Blog Post

Ask the Experts: Longtime Phius Practitioners Share Tips on Navigating Project Certification

We asked several experienced Phius professionals for their advice to new Phius CPHCs on project certification and compiled their answers as a resource for those preparing to work on their first project.

By Staff

For new Phius Certified Consultants (CPHCs®), we know the Phius project certification process can appear daunting. That is why we aim to provide our professionals with all the tools and information needed to successfully guide their projects to certification.

You will find a plethora of resources on the Phius website to help guide you through the certification process such as the Certification Support page, Resource Library, Calculators and Protocols page, Phius Certification Guidebook, feasibility study information, our Project Certification Prep Course, and much more. 

We want to go a step further in supporting our less experienced CPHCs, so we asked some of our most experienced practitioners for their advice to those who are new to the Phius project certification process. What we received is a treasure trove of tips, tricks, nuggets and more.

We hope their advice can help to demystify the certification process and serve as a sort of guardrail as you work to certify your project. If you still have questions, you are always welcome to contact us.

To view the responses to each question, simply click the “+” icon next to the question.

Responses were lightly edited for clarity.

Project Certification Tips from Phius Experts

  • John Loercher | Northeast Projects LLC

    Get familiar with the certification guidebook – everything is there. All of the basic information needed about paperwork, timeline, WUFI modeling and even some very specific protocols are outlined clearly in the guidebook. When working on your first WUFI model, have your guidebook by your side and don't forget to turn on your tool tips (options> usability> tool tips) which provides a window with input-specific notes on most information cells in the WUFI model.

    Jordan Goldman | ZeroEnergy Design

    Give yourself plenty of time for the review process. Even if you're very comfortable with WUFI Passive and certification requirements, there are a lot of nuanced items regarding the modeling and certification process that you only learn by going through it. Also, it's always helpful to give yourself as much of a buffer under the certification thresholds as you can. It's much more common for Phius feedback to result in higher numbers than lower numbers.

    Dan Luddy | PAE Consulting Engineers

    Expect several rounds of review on your first project and factor that into the timeframe for approval. Submit for your first round of review by the end of DD, even if not all the final equipment selections are available, since a lot of the first round comments will address overall passive strategies.

    Jeff Geisinger | Utile Design

    Holding a “quick review” consultation with Phius to review my initial energy model was extremely helpful in clarifying any misunderstandings in the modeling process.

    Maciej Konieczny | New Ecology Inc.

    There is a wide variety of professionals that includes architects with 30 years of experience and mechanical engineers newly out of school. In either case, this is an exciting time when one truly begins to understand the implications of the certification program requirements throughout the many building systems. It will be a learning process for you and likely for the entire team so embrace the concept that you will not know the solution right away; the guidebook is your very good friend so utilize it as much as possible. Use the available resources: Phius, online forums, conferences, etc. It’s a very steep learning curve.

    Ken Neuhauser & Team | Building Evolution Corporation
    • Make a checklist. Be prepared to modify the checklist as you go. In time, it will become a valuable tool to help guide your process as well as to help others work with you.
    • Get involved with the design team early. Coach toward enclosure assemblies that work, and away from ones that don’t. The best thermal bridges are ones that don’t exist.
    Thomas Boeman | Boeman Design
    1. I would recommend suggesting to the client that they obtain a Phius feasibility study. This creates a good first pass at the WUFI energy model and helps you understand how Phius will look at the project.
    2. Consult the Phius Certification Guidebook regularly, use it as intended – as your map to certification. 
    3. Visit Phius' calculator and modeling protocols sections of their resource page and look at what's up there. The biggest surprise my first time through is the number of excel spreadsheets that needed to be completed just to calculate a few WUFI Inputs. 
    4. Don't be afraid to ask Phius questions when you're not sure about how something should be modeled (after trying No. 2 and 3 above). Phius wants you to succeed.