Passivhaus Affiliate

£32M Passivhaus expands world-class medical research at Oxford

The Institute for Global Health's proposed Passivhaus building at the Old Road Campus is the latest in the University of Oxford’s expansion of its world-class medical research facilities.

Global Health Building at the University of Oxford © Associated Architects

The Global Health building will serve as a central hub for the university’s worldwide health activities, merging the site’s Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health with parts of the Oxford Population Health building. 

Sustainability is a fundamental driver for the £32m facility. The 3-storey Global Health Building will be insulated and ventilated to meet the rigorous energy-efficient Passivhaus certification criteria.

Key Stats

Construction: Concrete Frame

Occupants: circa 700

Build start date: December 2023

Completion expected: November 2025

Certification: Aiming for Passivhaus Classic

Global Health Building, University of Oxford © Associated Architects


The project design is by PHT member Associated Architects, who delivered the award-winning George Davis Passivhaus campus building at the University of Leicester.

The 4700m2 new facility will accommodate 400 staff and 330 researchers over three floors & a basement. It will have no formal laboratories. 

Global Health Building at the University of Oxford_ Section© Associated Architects

A central lightwell will provide good daylight within the building. 

Horizontal ribbon windows allow continuous views of the wood and brook areas, and features a central atrium. The windows are sized to balance maximum natural light, reducing energy consumption associated with artificial light whilst minimising heat loss.

Natural materials, biophilic design features such as green walls, and the connections between inside and outside will enhance mental well-being. Low energy design measures are incorporated throughout, and embodied and operational carbon assessments have been completed. It will be the University’s first Life Cycle Carbon Assessment (LCA) with all life-cycle modules (A-C) included, i.e. ground to end of life, aligned to BS EN 15978.

Global Health Building at the University of Oxford_atrium © Associated Architects
Global Health Building at the University of Oxford_ Basement atrium © Associated Architects Global Health Building at the University of Oxford_ Seating booth © Associated Architects Global Health Building at the University of Oxford_ Reception © Associated Architects


As well as meeting Passivhaus certification, another challenge will be navigating a live site where teaching is still taking place and minimising disruption to academic activities throughout the project.


Passivhaus is a tried and tested solution that gives a range of proven approaches to deliver net-zero-ready, optimised buildings. The project will be a labour of love. We can’t wait to deliver something truly remarkable, harnessing talents, skills, products and sustainable technologies to make it a Passivhaus building. The innovative work carried out in the building after completion will play a key role in driving UK medical research forward, so it will leave a lasting legacy.”

James York, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction.

Key Team

Client: University of Oxford

Architect: PHT member Associated Architects    

Contractor: Morgan Sindall

Passivhaus Certifier: PHT Patron MosArt

Global Health Building at the University of Oxford © Associated Architects


This strategic investment in medical research infrastructure hopes to enhance the university’s collective expertise in the field. We look forward to following this exciting Passivhaus campus building progress. Join us this September in Oxford for our 2024 UK Passivhaus Conference.


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Below are some other campus buildings adopting Passivhaus. Discover more examples in our Passivhaus for educational buildings campaign. We are delighted to see some exciting Passivhaus schemes already certified at both the University of Oxford & the University of Cambridge, see the links under further information for more.

George Davis Centre Passivhaus   St Edmunds Hall   Cranmer Road

Unless otherwise stated, all images © Asociated Architects


Further Information

Global Health Building

Passivhaus for educational buildings

George Davis Centre Passivhaus - 2021 UK Passivhaus Award winner

Passivhaus Net Zero Primers


Previous PHT story: Work begins at St Edmund Hall, new Passivhaus student campus! - 08 January 2024

Previous PHT story: Kellogg College is Passivhaus first for University of Oxford - 30th August 2017

The Spencer Building


Previous PHT story: Full marks for Lucy Cavendish Passivhaus! - 02 March 2023

Cranmer Road Passivhaus - 2021 UK Passivhaus Award Winner

Previous PHT story: Cambridge becoming Passivhaus student digs hotspot - 25 January 2021

19th February 2024

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