Denby Dale Passivhaus

Denby Dale Passivhaus

First UK Passivhaus to be built with cavity wall construction and one of the first certified Passivhaus homes in the UK.

  • Cavity wall construction
  • 118m2 three-bed detached house
  • £141K basic build costs
  • Minimal heating – using 90% less energy for space heating than the UK average
  • Multi-award-winning!
  • Design and build project led by Green Building Store
  • Later followed by the Golcar Passivhaus project, which developed some of the cavity wall detailing further

The Denby Dale Passivhaus in West Yorkshire has sought to provide a solution to the urgent need to drastically cut the CO2 emissions from buildings in the UK and has tried to create a low-cost and easily replicable template for low energy Passivhaus construction, using techniques and materials familiar to British builders.

Built by Green Building Store’s construction division – Green Building Company –  the project is the first certified Passivhaus in the UK to be built using cavity wall construction and has pioneered the combination of British vernacular construction methods with the German low energy Passivhaus design methodology. The original design details developed for the project can also be used as a template for the construction industry as to how to minimize  thermal bridging, improve energy efficiency and maximise the airtightness of projects built using cavity wall construction.



Final certification figures

  • Total floor area: 118m2
  • Treated floor area: 104.4m2
  • Heating requirement/ year: 15 kWh/m2/year
  • Heat load: 10 W/m2
  • Primary energy requirement: 87 kWh/m2/year
  • Airtightness: 0.33 ach @ 50 Pa (to Passivhaus and Euronorm standard)

U values

  • Exterior wall: 0.113W/m2K
  • Roof: 0.096 W/m2K
  • Ground floor: 0.104 W/m2K
  • Windows/ average: 0.8 W/m2K

Low energy building database listing


Denby Dale Passivhaus Technical summary – download pdf

Denby Dale Passivhaus Factsheet – download pdf

Denby Dale Passivhaus Monitoring and Performance report – download pdf

In association with BUILDING magazine we contributed a regular blog from Project Leader Bill Butcher as the build progressed, highlighting along the way the special challenges – and pitfalls – of Passivhaus construction in a UK context.


Breakdown of costs

Week one – Early lessons

Week two – Why we chose cavity wall

Week three – Dr Wolfgang Feist

Week four – Reducing thermal bridging

Week five – Materials

Week six – Thermal bypass

Week seven – The walls

Week eight – The wall openings

Week nine – Floor junctions

Week ten – The roof

Week eleven – Making the roof airtight

Week twelve – Windtightness and reducing thermal bypass

Week thirteen – Windows & doors

Week fourteen – Ventilation (MVHR)

Week fifteen – MVHR ducting design

Week sixteen – Spreading the word

Week seventeen – Achieving airtightness

Week eighteen – The first airtightness test results

Week nineteen – Heating

Week twenty –  Coming to an end

Week twenty-one – Certification!

More information

‘We think this is the future’ – article on Denby Dale Passivhaus in BUILDING magazine 18/09/09

Pioneering UK Passivhaus certified – article on Denby Dale Passivhaus on BUILDING website 30/04/10


Living in the Denby Dale Passivhaus

The owners of the Denby Dale Passivhaus also write occasional blogs, which chronicle their experiences of living in one of the UK’s first Passivhaus homes. The blogs look at what it is like living with MVHR ventilation and ultra low gas bills and also hopes to answer such things as how to dry towels in a Passivhaus and whether you can open the windows etc.

Video Gallery

The Denby Dale Passivhaus project has won – and been shortlisted for – a number of awards including:

RIBA Yorkshire White Rose Architecture Awards 2010


  • Sustainability Award
  • Housing award
  • Architecture Award (Bronze)
  • Client of the Year Award

More information

Sustainability Awards 2010


  • Sustainable Housing Project of the Year

More information

SUSTAIN Magazine Awards 2011


  • Construction Award

More information

Greenbuild Awards 2012


  • Breakthrough Award

More information

RISE Awards 2015

Research / Innovation / Sustainability / Enterprise:  “Celebrating Research and Development”



  • Sustainable Developments(Domestic & Non Domestic) & Energy


Jonathon porritt, founder director, forum for the future“Great to see the UK’s first Passivhaus using traditional construction techniques – exactly the kind of innovation we need over the next few years in terms of addressing both climate change and fuel poverty.”

