All New Homes Should Meet Passivhaus Standard, Scottish Government Told

timber clad self build exterior
A timber frame Passivhaus exterior with timber cladding (Image credit: Quentin Lake)

The Scottish parliament is to consider a proposal for all new homes to be built to Passivhaus standard, or to a Scottish equivalent. 

Homes built to Passivhaus level meet high standards of airtightness, insulation and energy efficiency, and Alex Rowley MSP wants this standard to apply to every new home built in Scotland. This includes homes which are custom and self built as well as those built by housing associations, councils or the private sector.

Mr Rowley, the Labour MSP for the Mid Scotland and Fife region, has proposed a private member’s bill, called the Domestic Building Environmental Standards (Scotland) Bill, to be heard in the Scottish parliament. 

"A move to the Passivhaus ‘gold standard’ for all new-build homes would be radical, ambitious, practical and forward-thinking,” said Mr Rowley. 

“It would futureproof homes and prevent them from having to be retrofitted in the near future, upskill the construction sector and make Scotland a leading player with exportable skills and knowledge."

Passivhaus Backed by Climate Group

Mr Rowley proposed the Bill in response to recent recommendations from the Scottish Climate Assembly, which was set up by the Scottish Parliament in 2020 to provide recommendations to tackle the climate crisis. 

When asked, 97% of the Assembly voted in favour of the eco home Passivhaus standard for new build projects in Scotland being introduced within five years.

And while the Scottish government in June announced a new strategy for building a net zero future which aims to “cut emissions of all new-build homes by nearly a third”, Mr Rowley wants ministers to go further. 

"While we welcome the direction the government is working in, the proposed new standards do not go far enough to tackle inefficient housing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They also miss a crucial aspect of our bill which is the need to close the 'performance gap,” he said. 

“It is a welcome improvement but it does not bring the standard of modelling and testing up to the same standard as Passivhaus quality standards".

Jack Woodfield
News Editor

Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms. 

He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.