Passive House too difficult to achieve?

There are some instances where a client may decide that achieving a Passive House standard for new build or EnerPhit Passive House standard for retrofit is going to be too difficult but would still like to build or retrofit a low energy home that is a great improvement on the current building regulations.

Reasons for this may be because planning permission has already been granted for a building that was not originally designed as a Passive House and is unable due to constraints such as building shape (form factor) to be able to hit Passive House targets. Or in the case of an existing building the form factor, orientation, location, construction type and  planning constraints may make EnerPhit impossible. Alternatively a chosen contractor or developer may not feel they have the experience or expertise to build a Passive House.

Building an “eco” house to no particular specification or guidelines can bring with it a host of problems such as under performance, overheating or air quality issues that would undoubtedly leave a client unhappy with the results. It is far better to design and build to a specific criteria and this is where alternative Building standards can be used as a measure of performance.

What are the alternatives?

The AECB Building and Retrofit Standards

These Standards can act as design and specification guides for the client and design team: we encourage formal certification to these Standards for improved Quality Assurance on projects.  Projects are now formally certified by an AECB Approved Certifier and uploaded to the AECB Low Energy Buildings Database (LEBD) which showcases many projects including certified and uncertified buildings. All the AECB Standards are based on Passivhaus methodology and use the Passivhaus Planning Package or designPH software for design and certification purposes.

Clifford Design are qualified to act as certifier on projects using the AECB standards.

LETI Climate Emergency Design Guide

The LETI retrofit and new build standards use Passive house principals and modelling but are slightly less onerous than Passive House and for retrofit are more suited to UK housing stock.
The flow chart below gives a really useful guide to help clients make a choice about what their targets for their home may be. Click images to enlarge.
Leti small homes guide
Leti medium and large homes guide