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Green Building News

Passive House Institute U.S. Starts Training Builders

Until recently, PHIUS focused its training sessions on designers and architects — but now it is beginning to focus on builders

Builders interested in learning how to build homes that meet the Passivhaus standard can attend training sessions organized by PHIUS.
Image Credit: John Moore

A new training program developed and presented by the Passive House Institute U.S. aims to get builders and remodelers up to speed on the Passive House standard. Among the topics covered during the four-day program are envelope details, HVAC systems, and bidding on Passivhaus projects.

The curriculum for the new training program has been developed by three experienced Passivhaus builders: Dan Whitmore, Adam Cohen, and Mike Kernagis.

(Dan Whitmore built the first Passivhaus building in Seattle; for more information on that project, see Visiting Passivhaus Job Sites in Washington State. Adam Cohen is a builder in Roanoke, Virginia; for more information on Adam Cohen, see Passivhaus Practitioners Share Their Success Stories.)

Learn how to talk to electricians

Tim Linn, a builder form Milwaukee who went through the program in the fall of 2012, found it valuable. “The training isolates the particular details a builder needs to focus on and demonstrates different ways of properly executing these details,” said Linn.

The program is also designed to give Passivhaus builders strategies for dealing with subcontractors and clients. Tim Linn notedd, “I now know how to explain to my electrician why I want him to gasket a penetration in the building envelope. I can also explain to my client why he can’t choose a vapor-impermeable finish for his interior walls.”

Course participants who pass the qualifying exam at the end of the course become PHIUS Certified Builders.

The next open class will be held April 3-6, 2013, at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado. The dates and locations of future classes will be announced later.

General registration costs $800; Passive House Alliance US (PHAUS) members save $50.

More information is available at this link: PHIUS Builders Training.


  1. Mike Eliason | | #1

    for those interested in an
    for those interested in an accredited passive house tradesperson course - there is one offered on behalf of the passive house institute by passive house academy.!CPHC%202.25.13%20NYC/ccqf

    and despite the incorrect proclamations by PHIUS associates, courses are taught in I-P with a north american construction focus. hope they roll out to the west coast soon...

  2. user-1088066 | | #2

    Response to Mike Eliason
    Mike, as a co creator of the Builder's course referenced in this article, I want to make several things clear for readers.

    This course was created for the US Passive house market by Dan Whitmore, Mike Kernagis and myself in collaboration with over 20 Passive house builders. It functions to inform and educate, but more importantly to offer real world experience in the on site implementation of Passive House means and methods as well as counseling and advice to both the practical and business concerns specific to Passivhaus. This course compliments other courses out there, including PHA's. The PHA offers a tradesman certification, which differs from the course we offer, The PHIUS course covers not only the tradesman aspect, but more importantly has a focus on the risks and liability to the Passive House Contractor and guidance in both problem solving and (more importantly) problem avoidance.

    Also, I had not heard any rumors about courses only offered in SI. While I agree that it is a much more enlightened, logical and intuitive system than the antiquated inch pound, I am afraid we are stuck with IP in the US and I doubt anyone but the most gullible would believe it will change anytime soon or that practitioners would only offer courses in SI in the US. So whomever the "associate" you refer to, I suggest they must have pulling your leg.

    ~ Cheers!

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