James Cornell
Life Panels

Build in a better way

Cornell will introduce the basic principles of passive house building and demystifies the science behind sustainable solutions, making it understandable to professionals and newcomers alike. 
He will present three main points, covering the fundamental principles required to build better, along with three practical experiments to accompany each one: 

  • Thermal performance
    • Low thermal bridging – Just like dropping a tea-cosy over your house, the ideal solution to create low thermal bridging is to fit insulation in a continuous wrap around the building.
    • Airtightness – Crucial for reducing air leakage and aiding thermal performance by limiting the fluctuations between hot and cold.
  • Moisture control
    • "Moisture / breathability – Understanding how moisture behaves is crucial to a healthy building. The building fabric has to allow moisture to flow in and out. Materials that trap or hold moisture cause many problems. 
    • Relative humidity – Aiming for a balanced and optimum internal relative humidity is key to good air quality and comfortable living. Correct ventilation is a key consideration.
  • Overheating control
    • Thermal mass – In order to work properly, materials must have very low thermal conductivity and high heat storage capabilities. Materials like concrete are inferior when compared to wood fibre.
    • Decrement delay – Slowing down how long it takes for the sun’s heat to pass through a roof or a wall. Reduce heat gain in summer and keep low level heat in during winter.

About Cornell:

Cornell has been an industry expert on the topic of construction and sustainability for over 20 years. As a licensed builder and master carpenter, he has become increasingly interested in sustainable construction and the use of materials in creating a better way to build and, ultimately, live. 

Since moving to Australia in 2015, Cornell’s focus shifted from construction towards education around sustainable buildings. Through his company Life Panels, he became the primary importer of woodfibre systems within the Australasian market. His mission is to educate on the incredible benefits and demystify the science behind passive house building.