Assisted self-build Passivhaus

Working with the QS of the Ebbw Vale prototype Passivhaus homes in Wales, bere:architects and Richard Whidborne have put together a package of materials and suppliers that could help a self builder to construct a super low energy Passivhaus for under £100,000*. All specialist skills and services, including specialist construction of the timber frame, installation of the plumbing, solar hot water, heat recovery and the electrics are accounted for.

Camden Passivhaus, Camden, London

(due to be completed March 2010)

The primary objective of this project is to achieve a comfortable home for a young family, whilst minimising energy consumption. This house has been designed to use less than 13kWh/m2/a for heating (a typical new home in the UK is likely to consume nearer 100kWh/m2/a)

The project is a 120m2 single family house split over two floors, with two wild flower meadow roofs and a south facing garden.

A further research trip is planned for April 2008 and Dan Gibbons will also participate in the technical and creative research that bere:architects is conducting to address the ecological imperatives of 21st century architectural design. Details will follow shortly of the directors’ forthcoming visits to some of the European mainland’s leading manufacturers of (a) timber construction products (b) Passivhaus heat recovery ventilation products (c) Passivhaus façade products.

By Jill Macnair

The Sunday Times

20 January 2008

Full On-Line Article

Home gave three leading eco-architects different budgets and one brief: to create a sustainable urban family dwelling. Our correspondent is impressed by the results.



Justin Bere spent another week in Germany and Austria in January studying Passivhaus projects and technology. He also met Hermann Kaufmann who is at the forefront of Passivhaus design in Europe. Although he is not yet well known in the UK, Hermann Kaufmann is famous in mainland Europe for demonstrating how technically advanced low energy buildings can also be inspirationally  designed.

Justin Bere recently visited the Bayer factory with his two associate directors, Dan Gibbons and Tobias Schaffrin in order to discuss current DoubleGood Window enquiries (, window specifications and the latest technical developments.

PassivHaus Study Tour

21 & 22 May 2007

Hanover, Germany

This seminar is aimed at housing professionals and professional bodies whom are involved in lowenergy housing. Pro-active company directors, decision makers, architects, contractors and developers will be represented at the study tour.

BRE is offering a unique opportunity, as a part of this study tour, to experience first hand what it means to live, work and design PassivHaus dwellings.

Published by Ecotech

Commentary by Justin Bere

5 April 2007 

Each spring Germany’s Passivhaus Institute holds its annual conference within a European city. The conference probably represents the largest gathering of low energy construction research academics and professionals in the world and without a doubt it presents the most experienced, the most scientific and the most professional low energy and ecological papers presented to construction professionals at any single international conference.


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