Passivhaus Affiliate

Research Reports - Passivhaus Costs & Benefits

Category: Guidance

Often considered primarily as the exemplar standard for producing high-performance buildings, Passivhaus does indeed minimise energy demand, but it delivers much more. We cannot discuss Passivhaus costs without considering value. The Trust has completed detailed research into these areas, which has been split into two parts: 

Costs         I       Benefits


Part 1: Costs

Innovation costs associated with early Passivhaus projects are now reducing as the methodology has become more widely adopted. Analysis shows that the extra costs associated with building to the Passivhaus standard in the UK has reduced over the years and, as of 2018, best practice costs were around 8% higher than comparable non-Passivhaus projects.

However, removing the costs associated with quality assurance (to eliminate the performance gap this should be done regardless) and considering further development of skills, expertise and supply chain maturity, indicates that extra costs could come down to around 4% or less. In the context of other factors which result in higher build costs (high quality, high performance building products, design form, ground conditions etc), this becomes a minor uplift for a far superior product in terms of running costs, carbon emissions, and additional co-benefits such as comfort & health levels.

Overall, this study has shown that the Passivhaus standard in the UK can be achieved now for a modest extra-over cost and this is likely to reduce to nominal levels if adopted at scale.







2019 Passivhaus Construction Costs


Passivhaus Construction Costs


Download summary (PDF)



Download full report (PDF)

Published: October 2019


You may also like

Passivhaus Social Housing: Maximising benefits, minimising costs

Passivhaus Social Housing: Do the numbers stack up?

AECOM: Debunking the myth that Passivhaus is costly to achieve - 2021

Exeter City Council: Low energy development information pack



Part 2: Benefits

Whilst the report above concentrates on the initial capital costs of a Passivhaus development, any discussion of costs should also consider the impact on through-life costs & value. Passivhaus can slash building heating demand by 90% without compromising our health & wellbeing – factors put into sharp focus during the pandemic.

Our research identified almost fifty types of benefits relating to Passivhaus which are categorised into six distinct areas. The multi-faceted benefits offered by Passivhaus resonate with different stakeholders. Homeowners may be interested in superior quality & comfort whilst lowering energy bills. Eliminating fuel poverty, reducing rent arrears, and achieving zero carbon targets will attract local authorities. The government may focus on the potential to lower peak demand and amplify grid capacity for a smooth transition to renewable energy. 

We anticipate that this report will provide a valuable resource for anyone seeking to assemble a strong business case for a Passivhaus strategy or project.


Passivhaus Benefits: Research Summary Guide, 2021

Download summary report (double page PDF)

Download Benefits Guide Media Pack



Watch an introduction

Sarah Lewis, Research and Policy Director at the Passivhaus Trust, introduces the benefits guidance in this short video.



Download A3 infographic

Passivhaus Benefits Guide_Passivhaus Trust_A3 infographic

 Download A3 infographic (PDF)


Passivhaus benefits - the evidence base

Each of the key chapters in Passivhaus Benefits is underpinned by detailed supplementary research, to be published in three supporting papers. The first of these, Health, Wellbeing and People Performance, is available to download now.

Passivhaus Benefits: Building Performance Passivhaus Benefits: Climate Change

Building Performance

Climate Emergency

Coming soon

Passivhaus Benefits: Health & Wellbeing Passivhaus Benefits: People Performance

Health & Wellbeing

People Performance


Passivhaus Benefits: Financial Passivhaus Benefits: Social



Coming soon


When the above research on costs and benefits is read together the case for Passivhaus in the UK is robust. The approach to both our new buildings and the retrofit of our existing stock in the UK must be ambitious and inclusive. The Passivhaus Standard gives us a range of approaches for our journey to Net Zero, making it widely applicable across all building typologies.

Overall, this study has shown that building to the Passivhaus standard in the UK is not only the most appropriate choice for delivering high-quality buildings, but it is also the best choice for the environment and population at large.

You may also like

Passivhaus Social Housing: Maximising benefits, minimising costs

Climate Action Co-Benefits Toolkit - Ashden

< Back To Guidance