Frankfurt Germany's Passivehouse Capital

Over the past ten years some 800 passivehouses, including two schools, comprising a floor area of more than 100.000m2 have been built in Frankfurt am Main. The saying is that "whoever builds to less than passivehouse standard only have themselves to blame..." - and will regret it as energy prices rise in the future.

Frankfurt's energy and environmental policies have for a number of years been based on energy efficiency and saving energy - rather than generating more energy. The connection between electricity generation and heat given by the laws of physics have led to considerable expansion of Frankfurt's district heating systems since 1990 as well as installation of some 150 co-generation (CHP) plants connected to small heating networks. The technical breakthrough leading to the passivehouse standard came later.

Politically, the governing coalition between the Green and the Conservatives have cemented the passivehouse standard as the official building quality requirement for public buildings. Additionally, anybody purchasing development land owned by the city must undertake to build to at least passivehouse standard. When new leases for office buildings are contracted these must either already adhere to the PH standard or an agreement for energetic renovation must be undertaken. New tall buildings in Frankfurt must have a primary energy requirement of less than 150 kWh/m2a, of which at least 50% must be generated sustainably. These buildings must be built to passivehouse standard of course.

Some public money is available for renovation and new construction to passivehouse standard.

For further information visit Frankfurt's Climate Protection City Plan.

Now, who will become the UK's Passivehouse Capital?