means it will perform as designed.

Watch this space for photos to come!