Passivhaus Affiliate

UK Passivhaus Awards - winners announced!

Parsons + Whittley, Architype and Bere Architects claim top honours at first UK Passivhaus Awards.

The UK Passivhaus Awards was launched by the Passivhaus Trust to celebrate the achievements of Passivhaus pioneers in the UK. The awards highlighted the versatility of the Passivhaus Standard that can be applied to any building type or size and that Passivhaus design can demonstrably create beautiful, energy efficient, comfortable and cost-effective buildings. The awards ceremony took place on 4th July at Senate House, London and was well attended by the who’s who of the UK Passivhaus community.

All entries for the awards were judged by a panel of Passivhaus experts- Prof Wolfgang Feist, Founder of the Passivhaus Institut; Nick Grant, Technical Director of the Passivhaus Trust; Hattie Hartman, Sustainability editor of The Architects' Journal and Sofie Pelsmaker, Co-founder of Architects for Change. Three Certified Passivhaus projects were shortlisted from each of the categories- Residential, Non- domestic and Retrofit. Overall the judges were very impressed by the high quality of all the entries and were pleased to see so much useful data both for energy consumption and occupant satisfaction. The judges unanimously decided that the decision about the final winners should be taken by the Trust members.

Voters waiting for the winners' announcements whilst final votes are being counted

Jon Bootland, Chief executive of the Passivhaus Trust opened the evening, followed by a video message from Awards judge Hattie Hartman, who was unable to attend. Hattie pointed out, “I’m often asked to represent the sustainability angle when judging architectural awards, and I’m always looking for evidence and data of the building actually performing in the way it was designed... Normally such performance data is few and far between, whereas in these awards it was essential – it was really refreshing to have a whole range of sustainability metrics that we could look at to try to understand the nitty-gritty of these buildings.”


Prof Wolfgang Feist, fellow judge then addressed the audience, “I was delighted to see so many excellent projects in the UK, many of which would be leaders even compared to others in Europe. In particular, UK practitioners are leading the way on Passivhaus retrofit projects and have much information and experience to share with project teams elsewhere. All the short-listed projects were certified Passivhauses and were good enough to win, so it was difficult to choose a winner – I’m pleased therefore that the winners will be chosen through voting by their peers as members of the Passivhaus Trust.”

Each shortlisted project was then presented to the audience before being put to a vote. Trust members unable to attend the event were able to cast their votes online as well. Each project demonstrated its performance with evidence on Energy consumption, Indoor environment, Occupant feedback, Design philosophy/ innovation, Aesthetics and other sustainability features. Each project was also asked to submit cost information that demonstrated that achieving a certified Passivhaus does not cost the earth. Data from energy monitoring and occupant feedback revealed that substantial savings were being made on operational energy costs and occupant satisfaction has been overwhelming. Imagery from the projects revealed the various approaches taken by designers to achieve beautiful architectural language and bright and healthy internal environments within the rigorous Passivhaus standard. As Hattie Hartman rightly commented, "Some of the shortlisted projects could easily win Architecture awards as well as Passivhaus ones."

Once the votes were in and counted, the winners were announced by Chris Herring, Chair of the Passivhaus Trust.


 Sponsored by Beattie Passive

Winner: Wimbish Passivhaus, Parsons & Whittley

See Project Factfile & Awards Presentation

Other Shortlisted projects: (click on project link to see project factfile and awards presentations)

Camden PassivhausBere Architects
Denby Dale PassivhausGreen Building Store

Non Domestic

Sponsored by Ecological Building Systems

Winner: Oakmeadow Primary School, Architype Architects

See Project Factfile & Awards Presentation

Other Shortlisted projects: (click on project link to see project factfile and awards presentations)

Bushbury Hill Primary SchoolArchitype Architects
Hadlow Rural Regeneration CentreEurobuild


Sponsored by St Gobain

Winner:Mayville Community Centre, Bere Architects

Other Shortlisted projects: (click on project link to see project factfile and awards presentations)

100 Princedale RoadPaul Davis + Partners
Grove CottageSimmonds.Mills Architects

Chris Parsons from Parsons & Whittley said, "I think we were successful because the scheme of 14 dwellings for Hastoe Housing Association, demonstrated that the methodology could be delivered in the mainstream housing environment at a reasonable cost. The energy use of the houses has been monitored through the UEA for 12 months and we could demonstrate really low fuel bills and really high comfort levels." Jonathan Hines from Architype on accepting the Award for Oakmeadow said, "It’s great to see the industry sharing data and being open about monitoring results. The Passivhaus community has always been about sharing knowledge with each other.’"

Carol Johnson, Chairman of the Mildmay Community Partnership, who accepted the award along with Bere Architects spoke from the heart, "We love the building – it’s brilliant! It’s a pleasure to be in Mayville Community Centre everyday- it’s a wonderful building", summing up how the Passivhaus standard is as much a comfort standard as it is a low energy standard, placing the occupants health and well-being at the core of its principles .

All the shortlisted project teams with Prof Wolfgang Feist & Chris Herring

The Passivhaus Trust Awards team

Photography: Andrew Perrin      Copyright: Passivhaus Trust

5th July 2012

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