Early Passivhaus buildings have often cost more than others, but now costs are reducing compared to conventional construction and with intelligent planning and an experienced team, some Passivhaus buildings can cost no more than the conventional alternative, whilst providing a better product.

 

For a cost effective Passivhaus consider:

 

  • Include Passivhaus thinking from the start – early project decisions have a bigger impact on cost compared later decisions.     Involve your certified Passivhaus Designer (like Accredited Passivhaus Design) from the start, as architect or separate             consultant

 

  • Take best advantage of south facing orientation, so sunlight can warm the house.

 

  • Use a compact shape for your building - a detached bungalow will cost more to build compared to a terraced house or a block of flats.  Less efficient shapes with a greater heat loss area relative to floor area will be more expensive to build and meet the   Passivhaus standard

 

  • Involve the contractor early in the process, so that their unfamiliarity with Passivhaus does not increase the cost

 

  • Forthcoming changes to the Building Regulations for Zero Carbon/ Carbon Neutral buildings will increase conventional construction costs, but the Certification process for Passivhaus will give a better quality of construction. 

  • Terraced and multi-storey buildings are more cost effective than single storey & detached ones.

The Value of Passivhaus

Owners, occupiers, landlords and maintenance staff appreciate the value of Passivhaus buildings differently:

 

For building owners will occupying a Passivhaus, the financial as well as comfort benefits can be compelling. If you are building your own house to live in and may only do so once in a lifetime, why would you not wish to build with the quality of a certified Passivhaus?

 

  • If the house is to be lived in for Retirement, the remarkably low heating bills give some financial reassurance as fuel costs rise, particularly as it will be occupied more during the day.

 

  • For social landlords, conventional thinking is that the cost of sustainable building is a burden to be carried by the landlord. In ordinary housing with average heating bills over £1,000 per year, some tenants may keep the heat on in winter and default on the rent.  However, Housing Associations who have built Passivhaus dwellings report the following financial advantages:

 

- No rent arrears as the heating costs are so low, approaching £150 per year for a house. Tenants can therefore afford to pay their rent as well as heating bills.

 

- For some sites gas heating is not necessary, reducing inspection costs and improving safety and internal air quality.

 

  • If your buildings need higher temperatures and continuous use, such as care homes or extra care, if Passivhaus construction costs are higher, these can be repaid through reduced fuel bills relatively quickly, such as 5 to 8 years in some cases.

 

  • For maintenance staff, long term maintenance costs are reduced. This is due to:

 

- Simple heating systems

- Very low risk of condensation

 

 

The cost of Passivhaus