Category Insights
Published 2024 04
Author Peter Bartley

Passivhaus Places for Everyone?

After what felt like a protracted period of consultation and review by the planning inspectorate, on the 21st March, nine of the ten Greater Manchester districts (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) adopted the Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan. This document sets out the requirements for development in the region in line with the Greater Manchester target to be Carbon Neutral by 2038.

The requirements for whole life carbon assessment have been kicked down the road a little, with analysis of embodied carbon encouraged but not required until 2028. Until then, the focus is on operational energy.

In terms of residential development, a space heating demand target (kWh/m2.yr) has been set. This is certainly welcomed by us. Space heating design is a key metric we consider in early design stages to ensure that building form, orientation, window areas and fabric specifications are optimised to reduce the need for space heating energy.

Space heating demand is also a key metric in terms of designing to the Passivhaus standard, a cutting-edge standard for the best performing buildings in terms of operational energy performance.

Places for Everyone has set an interim target of 30 kWh/m2.yr for space heating demand of houses and 25 kWh/m2.yr for flats. These targets will be uplifted to 20 and 15 kWh/m2.yr respectively in 2025. 15 kWh/m2/yr is the same performance as required by the Passivhaus standard. Compared to the marginal performance uplift expected by the Future Homes Standard due in 2025, this shows the scale of performance uplift required for new homes in the region.

The main value of the Passivhaus Standard is that it has third party review and a dedicated calculation methodology (PHPP) to ensure that in use performance closely aligns with the design. Will we see the Borough Councils of Manchester adopting a Passivhaus requirement in their Local Development Plans to ensure that they can deliver in use performance aligned with the intent of Places for Everyone? I certainly hope so!

If you have a residential project you’re keen to set ambitious sustainability targets for, get in touch!

Written by Head of Sustainability: Peter Bartley

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