Passivhaus Design

We have two certified European Passivhaus architects at the practice: Tom Robinson and Craig Higgins. Tom has long been passionate about the Passivhaus building method and has designed houses to this extremely energy-efficient model. His work inspired Craig to gain his Passivhaus certification.

Passivhaus Design refers to a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its ecological footprint. Its aim is for very low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. 

The standard, devised in Germany in 1991, has lead the way as a tool for accurately designing buildings which, in the north European climate, will have only minimal heating requirements. Yet they are well ventilated with good air quality, and above all have exceptional levels of comfort. 

A Passivhaus must have a heating demand of not more than 15 kWh/m2 per annum and have total primary energy consumption of not more than 120 kWh/m2 per annum. 

Enerphit is the Passivhaus Standard for refurbishment projects. The principles are to produce a building with a heating demand of not more than 25kWh/m2 per annum and to have primary energy consumption of not more that 120kWh/m2 per annum. Our 2017 Enerphit refurbishment is thought to be the first in Scotland. 

Tom Robinson and Craig Higgins are accredited European Passivhaus architects, with the ability to design a Passivhaus. Both regularly apply Passivhaus fundamentals to other projects, so that all of our clients' projects benefit from this specialist knowledge of energy-efficient building methods. 

Early adopters of low-energy buildings took a long-term view of the economics of building in this way, but as the Scottish building standards have been raised, the gap between a Passivhaus and a house which simply meets the Scottish building standards has reduced. A Passivhaus, however, still needs to be designed and built with a great deal more rigour to gain official accreditation than a standard building.

One of the main benefits of these advances is the enhanced standard of comfort that is now possible in a modern building. There should be no draughts, no cold spots, no potential for moulds to exist and an exceptionally fresh, healthy, well-ventilated atmosphere in the building.

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