State Capitol Building, Austin, Texas

Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) has designed a variety of tools to help policymakers, housing agencies, and energy program managers incentivize passive buildings.

During the initial RFP phase, program managers can take advantage of PHIUS’ low-cost feasibility study by requiring applicants to submit their initial schematic designs to PHIUS as part of the proposal to have reasonable assurance that a project will be able to meet the passive building performance standards.

Once projects have been selected and funding has been awarded, the program manager can verify that a project is enrolled in the certification program via the online PHIUS Projects Database, which lists all registered projects with their assigned project number, level of progress, and certification status.

Before embarking on the development of a passive building incentive program, program managers should first familiarize themselves with the design and certification process for passive buildings. It is strongly recommended that passive building incentive programs require full PHIUS+ 2015 Certification, since PHIUS+ protocols are the only passive building certification that requires industry accepted best practices and building science according to the Department of Energy, and the only passive building certification system that integrates a third party quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) requirement.

The rigorous QA/QC process associated with full certification verifies that built projects achieve modeled levels of performance, thereby assuring program managers of reaching their program goals. A number of programs across the country now incentivize passive building including the Enterprise Foundation, which actively incentivizes PHIUS+ 2015 certification under their 2015 Green Communities Criteria used by affordable housing agencies in 22 states across the country, and various other housing finance agencies and major cities like New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle directly encourage developers to pursue PHIUS+ 2015 certification. 

PHIUS staff worked directly with the City of Seattle to include PHIUS+ 2015 certification in their Priority Green Expedited permit-expediting program, with the NYC Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) organization in the development of their SustaiNYC RFP, and with the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation in the development of their Net Zero Energy Building Program.

Reach out to us for assistance or feedback on your program design. We are here to help!

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