Should Passivhaus standard be mandatory in the United Kingdom?

Webster, Richard (2015) Should Passivhaus standard be mandatory in the United Kingdom? MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    In the State of the Union Address in January 2015 United States president Barack Obama stated that no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change ( With climate change being such a crucial issue for the world, tough targets have been set towards reducing green house gas emissions. The Climate Change Act 2008 set a legally binding reduction of at least 34% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050 for the UK (from 1990 levels). The built environment accounts for 36% of total UK Green House Gas (GHG) emissions with the residential sector accounting for 23% of total UK GHG emissions (Commission on Climate Change, 2010 pg.195).
    In order to address the current targets on reducing GHG emissions the Department of Energy and Climate has developed a resolution entitled "UK National Energy Efficiency Action Plan". The documents strengthen existing Building Regulations which now require a further reduction of 6% in C02 emissions for new residential buildings and a 9% reduction for new non domestic buildings when compared to the 2010 Building Regulations. The British Government has also committed to implement a zero carbon homes policy from 2016 which is in line with European Parliament Policy
    "Energy Performance of Buildings Directive". The zero carbon homes documents require new buildings to follow Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard which should ensure a minimum standard for fabric performance to be used in all new homes. With a focus on fabric performance within these new policies as a way of reducing green house gas emissions, perhaps the UK should look towards an already hugely successful energy performance standard, the German Passivhaus Standard. Since its inception in the early 1990s, over 40,000 buildings have been realised on a voluntary basis across Europe ( Passivhaus works by using passive design principles, providing excellent thermal performance, as well as an exceptional air tightness alongside mechanical ventilation and heat recovery. The two main requirements for Passivhaus standard are: a specific space heating demand of less than 15 kWh/(m2year); and specific primary energy consumption (including space heating, water heating, and electric appliance operation) of less than 120 kWh/(m2year) (Badescu.V & Rotar.N, 2012). The Passivhaus standard means that annual energy costs are reduced by approximately a factor of 5 compared to current UK practice (McLeod.R, Hopfe.C, & Yacine Rezgui. Y, 2012, pg.1 ).
    With such a successful and long running energy performance building standard being used in much of Europe and the British Government's drive towards tackling energy performance within the built environment , it could be asked as to why the Passivhaus standard hasn't been made mandatory in the United Kingdom?

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Technology > School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2015 14:40
    Last Modified: 13 Nov 2015 14:40

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