News

Unilin appoints new general manager for the UK and Ireland

Aidan Doyle has joined insulation manufacturer, Unilin Insulation, as General Manager for both the Ireland and UK businesses.

Employment

St Albans passive house scheme launches, promising luxury and energy income

Home buyers seeking sustainable luxury and energy income in a sought-after part of England have a rare opportunity with a newly launched passive house scheme in St Albans.

General

Scotland committed to continuing passive house journey

Patrick Harvie MSP, the Scottish government’s minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants' rights, was a keynote speaker at the UK Passivhaus Conference in Edinburgh on 17 October, and shared his vision for energy efficient and low carbon buildings in Scotland.

Government

AECB conference 2023: from edible landscaping to whole life carbon

Delegates at the 2023 AECB Conference heard a wide range of speakers covering everything from guerrilla edible planting to peak oil to detailed discussions on whole life carbon calculation.

Events

Free programme to bring passive house to UK architecture students

A new free-to-access training programme, Design Performance for Climate Action, provides architecture students across the UK with a solid foundation in climate-responsive building design – with passive house at its core.

General

Sustainable bodies criticise Future Homes lack of ambition

Three leading sustainable building organisations have expressed disappointment with the government’s proposed Future Homes Standard, which went to consultation in December, along with proposals for non-domestic buildings.

General

AECB conference: building, climate chaos and biodiversity collapse

The AECB 2023 Conference will focus on providing solutions required for building in an age of climate chaos and biodiversity collapse.

General

Design and performance centre stage at UK Passivhaus Awards

A pioneering co-housing scheme, a cube-shaped self build, a cork and polyester- insulated retrofit to a 1970s house, a glulam timber school, and a curved college building were the winners at the 2023 UK Passivhaus Awards.

General

UN pushes for radical sustainable building action

The United Nations is pushing for a rapid drive to make the world’s buildings sustainable – aided by an international coalition centred in the Wexford town of Enniscorthy.

General

New Licence Plus scheme undermines retrofit standards, experts say

TrustMark defends scheme & says it creates a pathway to PAS 2035

General

Show Me the Bodies: How We Let Grenfell Happen

Simon Jones reviews new book exploring the Grenfell tragedy.

General

Scotland to mandate passive house for new homes

Scotland’s minister for zero carbon buildings is proposing to make the passive house standard, or a new Scottish equivalent, the minimum energy efficiency standard for new build homes from the end of 2024.

Government

Must listen: Zero Ambitions Podcast

Over the past two years Passive House Plus editor Jeff Colley has been moonlighting as co-host of Zero Ambitions, a weekly podcast that wrestles with the challenge of how to deliver the scale and ambition of decarbonisation and sustainability in buildings required to avoid a hellish future.

General

WorldGBC launches green building policy principles for governments

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has launched a set of principles aimed at guiding national governments to develop effective building policies and programmes to accelerate a decarbonised future.

General

Passive house isn’t just about efficiency – it’s about social justice

The potential of the passive house standard to change the world isn’t restricted to tackling climate change – it’s about social justice too.

Events

EU votes through EPBD recast

Changes include embodied carbon, zero emission buildings and minimum energy standards

Government

Thermal bypass paper published

The Passivhaus Trust has published a new technical paper on thermal bypass – the phenomenon where air movement across, within and behind insulation increases heat loss, causes discomfort and enables mould growth.

General

Exeter's leading-edge leisure centre provided inspiration for UK Conference

This year’s UK Passivhaus Conference was held in Exeter, reflecting Exeter City Council’s record for developing buildings to the passive house standard over the last decade.

Events

AECB Conference focuses on practical decarbonisation

The first in-person event of the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) since Covid, the 2022 AECB Conference, focussed on practical solutions to decarbonising buildings.

Events

Ashden Awards winners showcase climate solutions

Organisations tackling the UK cost of living crisis and providing a new generation with the skills for green jobs have been recognised in this year’s international Ashden Awards.

Events

AECB launches two levels of retrofit standards

The Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) has introduced a new retrofit standard catering for hard-to-treat homes and cases where homeowners want to take urgent action on climate change but are not currently able to commit to a deep retrofit.

General

Decarbonising buildings “most important issue” – Climate Change Committee

Decarbonising buildings is “probably the most important issue” in the UK’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UK’s independent authority on climate change.

Climate Change

New passive house & embodied carbon resources

Do thicker insulated walls, triple glazed windows, & MVHR ventilation systems tip the scales unfavourably for passive house when it comes to embodied carbon?

General

EU proposes gas demand reduction plan till spring

As Russia weaponises gas exports, the European Commission has proposed a gas demand reduction plan, to cut use in Europe by 15 per cent until next spring.

Government

Building or upgrading?

If you’re pricing, designing or constructing a building – whether it's an energy upgrade of a small house or a sustainable new build home, office or multi unit scheme – Passive House Plus can help.

Click here to get in contact with the companies you need, and receive a copy of Passive House Plus for free!

Marketplace

Unilin UK launches embodied carbon report

Unilin UK launches embodied carbon report

Leading insulation manufacturer Unilin has produced a report on calculating and reducing embodied carbon while using the company’s products.

05-01-2024 Marketplace

Zehnder launches MVHR system for tight spaces

Zehnder launches MVHR system for tight spaces

Zehnder Group UK has launched the Zehnder ComfoAir Flex – a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery (MVHR) specifically designed for tight spaces and challenging installation environments.

