Architects & Engineers

Orchards at Orenco Architects & Engineers

Successful delivery of a passive building requires close collaboration of all project team members and good cooperation between the design and construction professionals on the project. Implementing industry best-practices in “design-build” and “integrated-project-delivery” processes are crucial to achieving passive building levels of performance.

The PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard provides a strong foundation for architects and engineers to achieve the best results on their project via the following benefits: 

1. PHIUS+ 2015 is simple and straightforward and applies to all building types and climate zones: 

Five basic criteria guide the design of passive buildings for nearly all building types: 1) Continuous Insulation, 2) Airtight Construction, 3) Optimized Window Performance & Solar Gains, 4) Balanced Heat & Moisture Recovery Ventilation, 5) Minimized Mechanical Systems. PHIUS+ 2015 Certified projects that zero out their source energy demand with renewables are also eligible to receive PHIUS+ Source Zero certification.

2. Work with PHIUS, the most experienced passive building research institute in North America:  

Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) is the leading passive building certification and standard-setting organization in North America, and has Certified and Pre-Certified over 1 million square feet of passive buildings across 1,200 units nationwide. PHIUS has the longest track record of dedication to passive building solutions using North American building science, construction materials, and processes for cost optimal results.

3. Apply climate-specific comfort and cost calibration on the best path to zero energy:

The PHIUS+ 2015 Standard makes passive building affordable by targeting the sweet spot between investment and payback to present a cost-effective solution to achieving the most comfortable and efficient building possible for a given climate and location, while also offering the best path for achieving zero energy and carbon. Passive buildings consume so little energy that with the addition of a small renewable energy system they can achieve net-zero or even net-positive levels of performance.

4. Model performance with WUFI, the state of the art passive building energy modeling tool: 

WUFI® Passive is the most powerful passive building-modeling tool on the market. Developed by Fraunhofer IBP in collaboration with PHIUS and Owens Corning, this user-friendly software is uniquely suited to North America's varying climate zones. WUFI Passive calculates whole building energy balances, assesses 3-d thermal bridges, and performs hygrothermal verifications of all envelope components. It has a static and dynamic mode and is capable of multi-zone modeling for large buildings – very useful for multifamily projects. The dynamic mode allows thermal comfort verification by zone. The tool has been validated under ASHRAE Standard 140. To learn more, visit the WUFI Passive section of this site.

5. Achieve unmatched quality assurance and third party verification of design and as-built performance:

PHIUS’ staff has many years of experience in building science, energy modeling, and passive building design, and has reviewed over 1,000 projects across a variety of climate zones and building types including residential, commercial, retrofit, mixed-use, and multifamily. The PHIUS certification team works collaboratively with the project’s lead CPHC and contributes as an additional expert team member. PHIUS+ certification provides the third-party performance verification typically required by the programs, utilities, and government agencies incentivizing passive building.

6. PHIUS+ Certified projects meet other industry-leading high-performance building standards:

The PHIUS+ 2015 Standard is being co-promoted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) as the next level of high-performance building standards. PHIUS+ 2015 certification requires that in addition to meeting passive building standards and principles, projects must also comply with DOE-accepted performance practices including the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor airPLUS and WaterSense program requirements. PHIUS+ 2015 certified residential projects also qualify for the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program.

7. Receive support from the PHIUS Expert Technical Committee:

The PHIUS Technical Committee includes leading national and international building science experts and the most experienced passive-building practitioners in North America. The Technical Committee advises PHIUS and its staff on technical inquiries, testing protocols, standard development, and certification protocols.

8. Join a robust community of North American passive building practitioners:

Through its Passive House Alliance US (PHAUS) program, a membership-based chapter organization with over 800 members across 18 regional chapters and dozens of corporate sponsors, PHIUS is building a robust support network of local regional passive building communities across North America. Members collaborate, share resources, and attend regional meetups and the annual North American Passive House Conference (NAPHC).

PHIUS also provides professional training for Certified Passive House Consultants (CPHC®), Builders, and Raters through in-depth instruction on passive building principles and design, building science, modeling, and ongoing professional development opportunities.

Accurate product data is essential to building accurate energy models. To that end, PHIUS has performance verified over thirty North American and European windows; information is available in the online PHIUS Product Data Certification database. PHIUS has also evaluated the efficiency ratings of various North American ventilation units as rated by the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) for residential applications and by Air to Air Regenerative Heat Exchanger (AARE) for commercial units. PHIUS provides adjusted efficiencies for passive building modeling for these units on the PHIUS website.

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