Passive House

Passive HouseThe Passivhaus standard was developed in Germany in the early 1990s and the first dwellings to be completed to the Passivhaus Standard were constructed in Darmstadt in 1991.

On this side of the pond, the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) was founded in 2007 and offers a stateside Passive House certification.  The original International Passive House Association offers certification for Passive Houses worldwide – including the United States.

As is often the case – a bit has been lost in translation, from Passivhaus to Passive House.  Passive House is neither just for houses nor are the buildings completely passive.

The “passive” in “passive house” refers to achieving overall energy savings of 60%-70% and 90% of space heating without applying expensive “active” technologies such as photovoltaics or solar thermal hot water systems.  Energy losses are minimized and gains are maximized.

The PHIUS+ Certification program combines a thorough passive house design verification protocol with a stringent quality assurance and quality control program performed on-site by highly skilled and specialized PHIUS+ Raters.  The two main components of the PHIUS + certification process are:

  1. Certification based on the energy model
    Requires: Energy model, drawings, specifications, etc.
  2. On-site quality assurance and quality control
    Requires: On-site verification of the construction, blower door test, ventilation balancing and commissioning, and a HERS Index Score.
To discover more about this certification, visit the PHIUS website, which includes:

  • A step-by-step process for certification
  • Listings of certified projects and PHIUS professionals
  • News and events

Information for becoming a Certified PHIUS builder, Consultant, or Rater can also be found on GBA’s Professional Accreditation page.


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