I don't think this is getting the coverage it needs. Scottish government to require passivhaus standard for all new build homes. This is big. Really big. Growing out of lessons from the 70's oil crisis. Passivhaus buildings use very little energy to heat, or to cool. We've known how to do this for decades. It's gross negligence from all western governments that the same is not true of all new builds in the developed world.

My first reaction to this is that it's about 30 years too late. But right now I'm just glad that at least someone has turned up to the party, even if it's later than ideal.

Building energy efficiency is something we really need to look into as we try to cut emissions here in the west. It's up there with reducing private car ownership for impact on emissions reductions. Imagine being able to live in a home that is warm, comfortable, and can be heated for next to nothing. Welldone Scotland.

Thinking about this some more. I find myself wondering if people have considered the full implications of what this means beyond the home itself. Having a home that you can heat for a few cents per day, but then parking a 3t death cage out front with a 100kwh battery in it seems to kinda defeat the point. As we divest ourselves of car dependence our future homes need to be built with this in mind, developers should be required to include public transport provision in their new builds too...

@quixoticgeek yes. Proximity and spatial planning that promotes the options for low envionmental/high social modes should be an integral part of it.

@Marrekoo Aye, I hope that we see a lot fewer "single family homes" and "executive homes". Passivhaus apartments, with good public transport and bike facilities please!

@quixoticgeek and bike use strongly depends on where you build, especially in relation to facilities like shops, schools and work. I really hope that that second step is taken as well.

@mrtnsnp Exactly. Developments need to be mixed, homes, shops, schools, commercial space. We have to end car dependence.

@quixoticgeek agree totally with all 3 toots.
About 10 years ago we bought a plot of land with a very derelict house on it.
Tried to get planning permission for 2 passiv-haus homes with enough solar to be energy self sufficient. Right at the end of a full separated cycle route to Leicester Uni and hospital.
Never managed to get planning permission. Opposite they took no action on a big set of alterations adding extra flats to a block, dozen car parking spaces on the cycle path.

@quixoticgeek Ultimately, it also means that we need to end the idea of detached single family housing as a desired state that deserves special policy and tax treatment. It's always going to be far more efficient for multi-family, apartment, and condo units to be co-located near retail and public transportation hubs than far flung suburbs and exurbs.

@JessTheUnstill @quixoticgeek Do UK planning authorities not recognise Transport Oriented Development? Here in Queensland you're pretty much given a free pass to build whatever multi-story monstrosity you want on land zoned for detached houses if it's with a few hundred metres of a train or bus station.

15y ago this site had a 2 or 3 bedroom cottage on it.

@ingram @quixoticgeek No idea about UK, but I know NIMBYs fight that shit tooth and nail all over the US.

@JessTheUnstill @quixoticgeek Plenty of fights here too, but most go nowhere. Not helped by developers pushing things to stupid levels, even when neighbourhood plans are amended to reflect TOD benefits. If new plan allows 8 levels, developers will ask for 20 and 'settle' for 15.

@JessTheUnstill @ingram @quixoticgeek I have a friend who had such a single family house built. It's incredibly efficient. The builder uses it as a model house for his business. It's beautiful. But very very expensive. In my area, only the wealthy can afford this style of new construction. I hope the Scottish model will democratize access and configuration and create more multi-family and affordable such homes.

@quixoticgeek ...and don't forget bicycles. For short distances biking is absolutely the best way to get around if you haven't time to walk and it helps keep you fit. Look at the Netherlands..

@JMacfie I would actually day walking should be the first choice for short distances (sub 2km). Cycling is great. But as I experience first hand here in the Netherlands, there can be scale issues when cycling truly takes off. Walking 500m to a shop for a loaf of bread is better than cycling. And also avoids the collection of bikes parked outside the bakery getting too large. Etc...

@quixoticgeek also the necessity for storage space for your range of bikes...some Dutch friends reeled off a list: cargo bike for shopping, off road exploration bike, fast road bike for commuting etc. But these are good problems to have.
I have a bike with no gears for tootling around as it's Thailand and I don't like exposing my fair skin to the sun a minute longer than necessary. Am already looking enviously at the guys with racer bikes as they whizz effortlessly past, though...

