Passivhaus Affiliate

Success for Passivhaus equivalent Scottish Bill

We are delighted to share that the proposed private member’s bill addressing the energy and climate crises has been successful. Scottish Ministers agree to improve standards in new build homes to a Scottish equivalent to the Passivhaus standard.

Scotland mandates Passivhaus equivalent legislation

Thanks to all who responded to the consultation on the Domestic Building Environmental Standards (Scotland) Bill and called their MSPs to support it. The Bill calls for all new housing in Scotland be built to a Scottish equivalent to the Passivhaus standard. 

Led by Alex Rowley, Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, the proposed private member’s bill was developed in response to the Scottish Climate Assembly Recommendations for Action, in which 97% of the Assembly voted in favour of the Passivhaus or Scottish equivalent standard for new build projects in Scotland. 

In a letter to Mr Rowley, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, Patrick Harvie confirmed that the Scottish Government would implement the standards within two years through secondary legislation – without the long process of a member’s Bill passed through Holyrood.


The Scottish Government will make subordinate legislation within two years, to introduce new minimum environmental design standards for all new-build housing to meet a Scottish equivalent to the Passivhaus standard, to improve energy efficiency and thermal performance.

This development work will commence early in 2023, seeking the laying of amending regulations in mid-December 2024.


Mr Rowley’s proposal fits well with the Scottish Government’s objectives for new development. The shared policy programme, published in September 2021 as part of the Bute House Agreement, includes our explicit support for Passivhaus and equivalent standards."

Patrick Harvie, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights



It is fantastic to hear the Scottish Government has committed to bringing forward a Bill requiring higher energy-efficiency standards in domestic buildings, which also recognises the need to assure occupants that the design and construction of these buildings will deliver the actual performance sought in practice. 

Statements including “a Scottish equivalent to the Passivhaus standard” and “explicit support for Passivhaus and equivalent standards” fill us with hope. As well as providing energy security and reduced heating bills, an enhanced Scottish Building Standard offers a chance to also improve occupant comfort and indoor air quality.

It is a truly forward-thinking approach by the Scottish Government and a positive response to the 2021 Scottish Climate Assembly recommendations. They are to be applauded for taking this crucial step towards meeting their Net Zero/ Climate Emergency goals. Now we must ensure that the Bill is well developed and implemented to deliver the greatest impact on the actual performance of new homes in Scotland.

Jon Bootland, CEO, Passivhaus Trust



We have the knowledge and technology to build houses fit for the future, with occupant comfortability as a priority at a fraction of the heating costs of a standard build house now – it simply seems obvious to me that we should be doing this. I have been absolutely delighted by the positive response to my proposal for legislation on introducing a Scottish equivalent of Passivhaus standards to all new-build housing in Scotland and I am very happy that the Scottish Government has taken the opportunity to put my proposal into law.

This will help futureproof housing stock, save people money and tackle our climate emergency - a very welcome move! It is time to ensure we are building to the highest energy-efficiency standards possible and that those standards are verified during the building process so that residents can be assured of the quality of their homes.

This has been a very positive experience as I have had the opportunity to engage with so many different areas of Scottish society, from many different political persuasions, and found the vast majority of people united behind the need to make positive change for the future. I look forward to taking the Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants Rights up on his kind invitation to contribute to the development of the proposal for regulatory review.”

Alex Rowley, MSP for the Mid Scotland and Fife



Passivhaus social housing event: 18 January 2023For all councils & social housing providers, particularly those located in Scotland - please join us on the 18th January for an introductory webinar focused on Passivhaus Social Housing. This is an online event - FREE to all social housing providers.

The January event will explore new build. We shall return later in the year with a session dedicated to retrofit.


Further Information

Domestic Building Environmental Standards (Scotland) Bill

Passivhaus Social

Passivhaus benefits guide

Passivhaus & Planning

Passivhaus Retrofit

Previous PHT story: Scotland the brave! - 25 November 2022

Previous PHT story: Local Passivhaus policies - 6 May 2022

The Construction Index: Scotland to mandate Passivhaus standard for all new housing - 20 December 2022

Scottish Construction Now: Government agrees to progress legislation for mandatory new-build Passivhaus standard - 19 December 2022

The Herald: Scottish Government to adopt Labour MSP's Passivhaus Bill - 16 December 2022

19th December 2022

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