Passivhaus Affiliate

Summary of the 19th International Passivhaus Conference

The key focus at the International Passivhaus Conference 2015 in Leipzig was on the latest developments in the increasing availability of suitable components facilitating cost effective energy efficient construction. The two day event saw a number of experts from around the world present and share findings and there was a strong UK presence with approximately 40 delegates.


Energy efficiency & Renewables

The Passivhaus Institute (PHI) has developed 3 new classes for certification which aims to incorporate sustainable sources of fuel, combining energy efficiency with renewables:

  • Classic
  • Plus
  • Premium

New Passivhaus Categories


PHI got into the nitty gritty of what the new categories mean for the future implications of the Passivhaus Standard. Through these new classes, energy gains on or near the building, can be taken into account according to clearly defined criteria.

A system that evaluates consumption and generation of Primary Energy Renewable (PER) will form the basis of this evaluation, which will also take into account associated energy storage and heat losses. Based upon a 'future scenario' it is evaluated upon fuel from soley renewable sources. The new classes will be introduced with the new version of the planning tool, Passive House Planning Package (PHPP.)


  • PHPP 9 is due for release in the UK later this autumn. The classes therefore won't come into effect in the UK until spring 2016 at the very earliest.
  • The old PE evaluation on the current classic standard will not be disappearing, and can still be used to meet certification once the new classes become live.
  • Once certified, a passivhaus is a passivhaus.  The certification plaques will all remain the same, with no distinction between classes.


The Trust will be developing Tutorials on the new classes soon, so watch this space.

Honouring Old & New

Pioneer Award

The conference was rounded off with an award presented to Canadian Harold Orr, an experimental mechanical engineer who has helped shaped energy efficient construction. Built In the late 1970's, the Saskatchewan Conservation House in the town of Regina already had an excellent standard of thermal insulation, an airtight building envelope and as one of the first in the world, a ventilation system with heat recovery. Orr received the Pioneer Award for his trailblazing work.

Harold Orr receiving Pioneer Award from Wolfgang Feist. Image credit: Passivhaus Plus Magazine


Component Awards 2015

The 2015 awards focused on high quality windows for building retrofits. Winners were presented with awards on the first day of the conference. The winning products as well as many other Passive House components were displayed in the accompanying specialists' exhibition.

Joint 1st prize went to:


The use of Passive House components is profitable for the user from an economic & comfort perspective. Thanks to an ever-growing range of products on the market, there are hardly any limitations to planning and architectural implementation. "The products that are required for the construction of highly energy efficient buildings provide a variety of solutions with reference to the type of building, range of functions, area of application and design."

 Wolfgang Feist

Another focal point of the conference programme were completed projects that exemplify the implementation possibilities from varying climates. Many Passive Houses in Leipzig and the surrounding region were also visited within the framework of excursions.



Philippe Moseley of the European Commission’s agency EASME emphasised the significance of the established Passive House Standard as a basis for Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEB) as stipulated in the EU's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which will be coming into effect as of 2020.

Workshops relating to the two EU projects EuroPHit (step-by-step energy-efficient retrofitting) and PassREg (Passive House Regions with renewable energies) dealt with the various approaches adopted at the European level, mentioning a few UK cases tidies such as Wilmcote House and Burry Port School

There is a petition to make Passivhaus the first option to meet NZEB. Read more about the petition on Chris Herring of Green Building Store's blog


2016 Event

Next years conference will take place in Darmstadt, Germany, 22-23 April 2016, for a special 20th anniversary.


Further information

Catch up with snippets of info and action from the Twitter feed #iphc19

More photos can be found on our Flickr stream.

Passivhaus Institute

29th April 2015

< Back To News