Passivhaus Affiliate

Passivhaus & Planning

In response to the Climate Emergency declarations, several Local Authorities in the UK are developing policies that set higher standards for new build housing, including some which promote Passivhaus as a compliance route.  The Trust has compiled some useful policy resources – from outlining existing sustainable strategies, to lobbying letters, and other relevant reports.

Exemplar Local Plans & policies

Exemplar Local Plans & policies

There are now several UK Local Authorities who have either mandated Passivhaus into their local plans, included it as an alternative compliance standard, or applied Passivhaus methodologies. Read our overview Councils Can: Exemplar Local Plans

However, a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS23), published 13 December 2023, has created confusion for local planning authorities on their ability to set sustainability standards above and beyond national regulations. WMS23 is currently the subject of a legal challenge by Rights Community Action, supported by the Good Law Project. The Good Homes Alliance, in partnership with the Passivhaus Trust and others, has created a Net Zero Planning Policy resource hub page which sets out how councils achieved their exemplar local policies. It also shares advice on how to respond to the WMS23 alongside Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) guidance for local authorities working on local plans that go beyond building regulations. 

Net Zero Planning Policy - Good Homes Alliance

Councils adopting Passivhaus 

Exemplar local policiesYou can also download a list of local authorities & housing associations who have built Passivhaus homes in the UK here to help spur your own local authority. Local authorities and social housing providers who have completed a certified Passivhaus project can also be found by searching our map for multi-home projects.. Please check our projects gallery & map to determine if there is a certified scheme in your area which may act as a valuable precedent. 

International examples

Internationally, iPHA maintain a list of cities and administrative districts that have incorporated Passivhaus into their policies or regulations here.

Lobbying resources

Whilst individual projects cannot be supported, the Trust can issue letters of support in adopting the Passivhaus Standard to help supplement planning applications. A draft can be viewed by clicking the example below. Please contact if this is of interest. 

Finding existing examples of what has already been achieved in th area it can set a strong precedent and help allieviate fears of the unknown.

Useful draft lobbying letters can be found in the flat pack guide - Passivhaus Standards for new housing. The business case for adopting Passivhaus is outlined in our Passivhaus Social Housing guide, along with tips to maximise successful delivery.


PHT example letter of support Green Party Flat Pack_Passivhaus Standard for new housing_2016
Passivhaus Social Housing: Maximising benefits, minimising costs

Resources & reports

Below are a few useful resources and reports to help bolster planning applications or inform local plans. A more extensive list can be found in our technical library or record of other Passivhaus publications.

Passivhaus: the route to zero carbon Passivhaus Benefits: Research Summary Guide, 2021 2019 Passivhaus Construction Costs

Making Net Zero Happen
Net Zero Carbon Toolkit

Climate action co-benefits: A toolkit for city regions and local authorities

net zero carbon buildings UKGBC
The full cost of poor housing BRE report
zero carbon hub performance gap New Homes Policy Playbook Touching the voids
Construction Leadership Council: National Retrofit Strategy North American Passive House Network Policy Resource Guide


Further information

Net Zero Planning Policy - Good Homes Alliance resource hub setting out practical steps for the adoption and implementation of progressive policies, including case studies, timeline and actions, and resources.

The Spatial Planning for Climate Resilience & Net Zero report, Climate Change Commission 19 July 2023 

More than 100 businesses call on the Government for planning reform to deliver net zero and restore nature - 15 June 2023

Plan inspectors made inconsistent climate decisions - 31 March 2023

Previous PHT story: Councils Can: Exemplar Local Plans & policies 1 June 2023

Previous PHT story: Local Passivhaus Policies   8 May 2022

Passivhaus Social Campaign

Passivhaus: the route to zero carbon?



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