The Conker Way to Build a Passivhaus

Click here to see The NutHaus Approach article.

Posted in: News, Passivhaus

Pedalhaus Goes International

The pedalhaus cycle tours which were the brainchild of Paul Mallion have gone international!

The North American Passive House conference was followed by a Pedalhaus tour led by Vancouver’s Mayor.

Posted in: News, Passivhaus

Passivhaus Certification

Passivhaus DorsetThe Man from Darmstadt he say ‘Ja’

Conker has obtained Passivhaus certification for a new detached house in Dorset.

See project details

Posted in: News, Passivhaus

Construction of Passivhaus Begins

Planning consent was granted in March 2013 for a pair of Passivhauses in Camber, East Sussex.

The buildings will be super insulated, minimising heat losses and maximising passive solar gain and natural daylighting.  The site is very challenging; orientation is opposite to what would be preferable for passive solar design, neighbour amenity issues and flood risk.

Works have now commenced on site.

Posted in: News, Passivhaus

AECB Kent Group


This year’s cycle ride took place on 22nd Sept, starting at Faversham, heading along the North Kent coast to Margate, via Whitstable, calling in at Grey Lyn, a Passivhaus designed by Conker in 2009.

15 AECB members, friends and students gathered at Faversham station for the first short leg to the house. Every type of bike was represented, from mountain bikes to commuters with baskets, but I did note that AECB members prefer a Brooks leather saddle!

Grey Lyn is a self build which has just been completed.  The owners, Justin and Trudy of Invicta Clean Energy gave a great intro to their home, with an honest evaluation of the build process, difficulties encountered, technologies tested, and the finishing touches planned.  The house sits in an infill plot replacing an old bungalow, the site has 37 neighbours, with tricky overlooking and privacy issues, it is in a conservation area, and to top it all, the planners also imposed height restrictions.  These factors were key in evolving the design, along with exploiting the perfect south facing garden.  Being on a former chalk quarry meant that rammed chalk was on the materials menu from the outset, a basement was also created to offset the lack of loft.

After unlimited coffee, tea, flapjacks and biscuits we headed for the famous seaside town of Whitstable, via the coast road.  We lunched at the Tower Hill tea gardens, finishing off their stocks of sandwiches and cake, enjoying the gardens and sea view.   Some departed to visit the town, or take a short cut home.  A small group of us carried on along the coast path with the wind behind us, past Herne Bay, the Roman towers at Reculver, and finally to Margate, which greeted us with the sight of the new Turner Contemporary Gallery (hopefully a future AECB visit).

We finished the day by finding a great chippy near the harbour, before heading to the station.  Amazingly Laura Trott, the olympic cyclist gave me a lift home, or at least a high speed train named in her honour!

Paul Mallion, Kent Group Leader

Front elevationPedalhaus Tour - Arriving at Grey Lyn PassivhausAECB members and friends inside on the stairsPedalhaus Tour - Viewing Rear Elevation

Posted in: AECB, Events, Passivhaus

Faversham Passivhaus

Work is progressing on site for a new 4 bedroom passivhaus in Faversham.  Conker managed to obtain planning permission in December 2008 for the site in a dense residential area of the town centre, which suffered from considerable overlooking.  This was partly due to a considerate and responsive design solution, partly due to the hard work by the client in liaising with the 32 neighbours, and partly due to a very positive and constructive planning department at Swale Borough Council.

As the client is a specialist in renewable energy, the scheme naturally includes solar PV, solar thermal, plus pipework underground for testing heat pumps and ground cooling systems.

Image of Front Elevation Works in progress - front elevation Front Elevation Rendered Image of Rear of Building Rear Elevation Rendered

Posted in: News, Passivhaus

UK’s First Certified Passivhaus Industrial Building


Posted in: News, Passivhaus

Passivhaus Hub Event 3


This one day conference  held at Hadlow College Rural Regeneration Centre on 8 December 2011  focused on the planning policy and aesthetic issues which affect all new and refurbished buildings.

Paul Mallion explained the Passivhaus standard.  Other topics covered  included the current energy framework for planning and building regulations; retrofit of existing buildings to EnerPHit standard and case studies of completed Passivhaus buildings in the UK and across Europe.  A tour of Hadlow’s Passivhaus teaching block was also included, discussing how the standard was met in that instance.

Posted in: Events, Passivhaus

Passivhaus Hub Event 2
The Passivhaus Standard in Affordable Housing

This conference was held at Hadlow College Rural Regeneration Centre, a certified Passivhaus building on 18 October 2011.

The architect and builder gave a presentation about the building.

The event was chaired by the energetic Professor Ian Swingland OBE, and included 6 speakers.

Paul Mallion explained the Passivhaus standard.  Other topics covered included the regulatory framework, passivhaus products, construction, costs and research into retrofit.

Feedback was very good – see graph attached (note speaker number 2!).

The event was over subscribed and there is a waiting list for the follow up event.

Posted in: Events, Passivhaus

PassivHaus Hub Launch Event

The PassivHaus launch event on Sustainable Solutions for Passive Design took place at The Building Centre, Store Street, London WC1E on Tuesday 13th September 2011.

The event attracted over 30 attendees.

It was chaired by Gary Newman of Plant Fibre Technology and speakers included:-

Posted in: Events, Passivhaus

Certified Passivhaus Designer

After many years of promoting and practicing the passivhaus standard, Paul Mallion has taken the Passivhaus Institute exam and passed.

He is now recognised by the PHI and is listed on the database, one of only 3 chartered surveyors in the UK and Ireland.

Posted in: News, Passivhaus

Greendale Studio

Published in Green Building Magazine summer 2011.

Paul Mallion gives a designers perspective on a passivhaus light industrial unit.



Posted in: Passivhaus, Published Articles

March 2010 Award Winners

Conker win the Special Award for Sustainability, Residential Category in the Kent Design Awards 2009/10.

Award Winners

Click here to see  Award Project

The Award was for the Green House, Shepherdswell,  near Dover, which was recognised by the judges as being the first house in Kent designed to Passivhaus principles, using the PassivHaus Planning Package 2004 software.  Conker beat off stiff competition for the award, including a project featured on Grand Designs.  The judging panel recognised that embarking on a passivhaus design in 2007 was a brave move by the client, when products and experience in the UK were still in their infancy.  They were also impressed by the fact the high thermal performance was achieved using conventional UK methods, such as cavity wall and timber frame, rather than costly specialist systems.

Conker used experience gained on the Pines Calyx , designed in 2004/2005 to Passivhaus principles, to detail the thermal junctions, windows and doors.  We have since refined these into a library of passivhaus details for cavity walls, timber frame, solid walls, in both new build and retrofit.

Posted in: Awards, Passivhaus


In June 2009, Paul Mallion becomes the first surveyor in Kent to receive his Certificate of Completion for the AECB Carbonlite PassivHaus Planning Training.

Posted in: Passivhaus