WUFI Passive: One giant leap for passive buildings!

We learned long ago that North America’s climate extremes present critical challenges for passive house designers — the need for cooling and dehumidification are bigger issues here than in Central Europe, for example. That’s why WUFI/ORNL/IBP and WUFI Pro have become essential complementary tools for many CPHCs.

Screenshot of WUFI Passive interface

Well, we have some exciting news–PHIUS has collaborated with the renowned Fraunhofer IBP to create WUFI Passive. This powerful new, commercial-grade, user-friendly software tool combines passive energy modeling with the WUFI’s hygrothermal modeling capabilities.

Fraunhofer brought its considerable software chops and building science experience; PHIUS added years of passive house experience and data gained designing, building, and monitoring passive projects in a wide range of climate zones.

The result is the WUFI Passive–the next generation tool for passive house!

Read more about it here at Fraunhofer IBP.

See WUFI Passive for yourself at the 7th Annual North American Passive House Conference in Denver, September 27-30

And join us in Denver for the WUFI+ coming out party:

  • A full day WUFI Passive Preconference workshop, Thursday, Sept. 27, has been devoted to the new tools. (Requires registration for both morning and afternoon segments.) The sessions will be taught by PHIUS instructors, Florian Antretter (who leads WUFI Passive development for Fraunhofer IBP) and Achilles Karagiosis (of Owens Corning, who is also on the development team).
  • The Main Conference sessions include a Friday segment presented by members of the WUFI Passive development team.
  • PHIUS/PHAUS will be running a demonstration version in the exhibit hall.

There are still slots for attendees and exhibitors, but time’s running out—register now!

Certified Passive House Consultant Training at MIT!

I’m happy — and proud — to announce we will offer our nine-day Certified Passive House

Consultant (CPHC) training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology! Phase I runs May 29-June 2, Phase II runs June 18-21.

The MIT-hosted program is a byproduct of our ongoing efforts to meet the challenges that passive house designers face in North America. One critical challenge is the moisture performance of a superinsulated wall. The correct design and choice of materials are probably the  most difficult aspects of passive housing in North America, where humidity and cooling requirements are big issues in many regions.

To meet the challenge, we are working with the Fraunhofer Institute, a global energy research and consulting leader, to incorporate in our training an in-depth introduction to WUFI (WUFI is a hygrothermal modeling tool developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in partnership with Fraunhofer).

Fraunhofer has a relationship with MIT and helped facilitate MIT’s hosting of the upcoming training.

Historical Tidbit:

For those of you who know the full history of passive house, being at M.I.T. has special signifcance. William Shurcliff, whose pioneering work preceded and helped lay the foundation for passive house, worked at M.I.T. and Harvard for many years.

Other Training Updates for 2012

  • A beefed up segment on hygrothermal building science and an introduction to modeling using the ORNL/Fraunhofer WUFI tool. Students learn to design superinsulated wall structures – in all climate zones — that are free of moisture problems. Note: The General Services Administration now requires that a WUFI model is run on every GSA project!!
  • Expanded coverage of large multi-family projects and dormitories including reviews of ongoing and planned projects across the United States; plus, a look at the first finished passive house commercial applications including office buildings.
  • Specific mechanical solutions for mixed humid and hot humid climates
  • An introduction to the PHIUS+ certification program, which introduces a RESNET approved quality control/quality assurance component to project certification, and leads to an accurate HERS score – essential for earning energy-efficiency  financial incentives.
  • For 2012, the in-class exam is now computer-based. The online portion can now be taken on the last day of training – students get results immediately upon completion, along with solutions so students can learn from incorrect answers. The computer portion is followed by a take-home passive house design exercise.

Since the first class back in 2007, PHIUS has continually refined the curriculum to focus on North American challenges and solutions. Seven hundred professionals have gone through the training program since its start. More than 300 have taken the class and passed the exam have gone on to design high-quality, high-performance buildings – homes, office building, schools and community centers. A select few have taken the PHIUS Train-the-Trainer program and become PHIUS instructors.

Questions? Email: training@passivehouse.us

I hope we see you in Boston. Or New York, or Golden, Colo., or … check out the full schedule here.  And read the full training description.