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Building a Passivhaus

21°’s essential guide to building your own Passivhaus.

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

2. Find an architect or builder with experience of Passivhaus design and construction

If you live in the Huddersfield/ West Yorkshire area you can contact our construction division  Green Building Company, builders of the Denby Dale Passvhaus. We work closely with Huddersfield architect Derrie O’Sullivan and can offer design, build, training and consultancy services for your project. Green Building Company can offer Passivhaus consultancy services to projects outside West Yorkshire, please ring our consultancy team on 01484 461705 for more information.

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 should be looked on favourably by planning departments – especially now that Passivhaus is becoming better known in the UK.

4. Design your Passivhaus using PHPP software

To be a certified Passivhaus the project will have to modelled first in 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, we really recommend that you design the project using PHPP as it can help apply the Passivhaus methodology effectively and can accurately model how well your project is going to perform.

5. Fund your project

The Ecology Building Society offers mortgages at preferential rates for houses built to the Passivhaus standard.

6. Find Passivhaus products

As we have shown at Denby Dale, 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.

Life changing homes