Passivhaus Affiliate

Passivhaus delivers well-being in Wales

As we saw at the UK Passivhaus Conference earlier this month, featuring presentations from representatives of Exeter, Greater Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow authorities, it’s the UK’s cities, regions and devolved administrations that are leading the way in low carbon building. Not least Wales – here, the Innovative Housing Programme, which started last year and is set to run to 2020, will contribute a total of £90m over three rounds of funding to new homes that meet the goals of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

Driving it is a vision of future generations who will be globally responsible, prosperous, resilient, healthy, more equal, in cohesive communities and with a thriving culture. The programme recognises that several of these goals can be approached, in terms of housing, by building lower carbon and lower energy use, affordable, healthy homes – and Passivhaus is a great way to get there.

Innovative Housing Programme criteria


Welsh Government representatives visit Passivhaus factory

The recipients of this year’s round of funding were announced on 16 October, and as with last year, Passivhaus is recognised as a route toward achieving the goals of the housing programme. Among other projects, £568,000 funding has been committed to Gwynedd Council, to build four adaptable pods to Passivhaus standard to provide stable intermediate accommodation for homeless people, and £650,000 to Denbighshire Council for 16 timber-framed Passivhaus homes.

These will be the first homes to come out of a Passivhaus-dedicated new factory set up by housing association Cartrefi Conwy, partnering with PHT member Beattie Passive, and supported by a further £442,000 from the Innovative Housing Programme fund. The factory will use a local supply chain, providing training to local people who might otherwise face barriers to the jobs market.

Previous successes

Milford Way Passivhaus social housing © Architype

Of 22 schemes funded last year, 5 were Passivhaus.

  • 18 homes in Swansea, designed by PHT Patron member Architype, at Milford Way (above), have already been completed. Passivhaus certification by PHT member WARM is expected in due course.


Linc Cymru team breaks ground at Caerphilly development; render © architects Childs+Sulzmann

  • The site of the former Caerphilly Magistrate’s Court is currently under construction for 38 Passivhaus homes (above). 
  • The former Bodnant Community School in Prestatyn made way in April for work on four new Passivhaus apartments with flexible layouts, to respond to occupants’ changing needs. These will be the first new council homes in Denbighshire for 25 years - but soon to be followed by more, including the 16 timber-framed Passivhaus homes funded this year.
  • Another old school site in Caerphilly (Cwm Ifor) is to be developed by United Welsh, who were pioneers of Passivhaus social housing in the UK as far back as 2011, with Larch House in Ebbw Vale, designed by PHT member bere:architects. The new development will provide 17 homes, delivered by PHT member Beattie Passive.
  • And lastly, Mid Wales Housing Association received funding for 19 Passivhaus homes in Powys.

With these schemes added to a growing list of Passivhaus developments by housing associations and local authorities, Passivhaus in the social housing sector - offering healthy homes, high quality construction and low bills for all - is unquestionably in a healthy condition. The Trust’s Passivhaus Social campaign has run several events for leading-edge local authorities and housing associations who have adopted, or are considering adopting, the Passivhaus standard. After identifying potential common barriers & key factors to success, the campaign's objective is to provide guidance for social housing providers. The next regional event is planned in Wales for Spring 2019. Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest developments.


Further information

Welsh Government Newsroom 

Passivhaus Social

Previous PHT Story: Appetite for Passivhaus in Scotland - 8 June 2018


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16th November 2018

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