Help Make Passive Building Mainstream Support 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.

PHIUS (Passive House Institute US, Inc.) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to making high-performance passive building the mainstream market standard. PHIUS trains and certifies professionals, maintains the PHIUS+ climate-specific passive building standard, certifies and quality assures passive buildings, and conducts research to advance high-performance building. Buildings that meet the PHIUS+ standard use 40-60 percent less energy for space conditioning than conventional buildings. PHIUS+ buildings provide superior indoor air quality, resilience during power outages, and an extremely quiet, comfortable indoor environment. Project teams are increasingly adopting passive building principles and the PHIUS+ standard for single-family, multifamily, and commercial construction to achieve Net Zero buildings. 

Brief History

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.

The Smith House, Klingenberg's passive house residence, Urbana, Ill.
As interest in passive building grew in North America, Klingenberg and Kernagis oversaw the transformation and expansion of e-colab into 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 first passive building standard 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 targeted the sweet spot between investment in conservation and payback, guiding designers to achieve the most comfortable, energy efficient and cost-effective building possible. Passive building principles and the PHIUS+ standard also provide the best path to achieving zero energy and carbon. 

Based on exhaustive modeling across climate zones, PHIUS has since released the updated PHIUS+ 2018 standard. It retains climate-specific, cost effective targets, with further guidance for large buildings, and a continuing evolution toward Net Zero.


  • PHIUS has certified or pre-certified 4.2 million square feet projects
  • That total includes 100 multifamily totaling 2.7+ million sf
  • PHIUS has pre-certified or certified projects in 37 states and provinces in North America

PHIUS is the leading provider of passive building professional training the the leading project certification project body in North America.

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, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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