Green Building Alliance is thrilled to receive a $25,000 grant from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund to educate building owners about the benefits of net zero energy and Passive House methods, train students and practitioners for commercial sector implementation of these approaches, and deliver Certified Passive House Designer trainings through the Passive House Institute and Passive House Academy. In collaboration with Passive House of Western Pennsylvania (PHWPA), GBA is also creating a regional cluster of CPHD Trainers who will be able to provide ongoing education that meets the increasing demand for international Passive House professionals. A portion of the Trainers’ training costs will be covered by the WPPSEF grant.
“By providing targeted education about Passive House and net zero energy, GBA hopes to create greater demand for high performance buildings, while also growing the base of professionals who can technically support these forward-thinking structures in a marketplace that’s mindful and proactive about its performance,” said Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Executive Director and Vice President of Innovation at GBA. “Western Pennsylvania has long been a hub of green building adopters, but reaching higher levels of measured performance through efforts like Passive House and net zero energy is required for the region to continue to be efficient, competitive, and responsible.”
Passive House is an ultra-low energy building standard requiring minimal energy for heating, cooling and ventilating buildings. More than 30,000 projects are certified under the international standard, which became popular in Germany in the 1990s. More recently, Passive House Institute U.S. created a U.S.-centric standard, under which 126 certified or pre-certified projects exist, four of which are in Western Pennsylvania. GBA and PHWPA will offer a public Certified Passive House Designer training by Passive House Academy trainers in the Pittsburgh area in September 2016 and spring 2017.
Regarding net zero energy buildings, which produce as much energy on-site as they use, GBA has a Race to Zero Energy series focused on this topic, with the second of four events scheduled for June 23 regarding Technologies & Products: Enabling Building Performance. With WPPSEF support, GBA will continue to offer more and deeper education about passive, technological, renewable, behavioral, and financing approaches to achieving net zero energy buildings.
“This project with Green Building Alliance fits well into the mission of the WPPSEF, helping a nonprofit in the high performance building sector to educate and create demand for net zero energy buildings and Passive House design, construction and certification, and we are delighted to lend a hand to GBA as it advances its mission through a variety of trainings and ongoing education,” said Joel Morrison, Director of WPPSEF.
All these efforts will help GBA and Western Pennsylvania catalyze local application of ultra-high performance design, construction, and operation methods, resulting in a healthier and higher performing region.
About West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund
The West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) is a nonprofit organization that invests in the deployment of sustainable energy technologies that benefit West Penn Power ratepayers in Pennsylvania. WPPSEF investments are focused in three broad categories: deployment of sustainable and clean energy technologies; deployment of energy efficiency and conservation technologies; and facilitating economic development, environmental betterment, and public education as they relate to sustainable energy deployment in the WPP service region.