Passivhaus Affiliate

Progress on the UK's 1st Passivhaus Premium

Discover more about a commercial new-build further education campus building that will generate more energy from renewable sources than it requires. Erne Campus is striving to become the first commercial Passivhaus Premium building in the UK. Currently on-site, construction is due to complete in January 2020.

Located on the site of a former hospital in Enniskillen, and covering a treated floor area of 7,115m2, the new education facility will house almost 500 students & staff and is also aiming for BREEAM Outstanding.

Erne Campus Passivhaus Premium


The project will provide employment for over 200 people, including several apprenticeship opportunities, representing a major economic boost for the South West region.

The new building faces south in a curved form, maximising daylight and solar gains, facing towards the town and the Erne River. It arcs around a landscaped public space to the north. A 15 metre deep atrium is central to the design, providing functionality whilst acting as a winter garden and encouraging daylight and ventilation. 

Classrooms are designed with a buffer zone and north-facing windows to reduce glare and overheating risk. The design is predicted to achieve an indoor air temperature of 20°C.


Key Stats

Build start date: June 2018

Completion due: August 2020

TFA: 7,115 m2

Form Factor: 0.6

Construction: Mixed

No. Occupants: 480

Cost/m2: £3552 (based on 8200m2 floor area.)

Erne Campus Passivhaus Premium
Erne Campus Passivhaus Premium
Erne Campus Passivhaus Premium

L - Planned render. R - On-site construction progress of Erne Campus ©South West College

We see Passivhaus as the top of the tree when it comes to building standards in South West College and following the success of our award-winning CREST Centre. We see the Passivhaus Premium standard as the next progressive step for our new campus construction. This displays best practice for public buildings and against the backdrop and context of climate change targets and future policy.

Barry McCarron, South West College 



Securing the right team for construction was a crucial challenge for the client. The building fabric is a steel frame structure with mixed construction that has been designed with U-values ranging from 0.11 W/m2K to 0.15 W/m2K. 


TImber & block


Steel cladding




Curtain wall system 

Erne Campus Passivhaus Premium © South West College


Predicted Energy Performance

Airtightness (≤0.6ACH@50pascals)

0.3 ACH@50pascals

Thermal Energy Demand (≤15kWh/m².yr)

8.20 kWh/m2.yr

Thermal Energy Load (≤10W/m²)

9.15 W/m2

Primary E Demand (≤120kWh/m².yr)

51.3 Wh/m2.yr

Primary Energy Renewable Demand (PER ≤ 30kWh/m2.yr)

30.8 kWh/m2.yr

Primary Energy Renewable Generation (PER ≥ 120kWh/m2.yr )

121.76 kWh/m2.yr

The ventilation strategy employs various systems. The primary systems are centralised and local mechanical ventilation is supplemented by natural ventilation.

The heating system is a combination of a bio-oil micro CHP unit producing 80% of the energy demand as well as 100% of the DHW demand and finally an air-to-water heat pump providing the remaining 20%.

Erne Campus Passivhaus Premium © South West College

This new build contrasts starkly with the existing campus building (8,898m2) which in 2017 used 118 kWh/m2/year and burned over 100,000l of heating oil at a cost of circa £58,000 pounds. This new building represents a 93% reduction in the cost of energy for heating which will equate to a predicted ~£54,000 per year in heating savings alone.


Key Team

Although a Passivhaus first for much of the design & delivery team, this is the second Passivhaus project for the client South West College, who completed the CREST PavilionThe success of this initial scheme was the key to the decision for South West College to strive for Passivhaus Premium at Erne Campus.

Client: South West College

Architect: Hamilton Architects Belfast, Mullarkey Pederson Architects 

Main Contractor: Tracey Brothers Ltd

Structural engineer: White Young Green, Albert Fry Associates.

Consultants: Semple McKillop, WYG, Bennett Robinson Design

Passivhaus Certifier: Passive House Academy Ireland


Hear more about Erne Campus and other large Passivhaus developments at the 2019 UK Passivhaus Conference this October in Salford, Manchester.

Mainstreaming Passivhaus by 2030: 2019 UK Passivhaus Conference. Image Agar Grove UK Passivhaus Conference 2019 ©Passivhaus Trust


All images unless otherwise stated ©South West College

Further Information

Erne Campus

Erne Campus video

Previous PHT story: Passivhaus Powerhouses - 10 January 2018



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Timber & Block


Steel Cladding



Windows (uninstalled) 

Curtain Wall system

17th July 2019

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