Scots-based Passivhaus initiative receives funding boost

A new Scottish Passivhaus initiative has received a significant funding boost.

The Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU) at The Glasgow School of Art, together with John Gilbert Architects, Stewart & Shields and Design Engineering Workshop, have secured three-year funding from Innovate UK through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to develop a specific Scottish approach to Passivhaus.

‘Passivhoos’ is a range of social housing types that meet international Passivhaus standards, as well as the Housing for Varying Needs and Scottish Government budget benchmarks. It has been developed for Scottish housing providers by John Gilbert Architects, Stewart & Shields contractors and Design Engineering Workshop, and is available in a variety of configurations.

The partnership aims to bring the benefits of Passivhaus construction to the Scottish social housing market.

With £272,380 of KTP funding, the Passivhoos team will be able to work with experts in MEARU. MEARU is said to have expertise in the areas of environmental performance, BIM and communication technology – all of which will be available to Passivhoos.

Matt Bridgestock of John Gilbert Architects said, “We are delighted to be working on our second KTP with The Glasgow School of Art, and really focusing on eliminating the performance gap and fuel poverty in new housing. In particular, we aim reduce cost, improve the supply chain and bring innovative architecture to new social housing.”

Mark Shields of Stewart & Shields added, “We are delighted to be working to bring the Passivhaus standard of comfort and low energy to the social housing market. We’re looking forward to working with John Gilbert Architects and Design Engineering Workshop to deliver these innovative new homes. This award is a significant step in developing the Passivhoos model, improving buildability, better cost certainty and bringing us closer to eliminating the performance gap in our housing delivery.”

Professor Tim Sharpe of The Glasgow School of Art commented, “MEARU is very pleased to be continuing its relationship with John Gilbert Architects and the Passivhoos team on a project of critical importance to Scottish Government targets for new homes and climate change. Collaborations such as this are tangible a demonstration of how the skills and expertise within Glasgow’s Art School can be applied to help improve the built environment with the many benefits that this can bring to both health and sustainable living.”