Mission and History of PHIUS
PHIUS launched Passive House Alliance US (PHAUS) in 2010 as a non-profit membership-based organization to support the growing network of passive building communities across North America. PHAUS has over 800 members across 18 regional chapters nationwide and dozens of corporate sponsors.
PHIUS is focused on research, training curriculum, and technical standards, whereas PHAUS focuses on outreach and building community among practitioners and manufacturers. The PHAUS program is governed by a council and committee structure, and its Executive Committee sits on the PHIUS board. PHAUS collaborates with PHIUS to present the annual North American Passive House Conference (NAPHC) and offers a variety of professional development opportunities throughout the year.
Our mission is to develop and promote North American passive building standards, practices, and certifications for buildings, professionals, and products to create structures that are durable, resilient, comfortable, healthy, and super energy efficient.
Passive House Institute US, Inc. (PHIUS) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to making high-performance passive building the mainstream market standard.
PHIUS' roots trace back to 2003, when Katrin Klingenberg designed and built her own passive house residence in Urbana, Illinois – the very first home in the United States built to the passive building energy standard. Her experience led her to co-found e-cological Construction Laboratory (e-colab) with builder Mike Kernagis in 2003 as a non-profit affordable housing developer in Urbana, Illinois to further investigate the feasibility of applying passive building principles in the United States. Working in partnership with the City of Urbana, e-colab became a Community Home Development Organization (CHDO) and built single-family passive house projects as affordable housing units.
As interest in passive building grew in North America, Klingenberg and Kernagis oversaw the expansion of e-colab into Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) in 2007. PHIUS is now the leading passive building standard setting, research and information provider, training, and certification institute in North America. PHIUS supports and inspires the growing community of passive building professionals and guides large-scale market transformation in the North American building industry.
PHIUS released the PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard in March of 2015, the only passive building standard on the market based upon climate-specific comfort and performance criteria, and the only passive building standard that requires onsite QA/QC for certification. Developed in cooperation with Building Science Corporation under a US Department of Energy (DOE) grant, the PHIUS+ 2015 standard targets the sweet spot between investment and payback to present an affordable solution to achieving the most comfortable and cost-effective building possible and the best path for achieving zero energy and carbon. Buildings designed and built to this standard perform 60-85% better (depending on climate zone and building type) on an energy consumption basis when compared to a code compliant building (International Energy Conservation Code IECC 2009).
PHIUS+ Certified and Pre-Certified projects now total more than 1.1 million square feet across 1,200 units nationwide. The cost-optimized PHIUS+ 2015 Standard is spurring new growth in passive buildings from coast to coast, with the most significant gains coming from the multifamily housing sector.
In addition to the DOE, PHIUS has also established strategic relationships with key organizations including RESNET and the Home Innovation Research Labs, among others. The organization has received funding from the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.