Proposed legislation for mandatory new-build Passivhaus standard moves forward

Proposed legislation for mandatory new-build Passivhaus standard moves forward

Scottish Labour MSP Alex Rowley has progressed his proposed bill to ensure that all new-build homes in Scotland meet the internationally recognised ‘Passivhaus’ standard.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP has published a consultation in Holyrood for a private member’s bill he intends to introduce that he argues would ensure greater levels of energy efficiency, lower energy bills and alleviate fuel poverty. It would also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Proposed Domestic Building Environmental Standards (Scotland) Bill would “introduce new minimum environmental design standards for all new-build housing to meet the Passivhaus standard, or a Scottish equivalent, in order to improve energy efficiency and thermal performance”.

Mr Rowley said: “A move to the Passivhaus ‘gold standard’ for all new-build homes would be radical, ambitious, practical and forward-thinking.

“It would future-proof homes and prevent them from having to be retrofitted in the near future, upskill the construction sector, and make Scotland a leading player with exportable skills and knowledge.

“I firmly believe we should grasp the opportunity and be a leader, not a follower.

“A warm, dry, comfortable and affordable home is a basic human need and I would contend, human right.

“By legislating to ensure all new-build homes in Scotland meet a Scottish equivalent to Passivhaus design standards we will make homes more affordable to heat, more comfortable to live in, and more environmentally sustainable.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to ongoing improvement of the energy and environmental performance of our new homes.

“Under our Heat in Buildings Strategy, we are completing a review of building regulations, with higher energy standards scheduled to come into force later this year, and proposals for a New Build Heat Standard from 2024, which will ensure new homes produce no direct greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are keen to see the ambitions associated with Passivhaus realised, and are investigating how such good practice can support improved compliance with building regulations and more assurance on performance in practice.”

The spokesperson added: “The Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings is due to meet with Mr Rowley soon, to discuss his proposals and how they align with our existing direction of travel.”

The consultation closes on July 27.

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