Passivhaus Affiliate

Passivhaus & Building Regulations

 Energy: Part L    Compliance Tools     Overheating: Part O

The integration of Passivhaus equivalent performance requirements within the UK Building Regulations/ Standards framework has the potential to revolutionise the construction industry.

Building Regulations Approved Documents

Adopting Passivhaus standards can offer tangible benefits, including enhanced building performance, lower carbon footprints, and substantial long-term cost savings. It encourages a shift towards environmentally responsible and future-proof building practices, encouraging architects, builders, and homeowners to prioritise energy-efficient designs. 


To optimise the transformative potential of Passivhaus within the context of UK Building Regulations we recommend:

  • Passivhaus certification as deemed to satisfy all UK Building Regulations / Standards relating to energy performance, Part L in England & Wales, Part F in Northern Ireland and Section 6 in Scotland.

  • PassivHaus Planning Package (PHPP) as preferred energy modelling methodology, or as a minimum an approved energy modelling methodology.

  • All UK Building Regulations/ Standards to require Passivhaus or equivalent levels of performance.

  • A robust quality assurance system like the Passivhaus methodology should be adopted to ensure design targets are satisfied in reality, close the performance gap, and ensure clients have guaranteed building performance.


The UK and devolved governments place increasing emphasis on sustainability in regulations. Read our overview of how the rigorous requirements of the Passivhaus standard and methodology relate to and compare with current UK policy.

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Forthcoming standards

Scottish Passivhaus equivalent

On 10th January 2023, the Scottish Government announced plans to “make subordinate legislation within two years to introduce new minimum environmental design standards for all new build housing to meet a Scottish equivalent to the Passivhaus standard”.

The exact details of what a Scottish equivalent to Passivhaus would look like is still being finalised and the Passivhaus Trust is speaking with Scottish officials, building regulations team and others within the industry to explore the finer details. A consultation on the policy is due to be launched in Summer 2024.

Future Homes Standard

A consultation on the Future Homes Standard [FHS] closed on Wednesday 27th March 2024. The Trust believes the FHS proposals do not go far enough and that there should be recognition for an enhanced fabric standard. Read about what we have worked on.



Current standards

Part L1A (England & Wales)

Part L1A  is a building regulation for England & Wales that sets a standard for the energy performance of new and existing buildings.

The Passivhaus standard delivers a space heating requirement of 15 kWh/m2/a, in comparison with current UK building regulations which are modelled as delivering 63 kWh/m2/a (factoring in a conservative estimate of a 40% performance gap). The Passivhaus standard therefore delivers a 76% reduction in space heating requirements compared with current building regulations. 

Building standard

Space heating requirements kWh/m2/year

Assuming 40% performance gap

% reduction

Part L1A



Passivhaus Classic



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Currently SAP 10 demonstrably underestimates space heating demand, when compared to PHPP and the assumptions inherent in converting SAP points to EPC ratings renders targets such as “EPC A” inadequate in plotting a course to Net Zero. Furthermore, PHPP models include unregulated energy whereas SAP calculations do not. Read more in our research report EPCs as efficiency targets




Part O (England & Wales)

Part O of the Building Regulations (England & Wales) sets standards for overheating in new residential buildings. With escalating national and global temperatures, managing overheating in our homes is imperative. 

PHPP (Passivhaus Planning Package) software is a proven tool for assessing overheating risk - easy-to-use, accurate and comprehensive. It has already been deemed to satisfy Part O by several Building Control services. Our position paper argues that is should be accepted as an alternative means of compliance in place of the 'simplified method' and the 'dynamic method' for single family dwellings and simple building forms.

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Further information

Scottish Passivhaus equivalent

Future Homes Standard 

PHT Position Paper - Overheating, Part O, and PHPP

PHT Technical Guidance - Dynamic Thermal Modelling for Summer Comfort

PHT Position Paper - Future Homes Hub Contender Specifications for the Future Homes Standard

PHT Primer - Passivhaus: a route to net zero - Operational carbon

PHT Research Report - EPCs as efficiency targets

Good Homes Alliance - Building Standards Compared - October 2020