Since I first became aware of the Passivhaus standard I have been fascinated by how it sets a new benchmark for quality. I make no bones about the fact that energy efficiency is really important to me and will be one of the top priorities for my new house. What’s great is that building to the Passivhaus standard also delivers comfort, almost as a by-product. In fact I can envisage a stage where we will all know someone who lives in this level of comfort (while the rest of us are paying a fortune to heat our homes) and that is when I predict the exponential growth will begin. So, if it’s very positive, why is the uptake so slow today?
Well, one important point is that this is still very new to us (in the UK) and there’s no point in rushing it, getting it wrong and then being turned off by the idea. The skills within the industry need to catch up. I’ve been on enough sites to hear things like: “We almost need to start again with fresh blood.” Unless tradespeople are keen to learn a different way of doing things, it’s better to train a new generation who have no construction experience. So that’s one reason . . . but I’m also interested in some of the deep-rooted ideas we harbour.
Do we deem constructing to the Passivhaus standard to be too expensive? Are these houses all ugly boxes anyway? And what about the windows that we can’t open?! That’s why in my latest podcast I thought it would interesting to address some of these issues. By way of rounding them up I tweeted out a question to Passivhaus designers and builders asking them what misconceptions they hear most often. Then I had a chat with Elrond Burrell from Architype.
Download the latest podcast and let the myth-busting begin!