PassivHaus - A summary of the design principles & certification process (Version 1)

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The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), which was published in April 2007 by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG), recommends learning from the German / Austrian PassivHaus standard / scheme. This is because it represents a design approach for dwellings that is some considerable way towards the 'Zero Carbon' target that we are aiming to achieve for all houses in England by 2016. The PassivHaus standard is considered by CLG to be broadly equivalent to Code Level 4 in the CSH.

This Construction Briefing uses Germany and Austria as the benchmark and examines not only how the UK housing market could benefit from adopting these principles, but also the potential issues that could arise.

This briefing also examines the formal process for design, checking and testing of building and components which must be considered when achieving energy use below 15k/Wh/m²/yr - the PassivHaus standard.



  • Financing and grants in Germany
  • Design principles
    • Fundamental principles
    • Outline specification for PassivHaus in the UK
  • The design, construction and checking process
  • Quality of life
  • Issues to address when applying the PassivHaus principles to the UK housing market
    • Design of dwellings
    • Windows
    • Design software
    • Quality
    • Maintenance / use

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