The Passivhaus standard is designed to create buildings that are both comfortable and energy efficient. The combination of an air-tight, super-insulated building fabric and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery reduces energy requirements by up to 85% and provides a draught-free environment with excellent air quality.

The Passivhaus standard can be used to scope retrofit work as well as new build which is critical in the UK where 90% of the building stock will still be in place in 2050. It is simply not possible to reach zero carbon homes by 2016 as the UK government has mandated without reference to the work of the Passivhaus Institute in Germany over the last 20 years.

UK Passivhaus Conference logo

To help to raise awareness about Passivhaus among planners, building control officers, architects and housing associations, cuttingthecarbon set up the UK Passivhaus Conference. The first one was held at Islington Town Hall on Monday 11th October 2010. It included case studies, site visits, workshops, debate, an exhibition of Passivhaus products and numerous networking opportunities. It is now an annual event run by the Passivhaus Trust.

For more information about the Passivhaus standard please visit the Passivhaus Trust website or read the Building Research Establishment’s Passivhaus Primer.