This report analyses the definition of a Zero Carbon building in the UK and compares national Building Regulations in Zero Carbon building with a Passivhaus Classic and renewables. The report highlights problems such as the performance gap, seasonal energy storage, and limits to deploying renewable energy. It sproposes Passivhaus as a feasible way to achieve Zero Carbon without massive renewable energy expansion coupled with a significant investment in grid capacity.
Recent reports have forecasted that there are only few years left to reduce emissions enough to avoid a catastrophic rise in global temperatures. Significantly reducing the emissions of the building stock is key to make a meaningful contribution and would lead by example for the many countries struggling to understand how to reduce emissions sufficiently. Many cities and regions are already moving towards a Zero Carbon goal for new housing to achieve genuine emissions reductions.