Passivhaus Trust: Retrofit in the UK

The Passivhaus Trust have create a report that set out how EnerPHit fits into the wider net zero agenda.

What does it include?

  • Why retrofit must form an essential part of our national Zero Carbon ambitions
  • Debunks the idea of waiting for the grid to decarbonise
  • Debunks the idea for technology to provide solutions
  • Provides practical advice on how to develop appropriate retrofit plan
  • Compares different standards and guidance
  • Offers a recommended process to create a building plan and achieve the desired outcomes and avoid unintended consequences

Have a look at the report here –


The report shows that the relationship between embodied and operational carbon is changing rapidly. Embodied carbon of construction materials is locked into a building, based on the energy supply conditions now, whereas operational carbon changes as energy supplies change. Reducing energy demand is still important however as it reduces peak loads and shrinking the collective winter demands and will reduce the level of future zero carbon infrastructure and storage needed.

Research has shown that designing to Passivhaus stands does not need to result in increased embodied carbon and that the choice of materials, building form rationalisation and reduction of building services play a part in reducing whole carbon.

With Passivhaus there are the benefits of

  • Reduced Operational carbon
  • Reduced Whole Life carbon
  • Reduced operational and maintenance costs
  • Increased summer and winter comfort
  • Increase indoor air quality

This shows that we shouldn’t be looking to reduce operational or embodied carbon but to take both of these are the same time

Passivhaus buildings are optimised for net zero which provide the best route to minimise whole life carbon. Outstanding levels of building performance minimise operational carbon while the Passivhaus design encourage optimisation of embodied carbon through efficient use of materials and reducing the heat and cooling plant. Research is still being undertaken in this area to help fully understand the interrelationship of the complex elements.

Check our ATTMA Members who have been through our Low Energy Buildings course and earned their ‘PH’ tick