This serious subject became the talking point of the conference after the delivery of a thoroughly entertaining talk that ended up with a pythonesque crushing of a Code 3 house by a gigantic foot that came down from the roof of the auditorium.

The talk consisted of an interesting dialog between our quantity surveyor Richard Whidborne and our senior Part 3 architectural assistant, Nick Newman. The serious side of the message was a stage by stage comparison through the whole building process of the cost differences between a Code 3 building regulation house with a Passivhaus (based on our Lime house in Ebbw Vale). The outcome cost difference was £13,000, or 15%. However the Passivhaus used 8 times less energy, offered optimised comfort conditions for its occupants, and was designed with a fully breathable construction build up.

Dr Berthold Kaufmann of the Passivhaus Insitute referred to the lecture in his summing-up talk, explaining that if there is a cost difference £13,000 typically in the UK, this will be paid back within a 20 year time period with a small cost of £3 per day with, at the same time, an energy cost saving of living in a Passivhaus of around £2.50 per day. This shows that the additional investment required over 20 years to buy a passivhaus is 50p per day!


Further information on the Lime House and Larch House can be found here: 



A number of other talks were presented on the work of bere:architects by members of the practice and by university professors or students. These talks included a study of reduced whole life costs in various price scenarios; a lecture on our Passivhaus Mayville Community Centre; aiming for Passivhaus / Enerpit standard in an occupied building; building performance analysis of our Mayville Community Centre; building performance of our Camden passivhaus; building performance of our low cost Welsh Passivhaus Homes; and visits to our Mayville Community Centre and our Passfield Drive retrofits.

For other videos from the passivhaus conference 2011 follow this link