Passivhaus Affiliate

Green light for 65 Passivhaus homes in Newham

Newham Borough Council joins the growing ranks of local authorities pursuing the Passivhaus standard for social housing schemes.

Plashet Road, Newham. Image credit: Levitt Bernstein


Winning planning permission earlier this year in May 2021, a 65-home scheme in the London borough of Newham will target Passivhaus and provide high quality homes for social rent. The £22m affordable housing development has been sympathetically designed within the site’s context, using Passivhaus to inform design decisions from the earliest concept stage.

The scheme contains a courtyard offering all flats a dual aspect: this not only provides improved visual connections, it also provides important cross-ventilation to mitigate summertime overheating risk. Currently a hot topic in the UK during this 2021 summer heatwave, risk of overheating is much greater in dense city locations.


Key Stats

Units: 65

Project stage: Planning approved - May 2021

Completion date: 2022

Project value: £22M

Construction: Concrete / steel frame & brick façade

Plashet Road, Image credit: Levitt Berstein


Developing social housing to the Passivhaus standard has multiple benefits for both residents and councils. Homes will have low energy costs, reducing fuel poverty and promoting a low-carbon lifestyle, whilst the investment in a fabric-first approach ensures both a high build quality and mitigation of the performance gap.

Passivhaus was incorporated from the earliest stages of design, and helped define the building’s compact form, orientation, dual-aspect apartment layout and detailing such as window sizes. Living spaces are oriented south or west to optimise daylight and solar gain, whilst kitchens and bedrooms are on the opposite – cooler – side of the building, also enabling cross-ventilation in all individual flats.


Form factor has a significant impact on heating energy demand, so by simplifying the building shape at Plashet Road we significantly reduced the heating load and total operational energy. It also simplified the buildability and potentially reduces construction costs, in tandem to reducing energy costs to residents. The design of the structure was developed to limit embodied carbon, and we worked closely with the structural engineer to reduce the overall volume of concrete.

Nicola Jaques, Associate at Levitt Bernstein

Key team

Client/ Developer: London Borough of Newham

Architect: Levitt Bernstein

Main contractor: To be appointed

M&E Engineer: Max Fordham

Structural Engineer: Heyne Tillet Steel

Passivhaus Certifier: Etude

Plashet Road, Image Credit: Levitt Bernstein


Further information

Passivhaus Council Housing at Plashet Road

Passivhaus Social

Passivhaus and Planning

Previous PHT story: Social housing championing Passivhaus at scale – 12 May 2021

Housing Today: Newham grants permission for 65 Passivhaus council homes - 05 May 2021

3rd August 2021

Never miss UK Passivhaus news by joining the Passivhaus Trust mailing list Follow us on twitter @PassivhausTrust

< Back To News