In the not too distant future, six brand new Passivhaus, net-zero units will be built in Cambridgeshire as part of an epic competition with architecture’s best and brightest battling it out for the most innovative Passivhaus design.

Each unit will be paired with an architect to come in and push the boundaries of design. From the US, we have Steven and Alexandra Baczek confirmed to join us — when pandemic restrictions permit. One of the units will be reserved for a side competition through the local University.

Eager to encourage architects of the future, the University will hold its own competition for the best design for this unit. The student behind the winning design will then get the chance to come down and build their vision, with support from our team to guide them on the process of building to Passivhaus standard. 

Rules of the competition

Each of the units covers the same footprint, 100 square metres, on the ground floor level. So everyone is working within the same parameters.

The goal of the competition, however, is to show off innovation. To push the boundaries, no two units will be able to work with the same materials. If one builds with mud, the next may have to be straw… No copying is allowed.

So as not to be too harsh, each of the architects and building crews will have access to our factory . They will also have access to our team for support and guidance on how to turn their creative ideas into Passivhaus standard builds.

Located in the countryside, these units will be judged by how they suit the area around them. We will be looking for units that are just as earthy and welcoming inside as it is outside in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside.

Participants in the competition must ensure that the units remain affordable — the goal is to show that Passivhaus is for everyone — we aren’t trying to build luxury condos for the country’s wealthy citizens. We want luxurious but affordable country escapes for everyone.

Whoever produces the most liveable, welcome and affordable, net-zero unit will be the ultimate winner. 

Why run a Passivhaus competition?

Aside from, “We enjoy a bit of fun”, the real reason is that we love to encourage innovation, and with the UK’s net-zero goal only 30 years away, we believe that now is the time to get people involved in Passivhaus building practices. It takes time to adopt new ways of working. And it takes time to train the youth of today to be the leaders of their industries tomorrow.

We want to show the community, architects and builders of the future that you can build beautiful spaces that are affordable and environmentally friendly.

What’s better than a bit of healthy competition to spark that fire?

Passivhaus is often perceived as a high-end standard for high-end houses and apartments. The reality is that Passivhaus is for everyone. Every architect, builder and homeowner can adopt Passivhaus standard to save on electricity costs and reduce their carbon footprint. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Passivhaus Airbnb – coming to you in the not too distant future

With the global events of the last year, our initial plans for this Passivhaus Airbnb project were, unfortunately, delayed. With our fingers crossed, we hope to kick off in September this year, with new buildings built by the summer of 2022. Of course, we will work within whatever limits or freedoms we’re presented with as the time comes. 

To keep up to date with the progress of this project, be sure to follow us on social media, where we’re active in sharing our exciting news.

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