Passivhaus Affiliate

Voreda House gets EnerPHit upgrade

Committed to reducing its carbon footprint, the new EnerPHit upgrades at Voreda House estimate energy savings at a whopping 85% - contributing significantly to the Council’s zero carbon ambitions.


Voreda House


Following a Passivhaus retrofit, Voreda House has transformed from a former NHS office into Westmorland and Furness Council’s energy-efficient northern anchor building. The newly refurbished EnerPHit offices in Penrith opened their doors to the public this June (2024). EnerPHit certification was awarded by Etude on the 2nd July.

While the project started life under the former Eden District Council, it has adapted and developed to make good on the new unitary council commitment to keeping a range of services close to the public, reflecting the aim to create service ‘hubs’ in each of its key locations – Barrow, Kendal and Penrith.

The new offices offer a full range of services, from Children’s Services and Adult Social Care to Housing, Public Health, Trading Standards and Waste. Council staff previously located at Penrith Town Hall or Mansion House have moved in.

Voreda House EnerPHit    I    Image © Westmoreland & Furness Council    I    Allan Harty Quote: The opening of Voreda House EnerPHit is a key milestone in that commitment as it brings our staff together in a modern, fit-for-purpose building and helps us deliver more efficiently for the public.


Air-source heat pumps provide heating & cooling to the building. Roof solar panels are estimated to generate a third of the building’s energy requirements. Considerably improved air tightness, good levels of insulation and triple glazing contribute to the building’s energy efficiency. 

The original concrete frame was retained. Pre-cast concrete façade panels were carefully replaced with steel frame and a dry cassette external wall insulation [EWI] system.


Voreda house under construction    I    Image © 2030 Architects    2022 Passivhaus Retrofit Masterclass Series: Non-domestic buildings - Voreda House, Greengauge


PHT Patron Greengauge shared details about the ventilation strategy and steel frame challenges at the 2022 Passivhaus Retrofit Masterclass on Non-Domestic Buildings [now available on-demand]. 


Voreda House EnerPHit    I    Image © Greengauge    I    Paul Smith quote: Not every retrofit can achieve Passivhaus or EnerPHit levels of performance, but when the opportunity presents itself, it just makes sense.


Feasibility studies for the future of Penrith Town Hall are underway. The Council agreed to focus further development in Kendal at the modernised South Lakeland House / Kendal Town Hall. The Trust hope there may be more Passivhaus retrofits to come!

Discover more about Voreda House EnerPHit at the 2024 UK Passivhaus Conference, where we explore net zero neighbourhoods. Join us this 19th September in Oxford!


You may also like

Discover more Passivhaus certified office examples. If you work for a Local Authority, you may also be interested in our Passivhaus social housing campaign, Passivhaus for schools, or our civic & cultural case study examples

Passivhaus Retrofit    UK Passivhaus Conference 2024    2022 Passivhaus Retrofit Masterclass Series: Non-domestic buildings - Voreda House, Greengauge


Further Information

Voreda House

Passivhaus Retrofit

2024 UK Passivhaus Conference

Passivhaus Commercial

2022 Passivhaus Retrofit Masterclass Series

Steel in Passivhaus Construction

Introduction to Passivhaus

Previous PHT story: Council offices get EnerPHit uplift – 7th June 2022

Voreda House transformation begins - 25 March 2022

1st July 2024

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