@quixoticgeek when I lived in Scotland I had no car and regularly walked 1.2km down a steep hill into the village. And back again. If it hadn't been for the traffic it would have been a delight. Walking is so good for you, especially in the dark - it sharpens the senses.

@quixoticgeek @JMacfie Biking is far more energy efficient. Indeed, we cycle 500m, and that is fine. Resolving all the parking problems takes time, and can never keep up with changing demand anyway. It will go away if we stop all starting work between 8-9

@JMacfie @quixoticgeek and look at Paris, and at US smaller cities, and Berlin, creating bike routes in metropolitan areas with lane separation between cyclists and traffic.

The biggest reason most countries haven't adopted this is corruption.

It's the last thing oil companies and energy suppliers want, because it means we won't buy their products. Throw a million pounds at a few officials every election cycle, guarantee 100 billion revenue every year. Bargain!

It's a long overdue move, but I'm delighted my kids will see the benefit of it.

@quixoticgeek not supporting cars - but this car batteries can form a distributed electric storage grid one day. Public transportation is where we should be spending our energy, time and money. Unfortunately it’s far far behind on anyone’s list of climate action goals in the US.
Instead we subsidize the rich and the corporations for their fancy cars.


Only a tangent but I find it notably amusing that we in 🇨🇭 use the term Minergie (minimal energy) while you use the German Passivhaus.

@quixoticgeek And of course, Frod is going to require this of all new home build in the green belt right?

#Ontario #Canada

@quixoticgeek "Passivhaus..." passive house? I'm guessing that's a house designed for passive heating/cooling?

@quixoticgeek meanwhile everyone in Australia: 🥲

There are few requirements about energy efficiency wrt. heating/cooling here, and double glazed windows are unheard of. Instead of builders building efficient homes, the cost is passed onto someone living in there, as increased electricity cost.

@modrzew @quixoticgeek yes, I seriously wish Aus governments had done this 30years ago! Our last house we rented was incredibly energy inefficient with unshaded windows facing North. Shouldn’t be allowed to build like it, and I see similar developments going up still!

@modrzew @quixoticgeek luckily it did have internal blinds, but one room got so hot even with that closed we basically didn’t use it in summer

@modrzew @quixoticgeek FOR FOREVER or until a capital intensive and very likely subpar retrofit!

@Labruunt @quixoticgeek

Vorschläge immer willkommen!🙂

Dort (Schottland) wars ein Parlaments-Abgeordneter, der es verstanden hat. Die Partei nenne ich nicht, meine Erfahrung: Davon ist es weitgehend unabhängig(!).

Entscheidend ist, dass das Prinzip durchschaut wird:
1) Energie-Effizienz um Faktoren verbessern (ja, das geht & es ist letztlich nicht teuer)
2) Dabei entfällt viel Energie-Müll (aller Art; CO2 & Kr85 sind nur Beispiele)
3) das wird überwiegend regional 'produziert'

@quixoticgeek If they make this stick, that is brilliant, it is shameful that UK wide plans were abandoned back in 2015

@quixoticgeek Scotland is doing a lot of things right these days. It's reassuring to see.

@quixoticgeek @donmelton genuinely leading the way, this Green/SNP team and I am loving it


Canada had a very efficient R-2000 house decades ago and could have made it the building code.

Yeah this passivehaus initiative sound really good and other countries should adopt it too👍


I like the sentiment, but doing anything by government fiat simply increases costs and corruption.

It's encouraging. Do we know the implementation date?
And as some have commented, the logistics (supply, standards, training etc.) will need close attention.
In #GreaterManchester, developer lobby are squealing about a 2028 net zero buildings policy, now in a policy climb-down subject to that get out of jail card, "viability".
And what will Scotland do about existing housing stock?