05-01-2024 Marketplace

Tackling UK carbon emissions with Passive Ecowall

Tackling UK carbon emissions with Passive Ecowall

Carbon emissions originating from the construction and operation of buildings in the UK constitute a sizeable portion of the country’s overall emissions, amounting to 40 per cent.

05-01-2024 Marketplace

Beattie Passive appoints self-build manager

Beattie Passive appoints self-build manager

Passive house pioneer and offsite modular construction specialist Beattie Passive is delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Clarke to the newly created role of client solutions manager.

05-01-2024 Marketplace

Blogs

Buy, hold or sell

Buy, hold or sell

Recent analysis has suggested a slowdown in the property sector for 2024, but what impact might a drop in inflation have? Mel Reynolds runs the numbers.

Blogs

An early green building in a changing Ireland

An early green building in a changing Ireland

It’s fair to say that green building wasn’t a thing in early 90s Ireland, which makes one extraordinary Dublin project from 1994 all the more remarkable, as Dr. Marc O Riain writes.

Blogs

Bedding sustainability into British buildings: Bioregional’s BedZed

Bedding sustainability into British buildings: Bioregional’s BedZed

Shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2003, BedZed was a prominent example of architecture starting to pay attention to sustainability. But how well did it work? In the latest part of his series on the history of low energy architecture, Dr. Marc O Riain looks back at a landmark project.

Blogs

Awaab Ishak’s death shows that building physics are a life and death matter

Advances in building physics in recent years are leading to an ever-increasing understanding among experts of the risks that a litany of pollutants can pose to building occupants. But this has not stopped vulnerable people from living – and dying - in substandard buildings that exacerbate these risks. Urgent action is needed, Toby Cambray explains, to better communicate and decisively tackle the risks buildings can pose to their occupants.

Blogs

Mainstreaming retrofit – a massive missed opportunity

The scale of the retrofit challenge facing the UK and Ireland will require an army of tradespeople to upgrade homes – leading many to the conclusion that a new retrofit industry needs to be built from scratch. But is a more realistic answer staring us in the face – a thriving existing industry of trusted local tradespeople, asks Dr Catrin Maby OBE.

Blogs

Does nuclear have a role to play in decarbonising energy?

One zero carbon energy source has historically been vehemently opposed by environmentalists. But can nuclear power overcome the high-profile failures of its past, asks Dr. Marc O Riain, or has the technology missed the boat?

Blogs

Is it okay to retrofit heat pumps before building fabric?

How flexible can heat pumps be to handle what may be inexactly defined heating demands, asks Toby Cambray?

Blogs

Enniskillen passive house camp attracts international audience

Enniskillen passive house camp attracts international audience

The passive house camp recently took place from 26-29 September at South West College's passive house premium-certified Erne Campus and the Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST).

Blogs

Why we wrote Designing for the Climate Emergency

Why we wrote Designing for the Climate Emergency

Over the last century architects have unwittingly played a key role in terms of climate collapse and a slew of linked catastrophic environmental and social harms. A new book aims to change that.

Blogs

Bad retrofit is worse than no retrofit

But doing retrofit well and at scale remains an enormous technical and financial challenge, writes Dr Peter Rickaby.

Blogs

HomeWorld 1981: car engine-driven houses & low energy ideas that stuck

HomeWorld 1981: car engine-driven houses & low energy ideas that stuck

In the latest missive in his series on the history of low energy design, Dr Marc Ó'Riain looks to some wacky and wonderful experimentation in a project that aimed to transform public perception of Milton Keynes.

Blogs

Podcast: what we've learned from 20 years in green building mags

Podcast: what we've learned from 20 years in green building mags

To kick start the new year, have a listen to co-founders Jeff Colley and Dan Hyde on what they've learned in the 20 years since our first issue came out.

Blogs

The PH+ guides

The PH+ guide to thermal breaks

The PH+ guide to thermal breaks

Building physics take no prisoners. Anyone designing, constructing or upgrading the thermal envelope of a building to modern energy performance levels is duty bound to understand and minimise thermal bridging, or suffer the consequences. One-man thermal bridging encyclopaedia Andrew Lundberg of Passivate, who teaches thermal bridging analysis at Dublin Institute of Technology, gives some practical advice on why and how to tackle thermal bridging head on, and describes some of the leading innovations in thermally broken components.

19-04-2018 Guides

The PH+ guide to greener concrete - reducing the climate impact of cement and concrete in buildings

The PH+ guide to greener concrete - reducing the climate impact of cement and concrete in buildings

Cement is responsible for up to 8% of global carbon emissions, and in this guide, sustainable design expert Jay Stuart looks at ways to minimise its environmental impact through good design, and at some of the alternative, lower carbon cement and concrete products on the market.

30-07-2020 Guides

The PH+ guide to insulating foundations

The PH+ guide to insulating foundations

While understanding wall and roof insulation is relatively straightforward, insulation under the ground floor can be a bit of a mystery by comparison. Not only is it buried in the ground, but there are notoriously tricky spots like the wall-floor junction that need to be detailed and insulated properly. And the design of your foundation often depends on site conditions and the type of structure you’re going to build, too. In this guide, we explain some different ways of insulating one of the most challenging parts of the building envelope.

10-06-2019 Guides

Timber frame & mass timber: the Passive House Plus guide to structural timber construction

Timber frame & mass timber: the Passive House Plus guide to structural timber construction

Fuelled by the need to build quickly and to increasingly tight sustainability standards, the market for timber frame and mass timber construction is growing rapidly. This detailed guide covers many of the main established and emerging techniques, and looks at key issues to address if you’re considering a timber-based build.

05-07-2019 Guides