Mandate Passivhaus in Building Standards

Passivhaus is the world's leading low energy building standard. Upgrading Buildings Standards to mandate Passivhaus would be the most effective way for Goverment to ensure and enforce improved energy standards in new and refurbished buildings

Why the contribution is important

Energy consumption in buildings is a significant contributor of carbon emissions. Whilst renewable energy is a good thing, simply decarbonising the grid will not work, if we continue to use more energy that we need to as there will be rising demand for electricity due to electric vehicles, it is imperative the electricity consumption in buildings is driven down - mandaing passivhaus would do that effectively. It would also help to reduce fuel poverty.

by JonathanHines on October 22, 2020 at 07:19PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 35 votes


  • Posted by davidso October 24, 2020 at 00:58

    I see NO good reason why this sensible measure + application of Enerphit Standard for refurbishment of existing buildings should not be implements with next revision of Building Standards Scotland.
  • Posted by EsTresidder October 25, 2020 at 07:51

    Mandating Passivhaus for new build would be a fantastic step forward. It would ensure residents have comfortable and healthy living environments and tiny energy bills. In addition to improving quality of life for residents, it will also make it easier to decarbonise our electricity supply by radically reducing heat demands, making the electrification of heat and transport (which we also need to do) much easier.
  • Posted by MhairiGrant October 25, 2020 at 18:23

    The Passivhaus Standard is an internationally tried and tested methodology proven in practice to produce new buildings with a reduced heating demand and overall primary energy consumption thereby reducing the ‘performance gap’. It makes absolute sense that this standard should become a baseline for Building Standards new build if the construction sector is to progress meaningfully towards zero carbon goals for operational energy use. It can be applied to all building typologies and therefore no exemptions are necessary.
  • Posted by MartinMcCrae October 25, 2020 at 18:34

    Having self-built and lived in a house for many years which is constructed and certified to the Passivhaus Standard I can see no reason why this standard is not mandated as a baseline for new buildings in Scotland. The standard guarantees new buildings have low energy demands and running costs combined with high thermal comfort and occupancy health.
  • Posted by KirstyMaguire October 25, 2020 at 19:42

    This building standard is widely proven to deliver the quality intended and can be delivered now using existing skills. A structure is in place for upskilling further across the industry to address the current growth and there is a growing demand for this. The benefits have been outlined above and shown to be delivered in practice.
  • Posted by RupertDaly October 25, 2020 at 19:47

    We need radically reduced operational energy/ carbon consumption for both new and existing buildings that perform as designed. Passivhaus achieves this. Performance of current compliance standards varies widely and is locking in poor performance. This will require costly remedial measures in the future to meet climate mitigation targets.
  • Posted by SallyK October 25, 2020 at 22:27

    I agree with the above comments. There needs to be an immediate and dramatic improvement in building standards and the existence of the Passivhaus model means we already have an example to hand.
  • Posted by Eviaries October 26, 2020 at 01:23

    Please check out Energiesprong.
  • Posted by TomBarbour October 26, 2020 at 06:50

    I carry out thermal imaging and air tightness testing on new and old buildings, and see daily the contrast in heat loss between Passivhaus and houses built to existing building standards.

    Passivhaus not only has a higher design energy standard, but the process and quality control used during its construction, ensures that what is built performs as it was designed. Many conventionally built houses in Scotland do not even perform to their design energy standards.

    The non-PH houses currently being built are going to have to be expensively retrofitted to a higher standard in the next few years - so it makes sense to build to this higher standard now. We are locking in a huge financial liability for future retrofit, much higher than if we just built to a higher standard now.

    Scotland has the architectural, design and construction skills to implement Passivhaus as a route to compliance. Doing so now, will also have an economic benefit for Scotland, allowing us to export these skills around the world, opening up opportunities for Scots.
  • Posted by kerryjanerait October 26, 2020 at 13:13

    More generally, I think reducing our reliance on cheap, poorly built and poorly insulated homes is a must, our current model which relies on homes beign built by companies, not people, means standards are continually driven down in favour of profit. We should be encouraging renovation of our existing housing stock, reuse of materials and high quality new builds. As a first obvious step, renovating and upgrading should not be taxed above building new.
  • Posted by John October 26, 2020 at 14:21

    Mandating Passivhaus for new buildings is essential if we are going to meet the Governments climate change commitments. It is essential that our new buildings meet the highest standards needed to minimise energy demand and prevent waste; wasted energy during the buildings lifespan and wasted materials resulting from defective construction. The Passivhaus standard provides a rigorous approach which ensures that energy demand and CO2 emissions are minimised, ensures healthy indoor air quality, (which has never been more important) and good thermal comfort (at minimal cost). Passivhaus buildings are also more resilient to the increasingly extreme weather events associated with climate change; particularly in terms of temperature extremes which is becoming significantly more important.
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