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Whole-life carbon implications of the Passivhaus Standard

October 19, 2017


Loreana Padron will present a study which compares the whole-life carbon implications of the use of Passivhaus vs a typical ‘Building Regulations Part L’ construction, using a live new-build residential project.

Our presentation will examine and compare the additional embodied carbon accrued with the use of the Passivhaus methodology against the operational carbon savings resulting from the drastic reduction of the space heating demand. We will be able to explore if a Passivhaus scheme produces more or less carbon over the building’s lifespan, when compared to a typical construction.

We will also elaborate on how we used BIM to run the embodied carbon calculations within Revit, basically creating our own schedules for a dynamic calculation of the results, which provided us with live up-to-date results that can inform the design process.

Given that low-energy buildings, such as Passivhaus, reduce the operational energy demand and CO2 emissions to very low levels, the embodied carbon of their construction represents a larger proportion of their whole-life carbon compared to a typical Part L building. This is widely understood; however, we will show how we calculated the difference between both energy standards in a real life project, as well as the overall implications of the results for the wider construction industry.