PHIUS to launch North American passive building standard at March 25 event at the Bullitt Center (Seattle)

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PHIUS+ 2015 expected to trigger broad market adoption of passive building principles and net zero goals

PHIUS (Passive House Institute US) announced today that Executive Director Katrin Klingenberg will formally launch the new PHIUS+ 2015 passive building standard on March 25 at Seattle’s Bullitt Center.

The event, cosponsored by PHIUS/PHAUS, the passive building research institute and alliance, and Sam Hagerman, past president of PHAUS and owner of passive builder Hammer & Hand, marks implementation of the new energy performance targets in the PHIUS+ project certification program. PHIUS+ is the leading passive building certification program in North America.

“For years we have worked to increase awareness and market penetration of the passive building concept in North America,” said Hagerman. “The new PHIUS+ 2015 standard is a giant leap in this process.”

Klingenberg will give a brief overview of the impetus for the new standard, as well as a capsule summary of what’s new and what’s better. She will be available for questions afterward.

PHIUS+ 2015 Launch Party
Wednesday, March 25, 7-9pm (kicks off with beer & wine reception)
at The Bullitt Center’s Discovery Commons Exhibition Hall
1501 E Madison Street, Seattle
RSVP at http://bit.ly/phiusevent

(CPHCs who attend will earn a CPHC CEU unit.)

PHIUS+ 2015 gives designers and builders a powerful new tool: A building energy performance target that’s in the “sweet spot” where cost effectiveness overlaps with aggressive energy and carbon reduction. As such, it promises to ignite tremendous growth in the application of passive building principles.

Formally known as PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard: North America, the standard is the product of nearly three years of research conducted by the PHIUS Technical Committee in partnership with Building Science Corporation under a U.S. Department of Energy Building America grant. The effort employed the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s BEopt tool (a cost-optimizing software tool) to develop optimized design guidelines for use in North America’s wide-ranging climate zones.

Passive building has gained great attention in recent years because of its potential for reducing carbon levels and mitigating climate change, for comfort and resiliency, and for saving energy costs in general. But the adoption of passive principles—superinsulation, airtight envelope, energy recovery ventilation, e.g—has been slower than hoped because of cost and other disincentives.

The new formula and standards remove those obstacles. In addition, passive building is increasingly being adopted as a platform for achieving Net Zero or Net Positive buildings—by reducing building energy requirements from the start, it brings those targets well within reach. The U.S. DOE recognized the synergy between Net Zero and passive building by partnering with PHIUS from 2012 onward. Buildings that earn PHIUS+ certification also earn the U.S. DOE’s Zero Energy Home Ready label. Since the partnership, PHIUS+ certifications have increased exponentially, and the new standard promises to not only sustain but also dramatically increase that growth.

PHIUS plans to update the formula every three-to-five years to reflect changes in energy and materials costs, as well as climatic changes.

The March 25 event comes on the eve of the annual Passive House Northwest conference, PHnw6, March 26 and 27 at Bell Harbor International Conference Center. More information about that conference is at http://www.phnw.org/2015-annual-conference

About PHIUS

PHIUS is a 501(c)3 organization committed to making high-performance passive building the mainstream market standard. PHIUS is transforming the building sector by developing and promoting North American specific standards, practices, and certifications for buildings, professionals, and products to create structures that are durable, comfortable, healthy, and super energy efficient.

Founded in 2007, PHIUS has trained more than 1,800 architects, engineers, energy consultants, energy raters, and builders. It also is the leading passive building research and information provider in North America. PHIUS has also established strategic relationships with key organizations including the U.S. Department of Energy, RESNET, Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture, Parsons The New School for Design, University of Oregon, Habitat for Humanity, Rocky Mountain Institute, and many others.

Through its PHAUS program (Passive House Alliance US) – a membership/chapter organization, PHIUS is building a robust national alliance of local passive building communities. PHAUS has hundreds of members, 20 regional chapters, and dozens of corporate sponsors—and the numbers are growing.

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Michael Knezovich
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