As the EU moves towards ‘Near Zero Energy Buildings‘ and the UK moves towards implementing this by requiring ‘Zero Carbon Buildings’, understanding the Passivhaus Standard as one reliable route towards delivering ‘Zero Carbon Buildings’ is vital.
Passivhaus is known as the world’s leading building energy efficiency standard. It is also a comfort standard with stringent indoor thermal comfort and ventilation requirements. The majority of industry discussion around passivhaus focuses on the technical details and energy benchmarks required to meet the standard. While this is understandable as we come to grips with the challenges of delivering buildings to such a high standard, there is less attention paid to the benefits delivered by the standard and wider aspects of the passivhaus design process.
I was first introduced to Passivhaus several year back when we decided to pursue it in the architect’s practice where I work. It seemed like the right step forward in so many ways. However, learning about the Passivhaus Standard and everything that is required for certification, presented many challenges. There were some technical challenges, but probably the biggest challenges were to the received wisdom that I held firmly onto at the time.
This somewhat tongue-in-cheek post explores some of those mindset challenges with the benefit of hindsight. It also explores some other mindset challenges that arise from delivering passivhaus architecture.