Passivhaus FAQs

Written by David Bryan – a Certified Passive House Consultant


Having worked within a team to build the UK’s first certified oak frame Passivhaus (also know as Passive House), in addition to designing and building the UK’s first certified oak frame Passivhaus Bed and Breakfast, we thought we would focus on this approach to building by answering some typical questions you may have when considering ‘Passivhaus’ for your future self-build.

A growing number of our clients are now seeking to improve the green credentials of their homes, meaning enquiries for Passivhaus homes are rising.

As the fastest growing energy performance standard, Passivhaus is an approach which results in exceptional standards of insulation and airtightness. So, for those of you interested in building a super energy-efficient home, read on…

The UK's first certified oak frame Passivhaus in Yorkshire

Q: What are the main features of a Passivhaus?

A: Exceptional levels of insulation and airtightness are the standout features, with interior comfort being the objective. Walls, floors and roofs have to achieve much better U-values, compared with a house that meets standard Building Regulations.

Doors and windows must also be designed with particular U-values and must be very airtight by preventing gaps and draughts.


Q: What are the key benefits of Passivhaus?

A: These high levels of insulation and airtightness mean a house could use up to 90% less energy compared with a house that meets standard Building Regulations. This can significantly cut heating bills and improve comfort by eliminating cold spots and ensuring there is a constant supply of fresh air, while maintaining a constant temperature all year round. Our premium encapsulation system, WrightWall and WrightRoof Natural, already meets the rigorous Passivhaus standard in terms of U-values. Just like our oak frames, we can adapt your encapsulation design to suit your individual requirements, while it wraps seamlessly around your frame.

Please click here to learn more about the benefits of building to Passivhaus standards.


Q: Will I still need heating with a Passivhaus?

A: Realistically in the UK, some sort of heating source is advisable. However, very little heat that is generated will escape through the walls, floors and roofs as they are so well insulated. This means heating input required is minimal.


Q: Will a Passivhaus approach to house building limit my design?

A: Achieving the standard means working to low ratios of internal volume and wall area; i.e. the more corners you have in a property, the higher the ratio. Passivhaus is therefore easier to achieve with simpler house shapes but you shouldn’t let that stop you! Here is the story behind how Andrew and Linda Burnett designed their dream certified oak frame Passivhaus in Worcestershire.

If you would like a more complex design, it is still possible to achieve the standard but you’d have to compensate with additional features such as better performing windows and more insulation. For further information, please visit the Passivhaus Trust.

The interior of our clients' certified oak frame Passivhaus B&B, nestled in rural Worcestershire

Q: Will a Passivhaus cost more?

A: The build costs are likely to be slightly more than an average self-build, but long term, you will save through much lower energy bills.


Q: How will my Passivhaus be assessed?

A: There are specialist organisations which have been approved to assess and issue Passivhaus certificates. They will follow a process involving an initial check during the design stages, and then a final assessment will be made based on the initial design and calculations, and evidence presented by way of comprehensive photographs of the build throughout the construction.


Q: How do I start the process of creating a Passivhaus?

A: Here at Oakwrights, we have in-house Passivhaus specialists: Dr Pegah Behinaein, a Certified Passivhaus Consultant, and Craig Alexander, a Chartered Architect, alongside our Architectural Design team, to advise and help you to evolve your ideas for your Passivhaus design. To discuss your oak frame Passivhaus requirements, call 01432 353 353 or email

Contemporary home, Encapsulation
12 Dec 2019

The UK's first oak frame eco-home to meet rigorous Passivhaus stand…

Read more
Contemporary home, Encapsulation
16 Dec 2019

Planning consent for a contemporary eco-home in Yorkshire

Read more
Architecture, Contemporary home
29 Mar 2021

The UK’s first certified oak frame Passivhaus Bed and Breakfast i…

Read more
Architecture, Contemporary home
29 Mar 2021

Planning consent for a certified oak frame Passivhaus in Worcesters…

Read more