My wife and I have found a plot of land with planning permission. We want to build a low energy home to passivehaus principles. We are wandering how we can use the design that is already on the plot? Would we need to establish a relationship with the architect that designed the plans in order to move forward. Or, would the plot owner provide us with the designs so that we could work with an architect that we know have worked on passivhause designs in the past? We are happy with the floor plans of the design as it is and hope that, by using this design, we could save money on the design phase. Do you think this would happen or would we end up spending just as much money potentially adapting the plans to work towards passivhause standards?


Dean Phillips

  • Rachel Haynes

    Hello Dean

    Sounds like an interesting project!

    If you are looking to build a home to Passive House standards, it really does need to be considered from the very start of the design process to ensure the basics such as orientation on the site are right from the start. Without seeing the previous design it is hard to know if this has been considered, so it would be good to contact the previous architect and inquire further with them if this has been thought about or if they think it could be adapted to Passive house standards.

    In the past we have designed a house which the client later decided that they would like to consider building to passivhouse standards. We got the design assessed by a passive house assessor and found that we could get close to the standards by increasing the specification of the building elements and amending size and position of windows, but to meet them would have meant a re-design. I’m not sure if this would be the case with your plot, it really depends on the current design.

    If you are considering developing the design with another architect, it would still be worth contacting the plot owner and previous architect to ensure there are no copyright issues over the design as well.

    Lastly, as your plot already has planning permission you would need to consider if any changes that you make may trigger the need for a new planning application, or if they could be treated as non-material amendments to the existing permission.

    Hope this helps & best of luck with the project!
    Kind regards,

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