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Supporting Extinction Rebellion’s Goals with Passivhaus Construction

Published on by Bow Tie Construction

If you’ve missed coverage of Extinction Rebellion’s protests you must be living in a cave with no wi-fi.

Maybe you have been to one and partaken in mass peaceful protest against the continuing ecocide?

“This is an emergency and for emergency situations we need emergency action.” 

– Ban Ki-Moon, former UN Secretary General

All of us at Bow Tie Construction are deeply motivated to push construction in the right direction to safeguard our living planet.

We are inspired by XR’s approach of mass disruption to get attention and to clearly communicate to the government that they are not doing enough to mitigate and reverse climate destruction.

We support XR’s demands:

  • That Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency as the Mayor of London has already done (link to Twitter). We reached out to the mayor’s office and he sent two members of his team to see our work to help shape policy on eco-retrofits.
  • We all must Act Now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. Building off-grid homes and making this service available to the general public is BTC’s contribution and mission. We recommend reading the Passivhaus Trust guide to Net Zero buildings.
  • Government must create and be led y the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice. As well as briefing the Mayor of London’s team we have also visited BEIS to share knowledge on eco-retrofitting to help shape government policy on bringing the UK’s existing property stock down to net-zero carbon by 2050. BEIS also visited an exhibition we put together on Passivhaus. We feel a citizen’s assembly would be even more effective in setting binding agreements to push this through.

XR have put together an overwhelming body of evidence climate emergency the repeated failure of governments worldwide to take action. We note that in 1992 the Union of Concerned Scientists penned the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”. The Passivhaus standard was released in 1996.

The current estimate is that 45% of the UK’s carbon output results from us heating our buildings.

Passivhaus has consistently proven itself as one of the only building standards that performs post-construction within 5% of its predicted energy usage in the design phase. It’s fabric first approach to insulation and draughtproofing is fabulously low-tech and could be learned by any builder with an interest in upskilling and building better.

Communities worldwide that have mandated Passivhaus include:

  • Brussels, Dublin, Oslo, several German and Austrian regions and cities,

Those that incentivised adoption of Passivhaus include:

  • Vancouver & New York.

Sweden ranks very highly on all sustainability indexes with Malmo and Stockholm rated as some of the most sustainable cities in the world.

Sweden responded to the late 70s oil crisis by tightening up its building regulations, and bringing its draughtproofness requirements close to those required by Passivhaus. England responded by subsiding fuel costs to its citizens! A very backwards approach if you ask us.

Lets combat fuel poverty and ecocide simultaneously by building the most energy-efficient buildings we can using low-carbon materials.

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