A Little Background on PHIUS

Pushing the envelope on affordable excellence


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.

Our mission is to develop and promote North American passive building standards, practices, and certifications for buildings, professionals, and products so that we can create structures that are durable, resilient, comfortable, healthy, and super energy efficient.


The early groundwork

PHIUS was initially founded in 2003 as a non-profit community housing development organization that designed and built demonstration passive homes for the affordable housing market. The organization shifted focus in 2007, becoming the leading passive-building standard-setting, research & information provider, 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.

In 2008 PHIUS established the Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC®) credential to distinguish accomplished passive house designers in the marketplace; the certification program for builders and onsite raters was first introduced in 2012. PHIUS is the leading passive building training provider in North America, and since 2003 has trained over 2,000 architects, engineers, energy consultants, energy raters, and builders in the PHIUS+ Passive Building Standard.


The PHIUS standard is born

PHIUS released the PHIUS+2015 Passive Building Standard in March of 2015, the only passive building standard on the market that is based on 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 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.


Hard work pays off

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 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.


Building up steam with respected partners

In addition to the Department of Energy, Building Science Corporation, and Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, PHIUS has established strategic relationships with key organizations including RESNET, The Rocky Mountain Institute,  and the Home Innovation Research Labs, among others.

The organization has received funding from the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Through its Passive House Alliance US (PHAUS) program, a membership-based organization with over 800 members across 18 local chapters and dozens of corporate sponsors, PHIUS is building a robust national network of passive building communities across North America.


New research initiative launched

Most recently, we've launched the PHIUS High Performance Building Industry Advisory Council, or IAC for short. The IAC is a voluntary board of leading building scientists who set (through consensus) technical standards for project and building-component certification. The council does reaearch, publishes the findings and integrates the results into the PHIUS+ Standard during regular updates.

Learn more about the Passive House Institute US at www.phius.org