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future

Professor wolfgang feist“The Green Building Store team is to be commended for adapting the Passivhaus methodology to British building techniques and for constructing the first Passivhaus using cavity wall construction in Britain. The Denby Dale project has proven that Passivhaus design can be easily adapted to British building techniques. Airtightness is not a myth – the rules of physics are the same everywhere – and wet plaster offers an excellent airtightness barrier for cavity walls, if applied to all surfaces of external walls and connected properly at the joints. The Green Building Store team has done a great job at Denby Dale and also in helping to spread the word about Passivhaus design in the UK. Congratulations!”

Professor Wolfgang Feist – originator of the Passivhaus methodology and founder of the Passivhaus Institut in Germany

Denby dale passivhaus clients“We are delighted with our new house and are very excited to be moving in. Green Building Store and the building team have worked with us to create the style of house we wanted, whilst also meeting the exacting requirements of the Passivhaus standard. We have been delighted both with the design and the quality of the build. It is light, airy and spacious while also using 90% less energy for space heating than standard. We wanted to build a modest house at a modest price that will make significant savings on world resources and are looking forward to living in our comfortable and peaceful new home with minimal fuel bills in our retirement. We have enjoyed the inclusive process of being part of the building team and have been fully involved all the way from our initial discussions in all the stages of the design.”   

Clients Geoff & Kate Tunstall

Councillor mehboob khan, leader of kirklees council“Kirklees Council is at the forefront of local government efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings and we are delighted to have the low energy exemplar Denby Dale Passivhaus project within the Kirklees area. We are fortunate to be able to benefit from Green Building Store’s expertise in this exciting new approach to low energy construction and we hope that the Denby Dale Passivhaus will offer a template for the construction industry to help deal with the urgent problems of climate change and fuel poverty.”

Councillor Mehboob Khan, then Leader of Kirklees Council

“When walking into the house it felt very fresh and cool inside. With the large windows and lack of infiltration I had almost been expecting it to be overheated and stuffy, but this was not the case at all. The house is light and bright inside, whilst the ventilation evidently maintains comfortable conditions. The design is quite simple and after visiting this house I am surprised that more people don’t build this way.”

Kirklees Council Building Control Officer Ruth King on visited the Denby Dale Passivhaus at completion stage.

Register here for a free 40 page technical briefing following all stages of the construction of the Denby Dale Passivhaus, the UK’s first cavity wall Passivhaus. The technical briefing is designed for architects, building professionals and self-builders and complements our blog and technical film.

Terms & Conditions

By completing this form and signing up for the Technical briefing you also sign up to subscribe to our quarterly Technical Resources e-newsletter email sent by Green Building Store (c/o Heath House Mill, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD7 4JW, United Kingdom, The data you submit will be used by Green Building Store to send out its Technical briefing and Technical Resources e-newsletter (up to 4 times a year) including updates on low energy and Passivhaus building, products and services. Your data will only be shared with our customer database and e-marketing software providers for the purposes of sending the booklet and e-newsletters. You can Unsubscribe from the e-newsletter at any time by clicking the Unsubscribe button at the bottom of every email we send out.

Green Building Store is an Efficient Building Solutions business. Your data may be shared with other Efficient Building Solutions businesses. We will never sell your data and your data will be safeguarded in accordance with our Privacy Policy.


Document Download - Denby Dale Passivhaus Technical Briefing:

Please enter your name and email address in order to download the technical document.

Image Gallery


During Construction




Affiliations & Accreditations