We did it (insert exuberant emoji here)! In collaboration with our amazing set of partners, GBA has successfully delivered the first locally taught Passive House training in Western Pennsylvania–40 hours and five jam-packed days taught by Western Pennsylvanians themselves. Before we do a little horn tooting, a huge thank you goes out to the organizations that helped make this possible:
- Passive House of Western Pennsylvania: This nonprofit, volunteer only organization has partnered with GBA since 2014 — and continues to provide invaluable partnership to ensure Passive House is successful here. Thank you, PHWPA!
- West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund: Without WPPSEF‘s funding support, this endeavor would have only been a good idea instead of a successfully executed program; thank goodness for their ability to share our vision of how the future can (literally) be built more efficiently.
- Passive House Academy: International Passive House pioneers, these Irish experts came to Pittsburgh not only trained our 7 local trainers (and 11 others), and continue to provide training support and content.
- Passive House Institute: Based in Germany, this interdisciplinary research group created the original Passive House concept – and continues to support the standard with well-researched building science. PHI’s annual conference and Train the Trainer course also provided an excuse for our 7 local trainers to go to Vienna to complete their training.
- North American Passive House Network: Is dedicated to bringing quality Passive House education to the U.S. by working with local organizations and it is through this collaboration that training content was provided.
Sometimes good ideas take time to implement — and this one was no exception. In 2015, GBA and PHWPA shared a vision in GBA’s small (but LEED Platinum) space of the South Side. That vision was bestowed the gifts it needed to succeed, and we created a vetting process to ensure we would select the best trainers in the land (of WPA). With support from others, we chose seven trainers (the original budget was for three, but we couldn’t leave good men and women behind) who stuck with us through a long, international process, devoting a significant amount of their “free” time to ensuring the success of Passive House credential trainings in Western Pennsylvania.
As the demand for Passive House continues to increase locally, nationally, and internationally, GBA and PHWPA are committed to training both designers and builders in high efficiency building methods, ensuring that projects can be conceptualized and physically built by local teams. Feel free to reach out to us directly if you are interested in learning more — and keep your eyes peeled for events on GBA’s calendar!
As we all know, every building aspiring towards measurable high performance fosters the development of a more sustainable and resilient built environment here and elsewhere. We are all a part of that effort — and on behalf of all GBA’s partners above, we thank you for pushing the standards of healthy, high performance building in Pennsylvania and beyond.