@markhburton @quixoticgeek thank you for pointing the issue with existing home stock. I live in such a building and it’s definitely not easy, nor cheap (!!) to renovate to Passivhaus standards, especially if you have to incur addt’l costs for asbestos removal or installation of heat pump heating in lieu of previous underfloor electric systems
This unfortunately indicates there will be an “energy divide” against poorer families.

@PaulWeber @markhburton @quixoticgeek
It is not mandatory to have an underfloor heating to benefit from heatpumps in existing older houses. However, a very good and state-of-the-art insulating would be necessary at least.
And yes, that will not cheap at all, indeed.

@PaulWeber @markhburton @quixoticgeek I'll take a minute to celebrate that someone else wont face these same problems in a poorly built house. But yeah, this move doesn't solve all the horrendous builds ever built and the shit that tenants and owners put up with.

Yep, "Really big."
Are any other jurisdictions making this move? (In the US? Anywhere else?)

@gfriend @quixoticgeek In the Netherlands the rules and regulations are very strict, and they continue to evolve to what we call zero-on-the-meter (lit. translation).

@dutchart @quixoticgeek
Thanks, Dutchart. Any PassivHaus requirements in the Netherlands?

@gfriend @quixoticgeek its not my field perse, but the legal requirements are now ‘almost energy neutral’, in terms of energy usage, and use of sustainable materials. The aim is towards zero. There is a lot of online info but mostly-of course- in Dutch. 🤷‍♂️

@dutchart @quixoticgeek Thanks Dutchart. Here in California we're trying to shift from the older energy neural" standard to an arguably more relevant "climate neutral" standard, recognizing that increased use of renewable energy may be need to replace some fossil uses.

@quixoticgeek this seems amazing but I’m wondering how it would look here in San Francisco where every excuse is made not to build housing. There’s some trade off here where the more requirements you put on housing the harder it is to build. And the harder it is to build in the city, the more housing gets built in the periphery, leading to higher emissions.

We’re so fed up here with NIMBYs it feels like building *anything* is a victory.

@quixoticgeek If it's anything like the passivehaus commercial properties I've had to work in, they'll be a bloody disaster. It needs to be the *right* implementation not to be a total mess.

@quixoticgeek Wow. Hard to believe this isn’t the standard everywhere, given that it’s been around for decades!

@quixoticgeek this'll be on my to do list for my home.
We aquired it. We found a leak, so at this point since we're repairing we can upgrade it.

@quixoticgeek The "passivehaus" standard does not have central heat and air conditioning for a home, which essentially makes such a home uninhabitable throughout MOST of the United States of America.

You can't have a comfortable house without central heating in a North Dakota and you can't have one without central air conditioning in an Oklahoma summer.

Such a standard, if universally mandatory, would relegate vast swaths of North America as uninhabitable.

What works in the mild climates of Europe will NOT work everywhere.

@mostly_harmless @quixoticgeek that's not true. #Passivhaus buildings still have heating and cooling systems in them. They are just well designed and well detailed so you need to use those systems much much, less of the time - even in North Dakota!

@Kit @mostly_harmless @quixoticgeek

These claims about Passivhaus prohibiting certain systems are false. Almost any mech system is workable.

My team & I have consulted to or certified several million square feet of Passivhaus across North America - including buildings in Canadian climates colder than the Dakotas.

I invite the individual who posted these false claims to research both Passive House standards, and toot a correction.

@lloydalter @mostly_harmless @quixoticgeek

Yes, we can.

Yes, it works.

Yes, its cost efficient.

Yes, you can refurb existing buildings, too.

Yes, it can reduce fossil demand for buildings BY mor than 80%.

@lloydalter @mostly_harmless @quixoticgeek Drake Landing, successful small scale district solar. Store heat from summer to provide warmth in winter. Hot in summer, cold in winter elsewhere in Canada?

@mostly_harmless @quixoticgeek A Passivhaus retains heat and chill well enough to be passive in Europe. No implication of not having a HVAC system, and actually a heat-recovering ventilation system is often required.

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