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How to save money on a Passivhaus build

With costs associated with Passivhaus builds falling, the Passivhaus Trust reveal how to keep these eco-friendly projects on budget.

By Hugh Metcalf | 10 December 2019

As builds meeting Passivhaus standard become more common, the extra costs associated have started to fall. Here’s how you can minimise expenditure and achieve an affordable Passivhaus build.

callaughtons ash eco council-housing development meets passivhaus standard - granddesignsmagazine.com

Callaughtons Ash, a council-housing development created by Architype, meets Passivhaus standards. Residents are estimated to pay no more than £100 a year in heating bills

With over 1,000 buildings in the UK now completed to Passivhaus standard, new analysis has found that the extra costs associated with these energy-saving builds has fallen – with future projections even more positive.

Back in 2015, the Passivhaus Trust estimated that on average meeting the standards set by Passivhaus could add between 15% and 20% on a build. However, as these builds have become more common, championed by industry experts including Kevin McCloud, new data has found that the extra costs associated have fallen to 8%.

In the near future, as skills and supply chains improve, this figure could fall to as low as 4% of build cost according to the Passivhaus Trust.

As builds meeting Passivhaus standard become more common, the extra costs associated have started to fall. Here’s how you can minimise expenditure and achieve an affordable Passivhaus build.

callaughtons ash eco council-housing development meets passivhaus standard - granddesignsmagazine.com

Callaughtons Ash, a council-housing development created by Architype, meets Passivhaus standards. Residents are estimated to pay no more than £100 a year in heating bills

With over 1,000 buildings in the UK now completed to Passivhaus standard, new analysis has found that the extra costs associated with these energy-saving builds has fallen – with future projections even more positive.

Back in 2015, the Passivhaus Trust estimated that on average meeting the standards set by Passivhaus could add between 15% and 20% on a build. However, as these builds have become more common, championed by industry experts including Kevin McCloud, new data has found that the extra costs associated have fallen to 8%.

In the near future, as skills and supply chains improve, this figure could fall to as low as 4% of build cost according to the Passivhaus Trust.

Image: Architype

If you’re considering embarking on a Passivhaus project, getting expert advice – both from the industry and from Passivhaus owners who have completed their own builds – is crucial in order to ensure things run as smoothly as possible and helping the build stay on budget.

These 10 tips from the Passivhaus Trust are your best starting point for minimising the extra costs related to this kind of build:

  1. Passivhaus needs to be part of the initial brief
  2. Employ experienced Passivhaus designers
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Ventilation design is important
  5. Consider summer comfort
  6. Airtightness is key
  7. Work with a team that ‘get it’
  8. It’s more than just design
  9. Collaboration
  10. Appoint a certifier early
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