15KWH/M2: An Introduction to Passivhaus

15KWH/M2: An Introduction to Passivhaus

In October 2019, we designed and organised a small exhibition exploring the key principles of Passivhaus (Passive House), a concept for new build construction that results in ultra-efficient buildings requiring little energy for space heating or cooling.

Developed over 25 years ago and originating from Germany, Passivhaus is a rigorous, voluntary standard that significantly reduces the ecological footprint of newly constructed buildings.

Paper House Project Director James Davies is a Certified Passivhaus Designer and member of the International Passivhaus Association.

Under the new government plan to tackle climate change announced earlier this year, greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to net zero by 2050. This is a step further than the agreement to reduce emissions by 80% made in 2008 as part of the Climate Change Act.

But we still need to do more.

The UK’s carbon footprint in 2016 was 784 megatonnes of CO2 (equivalent). Heating alone was responsible for 10% of these carbon emissions, with homes contributing more than all other building types combined. In 2016, almost half of all CO2 emissions from the London Borough of Hackney came from residential properties.

Newly constructed buildings are more energy-efficient, but 80% of buildings in 2050 have already been built. A major priority, therefore, is to decarbonise our existing stock and ensure new buildings surpass current UK Building Regulations, which at the moment will not be enough to get us to net-zero emissions by 2050.

So what can we do?

This exhibition introduces Passivhaus (Passive House), a concept for *new build construction that results in ultra-efficient buildings requiring little energy for space heating or cooling. Developed over 25 years ago and originating from Germany, Passivhaus is a rigorous, voluntary standard that significantly reduces the ecological footprint of newly constructed buildings.

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