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As part of a commitment to further develop our understanding and knowledge of low energy building design, Tom Gwilliam has recently become qualified as a Passivhaus Designer. This enhances our ability to offer optimised, low energy efficiency design, to all our clients.

Our primary driver for achieving Passivhaus Designer status was not to certify projects, but to utilise this best-practice approach for the benefit of our projects. The holistic Passivhaus approach is typically applied in the small-scale exemplar housebuilding sector. We can now integrate the fundamental design principles into our full project portfolio, without needing to assess the building against Passivhaus.

The recent removal of the zero carbon homes target by the Government allows industry to now consolidate the considerable progress made in low energy building design into normal standards. However, fabric standards in 2013 Part L amendments still require a demanding level of fabric energy efficiency performance. The Passivhaus process identifies and allows us to build on cost-effective and efficient ways in order to meet these standards, as well as planning energy targets.

Due to the Government’s position on Zero Carbon Homes and the removal of that incentive for innovation, our view is that keeping up to date with European best practice is important to both effectively achieving current standards as well as preparing for the future. Through our Passivhaus Accreditation, we are now part of a European wide network of energy efficiency designers that will be part of addressing forthcoming requirements, such as the EU near zero energy buildings standard due in 2020.