Online event:

What is the Passivhaus system – and how is Octavia using it?

Tuesday 25 May 2021, 5:45 pm link-in; start 6:00 pm

On-line from your home (or wherever you are at the time)

Our next online talk will be about Passivhaus, an international building standard for creating extremely energy efficient buildings through a combination of efficient insulation, heating and ventilation. It can be applied both to new-builds and existing properties via retrofit. Many British organisations are looking at it seriously as a way to reduce their carbon footprint as well as energy bills, among them Octavia – as described in the Kensington Society 2021 annual, which has just been distributed to all members.

After initial development in Scandinavia and Germany in the late 1970s, Passivhaus (the British PassivHaus Trust has chosen to use the German term, while it’s known as “Passive House” in the US and some other English speaking countries) has become a set of global building standards, and there are currently more than 5,000 buildings with a Passivhaus certificate around the world, whereof 190 in the UK.

Billy Cliffen and Andy Brown of Octavia will tell us about the lessons learnt from the Octavia’s award-winning Passivhaus experiment in Princedale Road, where a Victorian terraced cottage was gutted and re-built to be almost completely insulated and powered by low carbon technology. This was a particularly ambitious project from which Octavia has been able to take lessons and apply them in part to other properties in the 5,000-home estate. We will learn how the principles of Passivhaus work and what has to be done to achieve Passivhaus certification. It is a fascinating view into an alternative building system.

Chartered surveyor Andy Brown has always worked in the field of affordable housing, currently as a director of business development at Octavia. Billy is currently Octavia’s energy and sustainability manager and currently qualifying as a domestic energy assessor. He has specialised in low-energy housing retrofit and managing heat networks and is instrumental in Octavia’s approach to a delivery of net zero carbon.

This will be a great follow-on from Chris Lenon’s lecture on zero net carbon building. If you wish to take part, please book here online, and we shall send you an invitation link and log on instructions in time for the event.

If you wish to submit a question, please email us at . You can submit questions in advance or while the event is happening.

For practical reasons, the number of participants will be limited, so do sign up early!

This is a free event for all!

Online booking

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Octavia’s first Passivhaus retrofit project was the 1850s terraced house at 100 Princedale Road in W11, retrofitted in 2011. It was the first British retrofit to receive Passivhaus certification, meaning it meets all the rigorous requirements. It uses no gas and has no central heating system, but an MVHR plus solar thermal panels on the roof to provide heat and hot water. The totalt retrofit cost for the 115 m² home was £178,000. Click this link to find out more about the project.

There are many interesting videos about Passivhaus retrofits and new-builds on YouTube and elsewhere. This one, from Dave Borlace’s YouTube channel Just Have a Think, discusses in more detail challenges when doing a retrofit, which is the only alternative for most who live in central London. 

Page first published 08/05/2021