New research from the NHBC Foundation has shown that there are major issues that passivhaus need to address if it is to take off in the UK.
The reason for the lack of take off has to do with the extremely high requirements for energy efficient design that passivhaus sets. It is designed to reduce heating and cooling both of which increase energy consumption.
The NHBC reported titled, "Lessons from Germany's Passivhaus experience" found a number of key elements:
- Building a Passivhaus is a major challenge to builder and designer, with demanding energy performance and quality assurance standards, meaning some observers question its suitability to the volume market
- The cost of building a Passivhaus in Germany is 3% to 8% more than building to German building regulations. A significant factor in the take up of Passivhaus there has been the availability of reduced interest rate loans and grants. Just one such loan scheme is available in the UK and no capital grants
- The German population has a stronger interest in the environment and a general enthusiasm for higher specification products. 92 per cent of those who live in a Passivhaus are pleased with it
- Passivhaus homes in the UK have to comply with Building Regulations as well as the Passivhaus standard
Neil Smith, group research and innovation manager at NHBC, said: "Passivhaus is still in its infancy in the UK, but it is clear there are major issues that need to be overcome if the Passivhaus standard is to take off in the UK. There are lessons that we can learn from the attention to detail inherent in the Passivhaus approach in the run up to the government's 2016 zero carbon homes target. But it is questionable whether Passivhaus is a realistic solution for the volume market at present."
For more information and the full report please visit the NHBC Foundation website.