UK Passivhaus Awards 2016

If one perception persists in the world of Passive House design, it is the belief that the Passive House concept and planning process results in architecturally unambitious, boxy eco-homes, where performance and comfort are maintained at all cost and over all else.

It is certainly true from a historical perspective, as we look back to the famous Darmstadt testbed of Passive House and many of the buildings that followed it, to arrive at the label of boxy eco-home would not be far from the truth!

It is also very true to say that the shape, size and orientation have a significant impact on a buildings ability to meet ambitious energy requirements as these geometric factors ultimately determine the surface area to volume ratio of a design.

However, as the concept continues to attract more creative minds, coupled with suppliers providing incredibly efficient products and support, we are seeing results that differ little from vernacular architecture or vastly improve the aesthetics of the end product.

While here in Australia, we are still getting to grips with the challenges of the concept and planning process, this year has continued to slip away from this boxy eco-home mould, with incredibly ambitious designs being achieved globally.

In the UK this year, the Passivhaus Awards 2016 clearly illustrates how far and quick a market can develop in only a few years, led and delivered by the growing self-builder adoption of the standard and encouraged by the unparalleled levels of comfort and efficiency.

Here are a few of our favourites from this year: