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Checking the Pulse: Passivhaus in Practice – Online

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Join us for a new, half-day online and interactive live event featuring a fantastic line-up of speakers, healthy debate and networking opportunities

In the first decade of the 21st century, the passivhaus standards were often considered ‘nice to have but too expensive and difficult to build’ and it was not until 2009 that the first certified passivhaus building in the UK – a detached house in rural Wales – was completed.

Nine years later the number of certified passivhaus buildings including EnerPHit (passivhaus for existing buildings) exceeded 1000 and the building types now include houses, schools, offices and even a passivhaus church.

About the event

This informative session will chart the rapid acceptance of passivhaus in the UK and Ireland as an achievable, affordable standard that can make a huge contribution to reducing the impact buildings have on our environment.

After an opening address from Jon Bootland, CEO of the Passivhaus Trust, we’ll hear from Sally Godber, building services engineer and co-founder of WARM (energy consultancy and passivhaus design).  Sally will look back at where passivhaus was at the beginning of this century, where we are now and what the future looks like for this important building standard. Sally will also touch on how costs for building to passivhaus standard have decreased as our understanding increases.

Hannah Jones and Paul Smith of Greengauge engineers will explain the implications that Covid-19 has had on ventilation systems, talk about the potential for aerosol transmission in poorly ventilated indoor spaces and the role of MVHR in reducing this risk.

They will then present some key mitigation measures we have available to improve the efficiencies of indoor ventilation to reduce the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 through airborne transmission and finish with the implications this has on MVHR design, unit selection, ventilation rates, power consumption and management control systems.

Following Greengauge’s talk, we will present four ’warts-and-all’ case studies to illustrate how the standard is applied across different building types, where the design team - a combination of the architect, client, contractor and building services engineer - encountered challenges and how they overcame them.


09.00    Registration and Networking

09.15    Welcome, Lucy Pedler, Director, The Green Register

09.20    Introduction by Chair, Jon Bootland, CEO, Passivhaus Trust

09.30    Keynote Speaker: Sally Godber, co-founder, WARM.  Passivhaus in the UK: past, present, future
Setting the scene, how far we have come, where we are going, passivhaus costs.

10.45    Passivhaus and Covid-19: ventilation issues - Hannah Jones and Paul Smith, Greengauge engineers

Setting the scene, how far we have come, where we are going, passivhaus costs.

10.00    Case Study 1: Single dwellingNiall Crosson, Group technical manager, Ecological Building Systems, co-presenting with his architect Niall Smith, Niall Smith Architects.
After nearly 20 years training, writing articles, and providing guidance to many low energy projects in Ireland and the UK, it was finally Niall’s turn to build his family home. Been in the fortunate position of having inherited a picturesque site in the north east of Ireland, the time was right for Niall and his family to finally build their own Passivhaus insulated with natural insulation materials. Building to the Passivhaus standard and using natural insulation was always an obvious choice for Niall, having trained so many in this field over the last 2 decades and having experienced its benefits through countless site visits, training and both national and international conferences. Niall will share his experiences, challenges and lessons learnt over the course of his project

10.30    Case Study 2: Social housing - Associate Director James Turner will discuss how Mikhail Riches delivered the RIBA Stirling Prize 2019 winner Goldsmith Street in Norwich, the UK’s largest 100% Passivhaus, 100% Social housing project at scale affordably.

11.00    Break and Networking

11.25    Case Study 3: School - Architype associate Christian Dimbleby, a dual-qualified Architect and CIBSE Chartered Engineer.
Christian will talk about the first Passivhaus secondary school in the UK: Harris Academy Sutton. He will explore how Architype took lessons learnt from more than 10 years of Passivhaus projects to push the boundaries of scale and design in this award-winning sustainable school in Sutton. His presentation will cover working with contractor and client to upskill and educate, simplifying complexity and detailing for contractors, as well as favouring low-carbon and biophilic materials to create a truly exemplar green space – a blueprint for a new generation of schools.

11.55    Case Study 4: EnerPHit (passivhaus retrofit standard)Paul McNally, architect and Director, The PassivHaus Architecture Company co-presents with contractor Finbarr Favley two EnerPHit projects in Ireland. Paul and Finbarr will illustrate their experience in modernising existing buildings to certified PassivHaus and Enerphit standard, looking at a detached masonry two storey family home in Cork, and an urban mid-terrace three-storey pharmacy in Tipperary

12.25    Summary from Chair, Jon Bootland, CEO, Passivhaus Trust

12.30    Networking

13.00    Close

Please note speakers and timings may be subject to change

Cost: Green Register members £50 / non-members £70


  • Book 3 places for the price of 2!
  • All delegates get 25% discount on Emma Walshaw's Understanding Passivhaus resource pack featuring over 60 construction details in 2D and 3D available to download in CAD and Sketchup. The discount code will be sent with your booking confirmation.

About the Speakers

Jon Bootland, Chief Executive, Passivhaus Trust

Jon Bootland is Chief Executive of the Passivhaus Trust, which is the official body for promoting and protecting the Passivhaus standard in the UK.

He has a long-standing interest in buildings that are sustainable and perform as intended, and has helped to establish the Good Homes Alliance (GHA), the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA), the Building Performance Network (BPN), and the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP).


Niall Crosson, Group Technical Manager, Ecological Building Systems

Niall holds a degree as a Bachelor of Technology (1st class Hons.) and a Masters Eng. Sc. He is also a Certified Passivhaus Consultant. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Green Building Council and provides guidance on a number of national standard committees.

He has provided guidance to many awards winning low energy projects in Ireland and the UK. He has also co-authored and authored chapters for a number of low energy building publications including The Passivhaus Handbook and The Passivhaus Designers Manual. Niall also provides regular technical contributions to a number of construction publications including The Journal of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland.


Christian Dimbleby, Associate and chartered engineer, Architype

Christian is a dual-qualified Architect and CIBSE Chartered Engineer.
Since joining Architype, he has developed a specialism of delivering radically low energy in-use and truly sustainable educational projects – from early years to university buildings.

He has delivered some of the studio’s most ambitious and complex designs, including The Enterprise Centre at the UEA; Harris Academy Passivhaus Secondary School in Sutton, and the Passivhaus Plus Hackbridge Primary School, ‘The UK’s first net zero school’. He is currently advising a number of leading organisations to help them monitor and meet their sustainability goals in the face of the climate emergency.


Sally Godber, co-founder, WARM

Sally’s early career as a building services engineer focussed on renewable and low energy systems for a diverse range of sectors including historic, industrial and educational buildings. Life as a services engineer was too easy-going so she set up WARM with her father Peter in 2009.

WARM is an energy consultancy providing Passivhaus design advice and certification but also dabbles in building services, training, monitoring and anything else that improves the built environment and looks interesting.

Sally particularly enjoys creating buildings with good internal comfort, preferably without extra cost.


Hannah Jones, Founding director, Head of Mechanical and Electrical Design, Greengauge

Hannah is a founding director and leads the mechanical and electrical design services at Greengauge.

After graduating from Warwick University with first-class honours in Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology (MEng), she gained experience with Halcrow before starting Greengauge.

Hannah has a very broad range of experience and skills, and brings to bear her deep understanding of fabric performance in designing simple and robust services in harmony with each building.


Paul McNally, Director, The PassivHaus Architecture Company

Paul is an architect who has been specialising in PassivHaus buildings in Ireland for 18 years.

The practice has completed multiple certified PassivHaus residential and commercial projects, EnerPHit refurbishment, and currently has two passivhaus projects on site, one of which is also addressing very low embodied energy.

Paul lectures in CCAE (Cork Centre for Architectural Education) architecture degree in environmental and in design technology.



Paul Smith, Building Physics Engineer, Greengauge

Paul is an experienced Building Physics Consultant with over twelve years’ experience in low energy building design and has been certified with the PHI as a Passivhaus Consultant for the past 6 years.

Paul has an MSc in Sustainability and Adaptation in the Built Environment from the Centre of Alternative Technology.

He has amassed a broad range of experience and technical skills across the design and implementation of low energy products, materials, and systems.

Paul utilises a range of software and his understanding of fabric performance to deliver robust, simple building design.


James Turner, Associate Director, Mikhail Riches

James joined Mikhail Riches in 2014 to work on large scale, well detailed residential projects. James was made an Associate in 2016 and an Associate Director in 2020.

James was the Associate in charge of the Stirling prize winning Goldsmith St, for Norwich City Council the largest 100% Passivhaus, 100% Social Housing scheme in the UK and aims to encourage more local authorities and developers to build to this standard at the scale and quality achieved at Goldsmith St. James has presented at the Passivhaus Conference, to the RTPI and is working with the Green Register and Passivhaus Trust to promote good Passivhaus design within construction.

James is currently the Associate Director in charge of the Bridgewater Masterplan for LLDC, Arcus Road for Phoenix Housing and Owlstone Croft Graduate Housing for Queens College Cambridge. James uses his experience of working with local authorities to deliver quality housing at scale.


Niall Smith, Director, Niall Smith Architects

Niall graduated from the Dublin School of Architecture, DIT Bolton Street having studied both Architectural Technology and Architecture. He is an RIAI Grade III Conservation Architect and also holds RIAI PSDP accreditation.

Prior to setting up his own practice Niall spent a number of years working in Dublin on various prestigious commercial and housing projects. He is a member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.

With thanks to partners

July 1st, 2021 09:00 through 13:00
Event Fee(s)
Members of The Green Register £50.00
Members of The Passivhaus Trust, ASBP or The Good Homes Alliance £60.00
Non-Members £70.00
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