The world’s very first airtight pub is now open for business in Cambridgeshire. Yep, we made a pub.

After working with Passivhaus building standards for some years, you begin to look at the world around you with new eyes. You spot opportunities to optimise venues, using what’s already there to be a brand new source of energy. As a place that attracts significant groups of people — when permitted — pubs became a curious fascination for our team. Not only are they a wonderful place to drink beer, but they’re also an untapped resource of body warmth that every venue, until now, has let go to waste.

What is an airtight pub?

Seating area at the airtight pub

An airtight pub is a pub that uses an airtight membrane to stop air leakage. This allows you to retain the warmth inside. The warm bodies enjoying their beer, the fridges, appliances, lightbulbs and the other bits and pieces that need to be on to run the pub turn into energy to keep the place warm.

By eliminating air leakage, the pub becomes an ultra-low energy consumer requiring only about 10 per cent of what a standard pub would need for energy. When you eliminate the need for heating, you cut out a pretty hefty chunk of your energy bill.

That’s right. The airtight pub does not use any heaters.  It works simply with the energy captured from the people and appliances to keep the venue warm. If you’re thinking, “Umm gross”, don’t worry. Ventilation is a core strategy in the airtight building. A heat recovery ventilator allows you to keep in the warmth while also pumping out fresh air, so you’re not sitting in a stale beer and body atmosphere.

The airtight pub is a pub that heats itself. Hopefully, it’s the beginning of a trend toward smarter design for less energy consumption.

For a deeper dive into airtightness — how it works and what it does for a building — you can check our “What is airtightness?” article.

How about the customer experience?

The bar at the airtight pub

Given this pub is a world first, we decided to bring in some big weights to contribute to the interior design. We also wanted to use the exposure to support a good cause.

For the bar, we worked with other world leaders in eco and innovative design. There were no other options in our mind beyond the designer and creator of the world’s most beautiful 3D textured walls, Mario Romano, and countertop designers, Corian from Los Angeles.

As of the 26th of April, these creations were officially installed, making the bar an attraction of its very own.

For the beer, we partnered with Brew Board to create a charity beer range, Phuck Off Beer, which is running parallel to our Phuck Off Cancer campaign in which all proceeds from the beer and our Phuck Off Cancer goods will be donated to the Pink Ribbon Foundation.

When can you pop in for a cold one?

Passivhaus bar at the airtight pub

Although the venue is ready, the beer has been brewed, and the bar has been installed, we’re still at the mercy of restrictions. What we hoped would be a big party on the 20th of May but this will now be more likely a gathering of no more than 30 people. It’s not exactly the celebration worthy of such a special venue, but we’re still extremely excited to be open, and we hope to announce a big, belated party once restrictions ease later in the year.

Follow us on social media for updates on the big bash, or book an appointment  for a casual drink anytime after the 20th of July to enjoy the world’s first airtight pub — warmed by you and your buddies.

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