In 2010 cuttingthecarbon organised the first ever UK Passivhaus Conference, which was held at Islington Town Hall on Monday 11th October. It included case studies, site visits, workshops, debate, an exhibition of Passivhaus products and numerous networking opportunities.

The Passivhaus standard is designed to create buildings that are comfortable and energy efficient. The combination of a super-insulated building fabric and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery reduces energy requirements by up to 85% and provides a draught-free environment with excellent air quality.

The Passivhaus standard can be used to scope retrofit work as well as new build which is critical in the UK where 90% of the building stock will still be in place in 2050. It is simply not possible to reach zero carbon homes by 2016 as the UK government has mandated without reference to the work of the Passivhaus Institute in Germany over the last 20 years.

The UK Passivhaus Conference seeks to bring together everyone interested in the Passivhaus standard to further knowledge, stimulate debate and advocate for change. The conference is non-profit; any surpluses generated will be re-invested in the conference or in education, or will be used to increase understanding about Passivhaus at the government level.

The 2010 Conference was run by cuttingthecarbon and took advice from a wide range of players in the UK Passivhaus sector (4orm architects, AECB, bere:architects, BRE, Green Gauge Trust, Passivhaus Trust, RDA Architects, University College London and the University of East London). 

Since 2011, the UK Passivhaus Conference has been organised by the Passivhaus Trust and BRE

UK Student Passivhaus Conference

The UK's first ever Passivhaus conference for students was hosted by the MA Architecture: Sustainability & Design course at the University of East London on Sunday 10th October. cuttingthecarbon are proud to have been the main sponsor of the event. We also subsidised 50 students to attend the main UK Passivhaus Conference.

In the run-up to their conference UEL students built two small "houses", one to the Passivhaus standard, and the other to be as energy inefficient as UK building regulations. The structures were then filled up with ice to see if it melted! According to Sofie Pelsmaker, the course leader: "The experiment showed that with careful detailing and construction, the airtightness requirement of the Passivhaus standard can be achieved. It also highlights that, compared to a structure built to building regs, the Passivhaus structure is significantly better at recording more stable internal air temperatures."

The work was beautifully filmed by Marek Redo of UEL’s School of Architecture and the Visual Arts.