Building a PassivHaus in the UK can be cost effective and easy to build with the right knowledge and approach, this guide will get you started.
With more focus being drawn to energy efficiency and protecting the planet. Its no wonder that PassivHaus, a high benchmark eco-house design philosophy is becoming popular in the UK with common energy bill prices only 10% of the annual average.
This article outlines the first steps to take to begin your PassivHaus project.
1. Find a suitable plot of land
Often the hardest part of any self-build project! Various websites are available to help you do this, including www.building-plot.org.uk
2. Find an architect or builder with experience and certification of Passivhaus design and construction
Each area of the UK will have a construction division of the Green Building Company, which have a network of builds and architects.
As a PassivHaus certified Practice, we offer design, build, training and consultancy services for your project. Feel free to Book a Free Consultation Here.
The Passivhaus Trust is an invaluable source of information and its members are the leading Passivhaus practitioners in the UK.
3. Get planning permission
Your architect can help with this – low energy Passivhaus projects are often looked on favourably by planning departments – especially now that Passivhaus is becoming better known in the UK.
As a passivhaus certified designer, I have personally seen the merit passivhaus certified building have at the planning stage, including succesful approval on green belt, otherwise undevelopable land and NPPf 79 projects.
PassivHaus is an attractive option if planning approval on a project is proving difficult.
4. Design your Passivhaus using PHPP software
To be a certified Passivhaus the project will have to modelled first in the Passvihaus Planning Package software (PHPP). It is very hard to change a project into a Passivhaus after it has been designed. PHPP modelling has to go in tandem with architectural designs as it will allow the architect to see what is and isn’t possible within the parameters of Passivhaus methodology.
Even if you decide not to go for Passivhaus standard with your project, using PHPP can help apply the Passivhaus methodology effectively and can accurately model how well your project is going to perform. This results in a huge saving of energy billls, higher quality living and larger return on investment overtime.
5. Fund your project
The Ecology Building Society offers mortgages at preferential rates for houses built to the Passivhaus standard. www.ecology.co.uk
The rule of thumb for the cost of passivhaus projects is normally around 10% in addition to the typical cost per m2, addition normally provides a ROI in 10 years, the rest being profit.
For an average cost of your PassivHaus Project using a rough area calculation, use our cost calculator below.
6. Find Passivhaus products
Passivhaus buildings can be built using many basic building materials found in any builders’ merchant. For the specialist Passivhaus elements such as windows, MVHR systems (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery ) and airtightness products, Green Building Store offers a specialist range of Passivhaus products.
Your PassivHaus project can be realized by an experienced architect, just be sure they have the credentials and the PassivHaus Certified Designer status. For a free consultation with a PassivHaus Certified Designer and Architect, Book a Free Consultation Here.