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Thermal Experience - Kelvin Heights

Fabricator Vistalite Otago - E13 Performance Windows

Location Queenstown

Systems Pacific Thermal

Products Euroslider™ and Eurostacker™ doors, stacked Awning Windows

Industry Sector Residential

Architect / Designer Michael Wells Design

Stunning views from a planet-friendly home.

Watch a Climate House being built.
The Climate House goal is to reduce energy consumption of New Zealand homes by at least 75% - 90%, using building modelling & technology developed for low energy homes.

When the views from your windows are among the best that Mother Nature can provide, it’s comforting to know the house you’re enjoying them from is good for the planet.

Built by ‘Climate House’, this home located on Queenstown’s Kelvin Heights waterfront utilises the latest European-driven passive house technologies. They’re technologies that have the potential to make the house 95% more energy-efficient than a standard build.

Passive house design essentially takes the natural elements from a home’s surroundings (such as sun, wind, rain and land-form) and organises the building to maximise both energy savings and the quality of the indoor environment.

In this case, Structural Insulated Panels have been used in the walls and ceilings, giving them an R5 rating. There are insulated retaining blocks, an air-to-water heat pump to warm up the floors, and a Zhender mechanical heat recovery system that removes stale moist air and replaces it with fresh, filtered air from the outside.

Suffice it to say the bar is set high when it comes to choosing windows and doors for a passive house. Even more so when making the most of stunning views is near the top of the agenda.

“The design called for having the maximum uninterrupted view and the biggest possible openings for indoor/outdoor flow onto the spacious decks,” says Jamie Waller, Manager of E13 Performance Windows.

The E13 team quickly identified that the Pacific Thermal system from Altus was the only suite that ticked all the boxes: high quality insulation, air tightness, a thermal bridge alignment, and aesthetics.

“This thermally broken system accommodates triple glazing, which was a must for this house” Waller explains.

The effectiveness of the triple glazing has been enhanced with Low-E glass, Argon gas and warm edge spacers.

“Low-E has a specialised metallic coating on the glass which reflects the heat,” says Waller. “Argon is a dense inert gas which makes it harder for heat to be conducted through the air space.”

Combined, these elements give the windows and doors an impressive R1 rating.

Waller points out that the Pacific Thermal system met the design brief as well. “It’s not overly chunky,” he says. “The crisp lines and architectural details are in sympathy with the overall look of the home.”

Pacific Thermal windows and doors are used throughout the house. But it’s where perfectly insulated living spaces segue onto the expansive deck that the thermally broken system and E13s experience, truly come into their own.

It was decided that a combination of Eurostacker™ and Euroslider™ doors would deliver the most thermal efficiency while still maintaining that easy indoor-outdoor flow.

“In this particular case, sliding door configurations provided better weather management than bifolds,” Waller explains. “They have a better ability to prevent drafts with the way they seal when shut.”

The team at E13 team were involved in rigorous Blower Door tests carried out for the project by an Energy Assessor. These tests ensured that the windows and doors provided the best possible air tightness.

“The test measures how much air enters and escapes a home,” Waller explains. “A fan pulls the air out, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through any unsealed gaps. The process is then reversed to see if air escapes from any weak points as well.”

E13 Performance Windows has been delivering superior thermal window and door solutions for over twenty years.

“Helping to create airtight, thermally efficient homes is part of our DNA,” says Waller.