Energy Standards Review – Scottish Passivhaus Equivalent: Working Group


In response to Alex Rowley MSP’s Proposed Domestic Building Environmental Standards (Scotland) Bill, in December 2022, the Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights confirmed that the Scottish Government will make legislation by December 2024 to deliver “a Scottish equivalent to the Passivhaus standard”.

This aligns with the Shared Policy Programme agreement on “explicit support for passivhaus and equivalent standards” and the recommendation from our Climate Assembly “to ensure that, within the next 5 years, all new housing is built to Passivhaus standards (or an agreed Scottish equivalent)”.

To develop proposals, a further review of energy standards within building regulations was initiated at the beginning of 2023. The review will consider standards for both new homes and new non-domestic buildings.


A working group to support the next review of energy standards was convened in June 2023, with an initial focus on two key themes:

  • to develop a package of measures that use reliable solutions to optimise building fabric and service performance, reduce delivered energy demand and provide a healthy indoor environment
  • that the design and construction of new buildings must be supported by quality assurance and verification processes that result in buildings that meet the high standards set.

The group’s role is to offer advice and expertise to the Scottish Government to help define how an equivalent to the Passivhaus standard will look in Scotland.

The working group is co-chaired by Stephen Good (Chief Executive of BE-ST) and Stephen Garvin (Head of Building Standards, Scottish Government).


Organisations on the working group will be engaging with their affiliates and members on the review.

Additionally, alongside the working group, the Scottish Government intend to run some wider engagement sessions through 2023 and 2024. If you are interested in attending one of these sessions, please contact with ‘Passivhaus Equivalent Standard’ in the subject title.

Call for evidence – February 2023 design specification

The development of options for the current energy standards review will be based on a clear understanding of what the February 2023 standards deliver in reported outcomes compared to other best practice standards.

The Building Standards Division are inviting those who are currently designing buildings to the February 2023 standards to play a key part in how a Passivhaus equivalent standard may look in Scotland. If you would like to contribute calculated energy performance data and design specifications for buildings being designed to the February 2023 energy standards then please forward these on to or get in touch if you would like more information.

Related groups


  • Building Research Establishment
  • Built Environment – Smarter Transformation
  • Chartered Institute of Building
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
  • Construction Products Association
  • Construction Scotland
  • Federation of Master Builders
  • Homes for Scotland
  • Local Authority Building Standards Scotland
  • Offsite Solutions Scotland
  • Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Rural and Islands Housing Association Forum
  • Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks
  • Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
  • Scottish Futures Trust
  • Scottish Power Energy Networks
  • Scottish Property Federation
  • Structural Timber Association
  • The Building Alliance
  • The Passivhaus Trust
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The University of Strathclyde
  • Wheatley Group
  • Observers from the UK and devolved administrations
  • Scottish Government Officials


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