Passivhaus Affiliate

Passivhaus for the masses

The sold-out one-day UK Passivhaus Conference took place a few days ago and reflects the increased interest & awareness of the Standard. Passivhaus can have a meaningful impact on combating the Climate Emergency, but it needs to be adopted at scale. The key theme of the event explored what is needed to successfully drive this construction transformation, and whether the Standard can be mainstream by 2030?

2019 UK Passivhaus Conference

After an accumulation of speakers setting the climate action plan scene, visiting Passivhaus exhibitions, invaluable networking discussions & a multitude of interesting presentations, the final panel addressed key priorities to rapidly industrialise the entire construction sector to deliver Passivhaus at scale in the UK.


Passivhaus is coming!

Passivhaus delivers buildings that can get close to zero carbon by removing the performance gap & drastically reducing operational energy. Relying on renewables is not enough to get to zero carbon. Several policies, from regional local plans to independent reports from the Green Building Council & RIBA, are pointing to the need for Passivhaus or similar fabric criteria for new-build. Whether it is called Passivhaus or not in the future – a transition to higher standards is being recognised by key stakeholders. Delegates voting throughout the day, believed that the most effective method of rapidly achieving the improved quality is via implementing it into building regulations, particularly Part L & F.  

2019 UK Passivhaus Conference
2019 UK Passivhaus Conference 2019 UK Passivhaus Conference


Driving up skills & quality

Training, education & collaboration were mentioned in several talks. There are only 150 certified Passivhaus tradespeople in the UK! The lack of skills and experience within the whole sector often leads to a steep learning curve. The final session revealed that delegates believed upskilling contractors should be a key priority.

The new generation of built environment graduates and trainees also featured highly on the list – we are happy to actively be working on this with our Passivhaus Student Competition – aiming to get Passivhaus taught as core curriculum in more UK schools of architecture & engineering. Winners of the latest competition were awarded at the end of the conference.


2019 UK Passivhaus Conference


Funding the learning curve

Various speakers touched upon a strong business case to justify the extra costs of building to Passivhaus Standard. The new report on the Grenfell tragedy highlights the importance of quality-assured construction. Quality assurance (QA) is inherent to the Passivhaus methodology, and one of the key factors associated with extra costs. Future standards and legislation seek to close the performance gap and tighter QA mechanisms will need to be implemented at a national level, and therefore no longer seen as a Passivhaus-specific cost.

Economies of scale suggest that the more you build and as experience grows, the more cost-effective building to Passivhaus will become. Can the whole industry achieve Passivhaus by 2030? A large majority of Conference delegates were optimistic. The final panel suggested that lobbying the Government for further action & funding as one-voice can be impactful.


2019 UK Passivhaus Conference


Several other interesting topics were covered throughout the day from embodied carbon to German-style showers. Big challenges lie ahead for us all mainstreaming Passivhaus and meeting the critical zero carbon deadlines.  A fuller event summary will follow next month. Where speaker permissions have been granted, the event presentations will be available online shortly

2019 UK Passivhaus Conference 2019 UK Passivhaus Conference
2019 UK Passivhaus Conference 2019 UK Passivhaus Conference


Finally, many thanks to all sponsors, speakers, chairs and exhibitors who make the event happen. A highlight every year is seeing familiar faces and making new friends, so thank you for joining us and we hope to see you next year. As it will be the Trust’s 10th Anniversary, plans are already being prepped for a Conference with double the capacity, somewhere along the Oxbridge corridor. Watch this space!


Further Information

Climate Emergency: Mainstreaming Passivhaus by 2030

More updates follow #UKPHC19



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31st October 2019

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