Foreword by Wolfgang Feist


How to use this book

Part One: The how and why of Passivhaus

Chapter 1

What is a Passivhaus?

The Passivhaus energy standard, the Passivhaus concept, common misconceptions, retrofitting and the EnerPHit energy standard

Chapter 2

The economics of a Passivhaus

Economic culture, energy costs and supplies, factors affecting property prices, factors affecting Passivhaus costs, methods of determining cost-effectiveness

Chapter 3

Passivhaus Certification

Certification of buildings, building components, designers and contractors; the process and information required for building certification

Chapter 4

Challenges of meeting the Passivhaus standard

UK building culture, education and employment in construction, professional expertise, risk-aversity, the planning system, vernacular styles, the team approach, the disadvantages of a Passivhaus, Passivhaus and other low-energy standards

Chapter 5

Natural materials, zero carbon and resilience

Natural and low-embodied-energy building materials, zero carbon and the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), on-site low- or zero-carbon energy, post-peak energy, energy returned on energy invested (EROEI)

Chapter 6

Setting up a Passivhaus project

Choosing a plot, planning considerations, retrofit considerations, phased retrofitting and extensions, selecting an architect and builder, the role of the client

Part Two: Passivhaus projects: a practical guide

Chapter 7

Using the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP)

History of the PHPP, PHPP worksheets: Verification, U-Values, Ground, WinType, Windows, Shading, Ventilation, Annual Heating Demand, Summer, Shading-S, DHW + Distribution, SolarDHW, Climate

Chapter 8

Thermal bridges

Constructional and geometrical thermal bridges, linear and point thermal bridges, thermal bypass, internal and external psi-values, dealing with thermal bridges, thermal bridge calculation

Chapter 9

Airtightness and sequencing

Air leakage and Passivhaus, internal air quality (IAQ), airtightness standards, wind-tightness, breathable materials, airtight materials, air leakage at the design stage and construction stage, sequencing, on-site communication and training, airtightness testing, typical airtight construction details

Chapter 10


Liquid moisture and water vapour, relative humidity (RH) and indoor air quality (IAQ), capillarity, hygroscopicity, vapour permeability, moisture management in construction, breathability, example constructions (new build and retrofit)

Chapter 11


High-performance windows, U-values (frame, pane, spacer and installation factors), solar gain, window installation, window sills, doors, roof lights, avoiding summer overheating, the construction phase, future developments and costs

Chapter 12


Ventilation in UK housing and in Passivhaus, indoor air quality (IAQ), humidity, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) (components, heating, efficiency, noise levels, possible objections to MVHR, installation skills)

Chapter 13

Living in a Passivhaus

Noise, energy bills, kitchen and bathrooom, drying clothes, the MVHR, entering and leaving the house, case studies (Totnes Passivhaus, Denby Dale, Grove Cottage, Passivhaus apartment buildings)

Chapter 14

Policy change in the UK

Planning, a building-fabric-based energy standard, floor measurement conventions, VAT, Energy Performance Certificates, property tax, change in the construction sector, self-build, home-grown Passivhaus products, culture and policy-making

Appendix A: Space heating and hot water

Appendix B: Thermal conductivity values

Appendix C: US units – metric conversions

Appendix D: Certified Passivhaus projects in the UK

Glossary of terms

Glossary of units