Emissions Down, Scale Up: Phius 2021 Year in Review

This past year was the start of something special at Phius.

We began 2021 by declaring a commitment to “Emissions Down, Scale Up!” and we did just that. From the Phius staff to the inaugural PhiusCon (formerly North American Passive House Conference) to the greater passive house community, we have witnessed plenty of growth over the last 12 months.

New Brand Same Phius GraphicTo commemorate the year that was, we have compiled some of the accomplishments from 2021 that we and dedicated professionals like you have accomplished together. 

  • We safely hosted a sold-out PhiusCon in Tarrytown, New York, which created a substantial wave of momentum throughout the industry as we charge into 2022. We also announced PhiusCon 2022 will be taking place Oct. 25-28 in Chicago.
  • We successfully launched an Intro to THERM Workshop and WUFI Passive for Beginners training in 2021. We plan to launch several more to continue spreading knowledge in 2022.
  • We welcomed five new members to the Phius team last year, adding to the tremendous and ongoing growth of the Phius staff. We’re thrilled to have John, Tony, Max, Josh and David on board!
  • We began the transformation of the Phius brand as we work to scale up. There is much more to come in 2022 with the launch of our brand new website and Phius portal, both of which will help us continue to grow passive house.
  • The Phius Alliance activated the Southern region, including the addition of our brand new Houston Chapter! This movement fueled our decision to host PhiusCon 2023 in Houston, so get ready for Phius to head south next year.
  • A number of bills were passed aimed at reducing the use of natural gas in the built environment, including a significant piece of legislation recently in New York City.
  • We went global as we hosted the first-ever Phius CPHC training and certification exam in Japan in partnership with PHIJP! We have also created a Japanese version of our criteria calculator to provide those professionals with all the tools they will need.
  • We celebrated the top passive house projects in our annual Phius Passive Projects Design Competition! We are always grateful to the teams who submit their wonderful projects, and we were once again blown away by the ingenuity of all the submissions. The projects were so impressive this year, that our distinguished panel of judges named two winners of Best Overall Project: Solis and McQuesten Lofts.
  • We had more than 1.8 million square feet of submitted projects in 2021, and we look forward to blowing past the 2 million mark in 2022.

We are proud of what we have accomplished, but we are nowhere near satisfied. There is so much work to be done, and we look forward to rolling up our sleeves and working hard to ensure that this list is twice as long next year.

Why Your Project Should be Phius Certified

Why should I certify my project?

That is one of the most common questions we get asked by project teams and their clients. It’s a valid question that can be answered in a number of ways. And while we could go on and on about the advantages of Phius certification, we thought it would be helpful to put together a concise guide to help answer this question. 

As a Klingenblog reader, you may already be familiar with the topics discussed below, but we invite you to use this as a tool should anyone ask you why they should get their project Phius certified. 

Why Certify?

When properly harnessed, passive house principles help create buildings that are efficient, resilient, healthy, durable and comfortable. But if your project is not Phius certified, you have no assurance that it meets any of those criteria.

Simply “incorporating passive house principles” is not enough. Phius certification is the only way to guarantee the quality and performance of a passive house project — like insurance on your investment. Think of certification as a risk management tool. 

That is the Phius Difference.

How does the Phius Certification process guarantee results and benefit project teams and clients? We’re glad you asked.

  1. Park Ave GreenIt provides comprehensive design review and consultation throughout the entire building delivery process Our technical staff works with teams during the design phase to optimize energy and cost efficiency, and to identify and solve potential problems early on.
  2. It mandates third-party verification — This ensures the building is designed and constructed to meet the high-performance standards for energy use and that critical systems are commissioned into proper operation. Third-party verification is also typically required by the incentive programs of utilities and governments to insure their investments. It mitigates risk for all stakeholders in a project.
  3. It introduces risk management — Passive building requires special attention to moisture control and ventilation. Phius Certification staff and third-party QA/QC professionals can identify problem areas at the design stage before they become real-world problems.
  4. It builds and shares knowledge — As more scenarios, project types and solutions pass through the certification process, Phius pays it forward to future project teams through direct feedback, building the public Certified Project Database and ongoing updates to the Guidebook.

So, what is the certification process like?

The Phius Project Certification process has two main components: design review and final construction review. The design review is an iterative feedback process, often exchanging detailed feedback back and forth with the submitter three times before design certification is awarded.

Phius’ feedback isn’t just a yes/no response. We want your projects to be successful and therefore offer insight when red flags arise and are as committed to taking your project to the finish line as you are.

To learn more about submitting a project for certification, visit our Project Certification web page or email certification@phius.org.