Credit to: Passivhaus Institut, Germany

Wolfgang Feist awarded Honorary Fellowship – Visits to projects in the UK 

Darmstadt. Prestigious recognition for Dr. Wolfgang Feist and the Passive House in London: The German pioneer in energy efficient construction was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The award ceremony took place on 6 February with a gala dinner held at the head office of the renowned architects association. The founder and director of the Passive House Institute and professor of building physics at the University of Innsbruck also took advantage of this trip to visit a selection of innovative building projects and exchange information with major stakeholders involved in the development of the Passive House concept in the UK.

“This award proves that British architects are recognising the potential Passive House offers to meet future sustainability requirements”, said Feist in his acceptance speech in London. “Passive House offers full design freedom while reducing energy dependency by 80% compared with current legal requirements for new builds.”

Prior to the RIBA award ceremony, Feist was able to see for himself that the Passive House Standard has become established in an increasing number of British cities. In Norwich, located north-east of London, Feist met with the design team for the University of East Anglia’s new Research Park Center, a 15.9 million pound construction project carried out according to the Passive House Standard. A lecture delivered by Feist at the university was well-attended and received much attention from regional stakeholders.

In the town of Ditchingham in the East of England, Feist handed over the Passive House Certificate for a terraced housing complex built by the Hastoe Housing Association, welcomed by community representatives and the building’s residents. Feist continued on to see a timber Passive House building currently under construction in the nearby town of Fulmodeston. Finally, Feist was joined by members of the British Passivhaus Trust in London’s Camden district, where the developers Willmott Dixon are building 53 Passive House apartments, 25% of which will be rented out as social housing. According to the company, construction costs for this Passive House complex will not exceed those for a conventional new build.

While in London, Feist also met with the British architect Justin Bere who has built and evaluated Passive Houses in the UK for many years and who held the laudatory speech at the RIBA gala dinner. RIBA Honorary Fellowships are awarded annually to individuals who have made a particular contribution to architecture. A total of twelve scientists, entrepreneurs, designers and journalists were recognised this year.