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Going global: The universal appeal of Passivhaus

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[ISOVER BLOG] Passivhaus has come a long way since it was developed in 1988 by the German Professor Doctor Wolfgang Feist and his colleague, Swedish Professor Bo Adamson

The first Passivhaus was built in 1991 in Darmstadt-Kranichstein in Germany and since then, the concept has spread globally, making it the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world.

Universal appeal

Around 30,000 Passivhaus buildings have been constructed to date, so what has made the concept so popular? In my view, one of the main benefits is its universal appeal. As well as being suitable for new build and refurbishment projects it can also be applied to any building type, ranging from houses and apartments to offices, schools and hospitals.


Passivhaus construction can also be used in any climate, and this is perhaps one of the key reasons behind its success around the world.  There is now a Passivhaus building in every European city and the concept has spread far beyond this, reaching places as far afield as Canada, Russia, Australia and the USA.  There’s even a Passivhaus in Antarctica – definite proof of its suitability for any climate or region.


The simplicity of Passivhaus construction is also a big part of its attraction, with its ‘fabric first’ approach to construction capable of delivering higher levels of efficiency than the Code for Sustainable Homes, BREEAM and LEED.  This begs the question why it hasn’t been adopted as a mandatory standard in developed countries around the world.


Isover and parent company Saint-Gobain are so confident in its capabilities that we’ve developed our own version, the ‘Multi-Comfort’ concept.  This builds on Passivhaus standards and incorporates a focus on a number of key elements including thermal and acoustic comfort, high indoor air quality, exceptional environmental and energy efficiency benefits and air tightness.

Energy costs are rising and the deadline for the Government’s target to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in the UK’s emissions by 2025 is getting closer.  Multi-Comfort or Passivhaus buildings eliminate up to 90 per cent of traditional household energy costs, providing a real weapon in the fight against climate change and fuel poverty.  Isn’t it time we all started getting more active when it comes to Passivhaus construction?

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