Welsh social housing to embrace passive house, timber & life cycle assessment

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United Kingdom


Passive House Plus

The Welsh government has issued a new standard for social housing that requires an embodied carbon assessment, favours timber-based offsite construction, and bans fossil fuel boilers.

Homes built under the Welsh Development Quality Requirements (WDQR) 2021 have to be highly energy efficient, with efficiency equivalent to an energy performance certificate (EPC) of A, using a fabric first approach. But they do not have to use SAP: other energy demand metrics, such as passive house certification, are also permitted.

The requirements apply to all publicly funded affordable housing. But the hope is that a version of this standard will go on to apply to all new housing in Wales. The requirements were welcomed by Gary Newman, chief executive of forestry and timber campaign group Woodknowledge Wales, as “quite an incredible standard”.

At the Woodbuild 2021 event organised by Woodknowledge Wales, Welsh government architect Campbell Lammie, a lead author of the requirements, said they were intended to favour the use of local timber “while still being as open and non-prescriptive as possible”.


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