Passivhaus Affiliate

Are next-gen architects ready to tackle the climate emergency?

Steeped in Passivhaus theory and developed collaboratively by the Passivhaus Trust and its preferred Passivhaus training partner Coaction Training CIC, along with other partners, a new programme aims to equip all UK architecture students to tackle the climate emergency.

Design Performance for Climate Action

This new free-to-access training programme, Design Performance for Climate Action, aims to provide under-grad architecture students across the UK with a solid foundation in climate-responsive building design.

A collaboration between the Passivhaus Trust and Coaction Training CIC, alongside the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Standing Conference of Schools of Architecture (SCOSA), and the International Passivhaus Association (iPHA), this partnership enables the organisations to reach more people, and maximise impact.

Design is the most powerful tool we have to improve the energy performance of buildings, both upfront and in use. This new course empowers architecture students with the knowledge and skills to design high-performance buildings, using the Passivhaus standard as a proven and quality-assured route to achieving exceptional building performance.

Sarah Lewis, Passivhaus Trust quote: This course is responding to a direct demand from industry for more climate-conscious architects. We are excited to be upscaling Passivhaus education in universities so that when architecture students graduate, they hit the ground running, embedding these skills in the practices where they work to have an immediate impact on the delivery of sustainable buildings in the UK.

Buildings are a significant culprit of carbon emissions – accountable for 35% of total global energy consumption. Passivhaus is a proven approach to slashing building energy use and delivering high standards for occupant comfort, health and wellbeing.

Adopting a whole-building approach focused on high-quality construction with clear, measured targets and certification through an exacting quality assurance process sets the standard apart from others. ‘Design Performance for Climate Action’  supports existing architecture teaching in the UK Architecture Schools. It addresses priority areas in the emerging RIBA Climate Knowledge Literacy schedule and the ARB Competencies that form the backbone of the curriculum.


Sally Godber, Director WARM & Coaction Training CIC, quote: This is a huge opportunity for architects at the very start of their practice to gain access to Coaction’s community of trainers - each bringing their long-standing experience and expertise within the Passivhaus industry.

The course critically examines the Passivhaus standard, exploring its strengths and limitations over four modules, two of which cover the principles of building design for optimal performance, while the remaining two delve into the specifics of construction and services design.


Prof Lorraine Farrelly, Chair SCOSA, quote: It is essential that all architecture students have access to tools that can support their learning to develop sustainable approaches to designing buildings. This initiative, funded by SCOSA and other partners, will ensure our students can understand Passivhaus principles to inform their approach to sustainable design.


The course materials are available to all UK Schools of Architecture students on an open-access basis and consist of online self-study modules. The partners’ ambition for the course is to expand opportunities for undergraduates and postgraduates in future years ­– including studio practice - empowering these students with tools and knowledge used in low-energy construction. The programme may be adapted and rolled out to other disciplines once successfully deployed.

Jenny Russell, Director RIBA, quote: Climate literacy among architects is fundamental to delivering a low-carbon future, and we are committed to ensuring that the next generation has the knowledge and skills they need. This important initiative will provide schools with resources to ensure that every architecture student enters the profession with a firm grounding in the principles of climate-responsive design.

If you’re interested in being part of the change, visit Design Performance for Climate Action.


Further Information

Design Performance for Climate Action

Passivhaus Student Engagement

Passivhaus training & education

Certified Passivhaus training courses

Previous PHT story: Passivhaus training for all UK RIBA Architecture students - 14 November 2022

10th November 2023

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