Passivhaus Publications; Building and Energy Papers and Articles

Here you will find a range of downloadable technical papers and magazine articles that we have written relating to low energy buildings and Passivhaus in particular.

See also Water and Waste Publications including the AECB water Standards and my Slideshare for other presentations.

Heating Load as a Design Target Revisited, Wuppertal, online 2021

Benefits of designing for peak heating load rather than demand include lower cost, better comfort, reduced sensitivity to orientation and greater potential for standardised designs. In short we are recommending design for daylight and views and not for solar gain. Authors Nick Grant and Alan Clarke. Download paper here, presentation on Slideshare.

Experience of air to water heat pumps for single family passivhaus dwellings

Heat pumps using conventional HFC refrigerants are compared with CO2 refrigerant. The latter gave improved performance for hot water heating but significantly worse for space heating. This is due to the very low heat load of Passivhaus dwellings being below the normal output range of available heat pumps. Author Alan Clarke, view presentation here and, download the paper here,

Low energy free-running paper stores: moisture buffering model and monitored data, Wuppertal, online 2021

The passive paper archive for Imperial War Museum completed in 2019 is unheated with free-running temperature and largely passive humidity control. Here we describe the model used to estimate moisture conditions in the building and compare with measured data. Authors Alan Clarke and Nick Grant. Download paper here.

Applying Passivhaus Experience to Archive Buildings, Online 2020

The new archive for the Imperial War Museum achieves extremely stable environmental conditions with minimal energy use. The results of the first year of operation are presented, see Munich 2018 paper for more details of the building and services. Presented at the online 24th International Passivhaus Conference.

Passivhaus For The Many Not The Few, Munich 2018Munich Passivhaus conference 2018

Cost effectiveness is a key part of the Passivhaus approach and yet cost continues to be a barrier to widespread uptake. The authors argue for an apparently controversial approach that is common in manufacturing but almost absent from one-off build projects. Authors Nick Grant and Charles Grylls. Download Passivhaus for the many not the few.

Next generation Passivhaus Archives, Munich 2018.Munich Passivhaus conference 2018

The success of the first Passivhaus Archive in the UK has led to the development of an even simpler approach combining the passive Danish approach with lessons from Passivhaus construction. Authors Alan Clarke, Andy Jarvis and Nick Grant. Download Next Generation Passivhaus Archives here.

Reducing Cost and Errors: Blower Door Testing Using a Simplified Method, 2017air permeability and passivhaus

This abstract by Nick Grant, Paul Jennings and Mark Siddall was submitted for the 2017 conference in Vienna. Click here to download.

Vienna 2017 Passivhaus ConferenceDeveloping Summer Comfort Design Guidance, Vienna 2017

PHPP provides excellent tools to model overheating. However the impact of design assumptions are very significant. This paper, co-authored with Passivhaus Architect Mark Siddall, outlines recommendations that have been developed by the UK PassivhausTrust to address this problem. Download designing for summer comfort Vienna 2017.

Darmstadt Passivhaus ConferenceThe first Passivhaus Archive in the UK, Darmstadt 2016

The first Passivhaus (sic) archive in the UK draws considerable inspiration from the passive (sic) approach to archive and museum storage developed by Tim Padfield and colleagues in Denmark. Performance has exceeded expectations suggesting considerable simplification would be possible in future. Download The first Passivhaus Archive in the UK.

Simple and cheap heating systems for individual Passive Houses, Darmstadt 2016

Darmstadt Passivhaus ConferenceThis paper by Alan Clarke provides guidance on simple heating systems for single family houses using standard gas boilers or heat pumps.  Simplified radiator or floor heating systems suit the low heat load of passive houses with reduced installation cost. Performance is demonstrated with monitoring of room and heating system temperatures. Download simple heating systems paper here.

