Passivhaus design examples

Some examples of Passivhaus style centres

When you spend enough time looking over Passivhaus designs you start to see some common design elements in these centres.  Here is a list of some centres that are either official Passivhaus designs or are designs that have been influenced by this philosophy. 

The centres are characterised by:

  • high thermal integrity
  • very low energy usage
  • low ceilings
  • minimal glazing
  • no skylights
  • clear roof surfaces
  • concealed ducting
  • minimalist finishes
  • low energy lighting


Lunen aquatic centre Germany

The design of the building commenced in 2009 and was completed in 2013. The centre was measured for performance in 2013 and then a second set of measurements was taken and a report of recommendations was produced in 2018. 

Bamberg aquatic centre Germany

We don’t have as much data on this centre as I suspect it has not performed as well as the Lunen centre. 

Holmen aquatic centre Norway

This centre is built overlooking a fjord. As such, the centre is designed to be used by indoor patrons and outdoor patrons who can use the roof in summer as a viewing platform and picnic area. This centre features solar PV panels on one side of the building as well as roof mounted panels. They have made a short video that proves again that architects should not make VIDEOS. You can see the details HERE.  

St Sidwell's Point aquatic centre Exeter

The first Passivhaus aquatic centre designed outside of Germany the centre will be powered by gas until the City of Exeter completes their district heating system. Once the DHS has been completed the centre will be connected up to that. This will take the energy efficiency from 375kWh/sqm/year down to a much lower figure. You can see a video of the  centre HERE

London Olympic centre 2012

This centre was built in an ‘energy precinct’ for the London 2012 Olympics by Zaha Hadid. It was one of the last projects completed by this iconic architect. 

The centre is remarkable as it was designed to be expanded for the games and then reduced for normal patronage. Some aspects are low energy and some are pure bling. However the centre does prove that low energy can work in a large competition venue. There is a good video that explains the site CONSTRAINTS. This video redeems the efforts of architects as it is very insightful. You can read the detailed study of the centre HERE.  Finally a user’s video of how the centre presents as a parent and a VISITOR to the site.