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Image of Passivhaus school Thornhill Primary


ECD Architects have embraced the Passivhaus approach, and its factual standard based on building physics, due to its 20-year track record and proven accuracy. 

Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling. They are built with meticulous attention to detail, and rigorous design and construction. These principles were developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, and can be certified through a quality assurance process.

Passivhaus buildings have a 75% reduction in space heating requirements, compared to standard practice for UK new build. The Passivhaus standard therefore provides the construction and development industry a robust methodology for achieving the carbon reductions targets set by the UK Government. Passivhaus also applies to retrofit projects, realising similar savings in space heating requirements through the application of its EnerPHit Standard.

Evidence and feedback to date shows that Passivhaus buildings perform as predicted. This is an important achievement given the discrepancy between design aspiration and as-built performance of many new buildings in the UK can be as much as 50-100% (performance gap).

To achieve the Passivhaus Standard in the UK typically involves:

  • Accurate design modelling using the Passive House Planning Package  (PHPP)
  • Very high levels of insulation
  • High-performance windows with insulated frames
  • Airtight building fabric
  • 'Thermal bridge free' construction
  • Mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery

At ECD Architects, we have an in-house team of Certified Passivhaus Designers (CEPHD) who have worked on projects such as:

ECD Architects are a founding partner of the Passivhaus Trust.


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ECD Architects has been a pioneer in Sustainable Design for 42 years.

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Our Approach

For us, our designs should be a contemporary response to people and place and, at its best, should be progressive and transformative.

Our Approach

Wilmcote House

Residential retrofit to the Passivhaus EnerPHit standard in Portsmouth

Project Example

Thornhill School

New build Passivhaus school facility enabling the school to expand from a 1 FE to a 3 FE

Project Example

Chequers B

8 one- and two-bedroom Passivhaus flats set within a flood zone

Project Example


Passivhaus homes provided as flats and houses on an underutilised garage site

Project Example