ISOPA hosts Passive House grand opening

We believe in the value and essential nature of polyurethanes in meeting Europe’s climate and energy goals, and decided to convey this message by building a living example”, states ISOPA Secretary General Jörg Palmersheim


On 11 December 2013, ISOPA hosted the grand opening of its Polyurethane Passive House in Evere, Brussels, Belgium. The project, started in August 2011, aims to provide a living example of the value and essential nature of polyurethanes, and acts as a call for action to policymakers to meet climate and energy goals by effectively reducing the energy consumption of Europe’s growing building stock.


Global challenges like climate change and limited resources require a significant reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Europe’s building stock consumes 40% of its primary energy; this is more than 70% in the City of Brussels. Better energy performance of buildings could lead to cuts of 450 million tons – 13 per cent – of Europe’s annual CO2 emissions; as a result, energy efficient buildings will have an important part to play in Europe’s sustainable future. With the passive house standard being the world’s leading standard in energy efficient construction, consuming about 85% less energy than conventional modern homes, and polyurethane insulation the material of choice for very low energy buildings across Europe, ISOPA and its member companies decided to construct a family home using polyurethanes for all imaginable applications, ranging from insulation to furniture, to showcase to stakeholders the integral role of the product in meeting climate and energy goals, creating local, green jobs, and in building a better living environment for citizens.

In recognition of the versatility, sustainability and comfort of polyurethanes, the product has been utilised in all conceivable applications. For the insulation, the most important application of polyurethanes in buildings, the ISOPA Polyurethanes Passive House incorporated three types of polyurethane insulation, ranging from rigid foam boards to spray foam to recycled polyurethane granulates. The ISOPA Polyurethanes Passive House further showcases polyurethanes through the use of polyurethane coatings and adhesives, a synthetic polyurethane floor, and polyurethane furniture and bedding, amongst others.

Throughout the project, ISOPA has showcased the Polyurethanes Passive House to policymakers representing European Institutions and several national governments, downstream users and other important stakeholders. According to ISOPA Secretary General Jörg Palmersheim, “the house not only demonstrates the many benefits of polyurethane insulation but acts as a symbol to urge all policymakers to take action. As has been done in Europe’s capital, Brussels, which has emerged as one of the Top 5 ‘passive’ cities in Europe with nearly 800,000 m2 of passive-standard buildings throughout the city, energy efficient buildings must be made the standard; polyurethanes will play an important role in meeting this standard and other goals set by energy efficiency plans like e.g. the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. By committing to an energy efficient Europe we make the first steps towards a greener and more competitive Europe.”

With its completion on 4 November 2013, the ISOPA Polyurethanes Passive House joins a growing movement of over 12,000 passive houses and other low or ultra-low energy buildings across Europe; the first passive house was completed in 1991 in Germany.


Lara Visser
+32 (0) 2 235 09 98