Leipzig Passivhaus conferenceBuilding a Better Passivhaus School, Leipzig 2015

This paper with Alan Clarke, outlines how lessons from building three of the first Passivhaus Primary schools in the UK were fed into the design, construction and operation of the fourth. Many improvements resulted in both improved comfort and energy performance as well as reduced cost. Presented at the 19th International Passivhaus Conference in Leipzig 2015. Download Building a Better Passivhaus School, and you can view the presentation here.

Heat loss via internal drainage vent pipes, Leipzig 2015

Heat loss through soil vent pipeThis paper with Alan Clarke examines heat loss to internal soil vent pipes (SVPs) that are vented to outdoors. A 2-page poster version was presented at the International Passivhaus Conference in Leipzig 17-18th April 2015. Down load Heat loss via internal drainage vent pipes, full version, here. Thanks to Ruth Busbridge for allowing us to drill holes and monitor the drains in her Passivhaus.

Internal Heat Gain assumptions in PHPP, Aachen 2014Passivhaus internal heat gains paper

A simple IHG algorithm is proposed that provides a more realistic approximation of internal gains. Interestingly this makes even very small Passivhaus dwellings possible and greatly reduces the cost of achieving the standard for smaller than average dwellings.

Presented at the 18th International Passivhaus Conference Aachen 2014. Download Conference paper  and presentation Grant-Clarke-IHGs.pdf.

Passive House Plus Magazine issue 8The small Passivhaus problem; a solution

This article in Passive House+ Magazine builds on the internal heat gains paper. The analysis concludes that, contrary to popular belief, even really small Passivhaus buildings should work very well. Reproduced for download here: The small passivhaus problem solved? with the permission of the editor.

If it’s not a passive house, don’t call it a passive housepassive house plus magazine

“Unlike popular terms like eco, green & sustainable, passive house has a specific meaning & shouldn’t be used incorrectly, argues Passivhaus Trust technical director Nick Grant.’ Article written for Passive House+ Magazine and kindly made available for download Here.

The importance of hot water system design in the Passivhaus, Dresden 2010

Free Passivhaus publication Dresden paper hot water in the passivhaus

For super insulated, energy efficient buildings, hot water energy use can typically exceed space heating energy use. Whilst hot water use is very dependent on user behaviour, hot water system losses can exceed this and are dependent on the building and services design. Presented at the 14th International Passivhaus Conference in Dresden. Authors: A Clarke, N Grant. May 2010 Download paper and presentation

Is net zero the right target for buildings? Hannover 2012zero carbon passivhaus

See also Biomass a Burning Issue and the Building Design Blog. Presented at the 16th International Passivhaus Conference in Hannover. Author: N Grant. May 2012. Download paper and presentation

Passivhaus School Kitchens. Hannover 2012passivhaus school kitchen ventilation

School kitchen present a significant challenge if user comfort is to be improved without increasing energy use due to typically high levels of ventilation. The approach outlined in this paper is based on experience with three Passivaus Schools built in the UK. Presented by Alan Clarke at 16th International Passivhaus Conference in Hannover. Download paper and presentation.

Biomass a burning issue 2010Biomass a burning Issue

In which we argue that burning biomass is renewable but no solution to reducing CO2 emissions.

The most controversial AECB discussion paper with Alan Clarke and many un-named contributors. Download here.

Whilst some missed the point and assumed we are pro fossil fuel others got it and did an even better job of explaining the arguments. We found this piece by Mark Brinkley very amusing. We were also pleasantly surprised to find Rob Hopkins of the Transition movement supportive with an excellent and intelligent discussion – post here.

Kate de Selincourt and Sofie Pelsmakers picked up the batten and were published in the CIBSE Journal.

2009 Quantifying the energy and carbon effects of water saving. EST water and carbon report

Commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust and the Environment Agency. Author: A Clarke, N Grant J Thornton. Download the full report here . Download the non technical summary here

Combi Boilers and Low Flow 2007 combi boilers and low flows Commissioned by the Environment Agency to investigate the validity of concerns that water efficiency measures would be problematic for households with combi boilers. Download.