PassivHaus Working Group

The PassivHaus Working Group (PHWG) has been established by Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt at the Kent School of Architecture in September 2014, involving a team of postgraduate students undertaking original research into PassivHaus. The concept behind the PHWG was developed in the context of a collaborative research project coordinated by Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt at the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment (CASE) last year. This project was entitled ‘Interrogating the technical, economic and cultural challenges of delivering the PassivHaus standard in the UK’. It yielded critical insights into the Passivhaus standard and its application in the UK, but also showed that collaborative research enabled students of architecture to develop a technical area of expertise during their Part II. This year the PHWG is an option available to students enrolled on the Module AR546 Sustainable Technology in the Context of Architecture, but next year the students will have the choice of continuing their research into PassivHaus in context of their dissertation.

21 students from the MArch Programme have joined the group this year and currently undertake detailed case studies on selected projects in England, Wales and Ireland as well as investigating some of the broader political, economic and technical issues.

PHWG is divided into sub-groups, each focusing on one of the four main research themes. Group 1 explores the application of the PassivHaus standard or EnerPhit standard to retrofit projects, with a particular focus on the challenges of upgrading the UKs social housing stock and properties in conservation areas. Group 2 focuses on non-domestic buildings, including office buildings, schools and community centres. Group 3 is undertaking a series of case studies on one-off houses, whilst Group 4 investigates how the Passivhaus standard is applied to larger commercial housing developments, with a particular focus on the economic challenges.

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