Passivhaus: The architectural typology of low energy housing

Catherine Carter, Jill Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The growing number of Passivhaus buildings in the UK suggests an increasing acceptance of the low energy design methodology. Post occupancy evaluation shows that the energy use in Passivhaus homes are generally very low, and that running costs are considerably less than standard housing. However, the move to adopt Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) as a mandatory standard has been resisted in many areas with a belief that the benefits are outweighed by the limitations imposed on architectural design when using PHPP. Case study analysis of 42 Passivhaus homes has been conducted to examine the architectural typologies that are generated from the use of PHPP in the UK. This research explores the impact of the Passivhaus design approach on orientation, fenestration, size and spatial relationships of the buildings and determines the impact that it has on architectural design. Qualitative research with the occupants of these homes provides a further understanding of the lived experience of Passivhaus and how users adapt to the technical systems that are required to achieve Passivhaus certification. The case study analysis reveals connections between adaptations made in those living in a Passivhaus to achieve comfort, and questions how different this is to standard housing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPLEA 2017 Proceedings
EditorsSue Roaf
PublisherPLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture)
ISBN (Print)978-0-9928957-5-4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017
EventPLEA 2017: Passive Low Energy Architecture - Edinburgh
Duration: 3 Jul 20175 Jul 2017


ConferencePLEA 2017
Internet address


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