For Richard Dudzicki the process of building a Passivhaus for his own family is an R&D experiment and the culmination of a lifelong commitment to sustainable design.

Inspired by my architect father, I developed appreciation for design as a young boy on countless family holidays riding in a Citroen DS (father hated flying) around Europe exploring cathedrals. For me, revitalizing older buildings and saving the carbon footprint is more interesting than tearing down and starting fresh. There’s no reason to make London look war-torn with demolition rather than appreciating its history and building upon it to meet today’s living standards. For over 25 years, I have thrived on solving the technical details involved in repurposing older structures, breathing new life into them while thinking innovatively and developed a passion for Passivhaus principles rooted in my drive to deliver buildings that are sustainable and ecologically sound.

When my 17-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son challenged me to design a Passivhaus for our home, I was ready. Treating the family house project as a large R&D experiment, I analyzed what systems would work best to make his vision a reality and ensure an EnerPHit home. I’m converting my office building, a 120-year-old commercial timber yard, into a comfortable home. This includes digging out the basement, raising the roof and installing skylights and shutters to let light in and control the glare. We’re eight weeks from moving in.

The benefits of Passivhaus are enormous including giving the family freedom to breathe clean air, preventing hay fever and allergies and eliminating soot and pollution. We will live without drafts and chills so common in London and the triple-glazed windows will block out noise even from the surrounding airports. I’ve included storage for bicycles and electric motorbikes instead of a garage as the country heads to Net Zero and can even charge my 10-year-old IMIEV electrical car via the lamppost outside.

I hope others will embrace Passivhaus design and create sustainable buildings. It’s a win-win situation for ourselves, our clients and the environment. We should all look toward the future while preserving the past, focusing on enriching the lives of our families, appreciating our rich culture and design history and protecting our planet.

Richard Dudzicki
South East London