The Australian Passive House Association (APHA) has named Paul Wall as its first chief executive officer.
“I see it as one of the most compelling initiatives within the industry,” Wall says. “So much great work has been done already and it’s very exciting to join at this phase of the journey,”
The APHA is a not-for-profit, independent organisation promoting Passive House (or Passivhaus) principles for Australia’s built environment. The aim is to reduce energy use and carbon emissions while improving indoor comfort and air quality.
“Society is realising the value proposition of a healthy indoor environment,” says Wall. “People generally want to lower their environmental impact without compromising on quality of life.”
Wall was formerly the head of group sustainability and energy at Dexus, an Australian real estate investment trust. Dexus’ focus is on the management and investment of office and industrial properties.
His appointment may be indicative of the APHA’s invigorated focus on commercial real estate.
“I had the pleasure of advising a very committed and engaged business at Dexus because the benefits were well understood and customers and investors alike were interested in how we managed our environmental, social and governance risks,” he says.
During his time at Dexus, Wall developed strong relationships with industry and government. He says his contacts are highly interested in learning more about passive design principles and that he’s approaching the APHA CEO position as an opportunity to promote these more broadly.
“It’s all about education and breaking some of that rigidity in lease clauses that dictate a specific temperature rather than a perceived comfort level,” he says. “I hope to encourage the broader deployment of passive design across all asset classes, so no one misses out!”
In addition to his commercial experience, Wall also has personal experience on the residential side. He has lived in a passive house for the past three years and hails the positive impact it has had on his family’s wellbeing and general health – as well as on energy bills.
“If I can play a part in converting the way we think about designing buildings in Australia, then measure the success through the growing number of advocates we create through the firsthand experience of living or working in a passive building, that would be exciting.”