May Newsletter                                                                                                     May 31, 2016      

In This Issue...

  1. President's Message
  2. Thoughts on the 2016 International Passive House Conference
  3. Workshop - History of Enery-Saving Buildings in Europe and the Americas
  4. Registration Open for North American Passive House Conference
  5. Inaugural Humid Climate Conference a Smash Success
  6. Race to Zero Student Design Competition Winner

Upcoming Events


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May President's Message

Though the weather's turned and we're thinking more of being outside than creating optimal indoor spaces, PHnw is hard at work behind the scenes, and just had an all-day in-person board meeting in Olympia on Saturday, May 21.
The health of PHnw is strong.  A successful conference has allowed us to buoy our reserves and consider how to bring you more events during the year. To that end, we're excited to announce two more events for 2016:

  • Dr. Kara Rosemeier, chair of the Passive House Institute New Zealand and director of the Passive House Academy New Zealand, will be on a whistlestop tour of North America while she's stateside for the NAPHN Conference.  She'll be in Pacific Northwest in late June, and we'll have presentations from her in both Portland and Seattle.
  • This fall, we'll take PHnw east of the Cascades with a one-day conference in Spokane.  We're looking forward to better supporting Passive House in eastern Washington and beyond.

Stay tuned as details are released on both these exciting events!
At our recent board meeting, we also elected officers.  I've stepped down as president, and am excited that Tim Weyand, CEO of NK Architects, is your new president.  Tim is a natural leader and NK Architects continues to be one of our strongest regional proponents of Passive House both in their design work and in advocacy.  I expect PHnw will see terrific outcomes under his leadership.
In other officer positions, Graham Wright stepped down as vice-president, and Josh Salinger (Birdsmouth Construction) has replaced him, Albert Rooks remains treasurer, and I'll replace Tad Everhart as secretary.  Many thanks to Tad and Graham for their work as officers, and to Tim and Josh for stepping up.  The health of any organization relies on sharing the hard but necessary work of leadership.
Thank you for supporting my tenure as president. I'm grateful to have been entrusted with the position and am eager to see what lies ahead for both PHnw and Passive House in the Pacific Northwest!

Michelle Jeresek
Past President, PHNW

Thoughts on the 2016 International Passive House Conference
By Joe Giampietro

The Darmstadt Passive House conference was an inspiring week of training, workshops, presentations and project tours.  (It was also the release of PHPP 9.0 in the IP version for those of us who still think in feet, inches and BTU's.)

The conference offered an unbeatable chance to meet Passive House leaders from Europe and throughout the world including 200 visitors from China!   This year celebrated 25 years of the first Passive House building still in operation with the original residents.  A thorough testing and evaluation of assemblies and building systems proved that the essential function and performance metrics still apply without degradation.

My personal favorite speaker to address the attendees was Ernst von Weizsacker, of The Club of Rome, marking 44 years from the seminal report "The Limits to Growth" published in 1972.   His advice today is: "...a price path for energy reliably pointing upwards would probably be the most effective support strategy by far."

We also heard from some surprisingly inspiring speakers from the US and Canada including Laura Nettleton of Thoughtful Balance in Pittsburgh telling the story of an EnerPHit re-hab of an historic building for homeless.

Peter Schneider of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation presenting his work in replacing hurricane damaged mobile homes with new affordable Zero Energy mobile homes at surprisingly reasonable costs.

Monte Paulsen of CanPHI recapped the Bella Bella Passive House project he showcased to our own PHnw 7 "Building a Carbon Zero Northwest" in Portland.

Overall it was wonderful to see the remarkable progress being made in Europe with systems, assemblies, equipment, and most of all, fabulous buildings.  Also check out the CanPHI report on the conference at the link below.

Workshop - History of Energy Efficent Buildings in Europe and the Americas

Small Planet Supply is offering a workshop on June 9, 2016.  Please see their invitation below:

Learn about the development of the Passivhaus: its transformation from simple air-tight construction to cutting-edge building science.  

Be prepared to get your hands dirty - our certified window installers will guide participants in the correct application of the Hanno Product Range, including Hanno 3E as well as BG1 & Duo-Easy. There will be a focus on the professional installation of the products and the assessment of critical areas such as corner transitions, butt joints and transition to other materials such as OSB, Brick and Concrete.

We're having the same workshop in two convenient locations: Olympia in the morning or Seattle in the afternoon.

Click HERE to sign up for the Olympia event.

Click HERE to sign up for the Seattle event.

Registration Now Open
11th Annual North American Passive House Conference
Philadelphia: September 21-25, 2016

Registration is now open for NAPHC2016! The event will kick off with two days of intensive pre-conference workshops (September 21-22), followed by two days of core conference (September 23-24) chock full of multiple tracks of presentations showcasing the latest tools, techniques, and products for achieving climate-specific passive buildings of all types. We'll cap off the festivities with a passive projects tour of Philadelphia and surrounding areas on Sunday, September 25. CPHC and AIA CEUs will be available for pre-conference and core conference sessions.

Register today to take advantage of Early Bird rates through June 30, and be sure to subscribe to the PHIUS Newsletter for up-to-date NAPHC2016 news.

Inaugural Humid Climate Conference a Smash Success

The first ever Humid Climate Conference (HCC) took place in Austin, TX on May 6 to overwhelming success. The sold-out event drew in hundreds of attendees and featured presentations from leading industry experts Dr. Joe Lstiburek, Katrin Klingenberg, and Robert Bean on tackling the challenges of achieving passive building performance in hot and humid climates.

 HCC Organizer Eric Griffin, PHAUS Austin Chapter President, is thrilled about the great success of the event, but not surprised. "Our sold-out audience confirmed what PHAUS-Austin already suspected: the building industry is ready and eager to better address efficiency needs for humid climates. We are overwhelmed with all the positive feedback from attendees and sponsors, and look forward to making the HCC an annual event in our industry."

For more information, visit the HCC site and Energy Vanguard Blog.


Congratulations to the Prairie View A&M University team for their recent win at the 2016 DOE Race to Zero Student Design Competition. Their project earned top honors in the competition with an affordable PHIUS+2015 design tailored to the challenging hot and humid climate of Houston, TX. The students' participation in PHIUS' pilot University CPHC program earned team members the building science skills and passive building know-how necessary to succeed with the win.

For more details on the winning PHIUS+ design, including design details, see Scott Gibson's article on Green Building Advisor. You can also check out the winning team presentations and competition overview on the DOE website.

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