Program Portal

Factoring in Electrification: Designs for a Renewable Energy Grid

December 8 @ Noon – 1:30

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Electrification is the buzzword du jour for decarbonization, and it’s pushing policymakers to rethink how they structure everything, from local codes, to energy models, to how they incentive programs focused on high performance buildings. Passive House has always provided a more careful accounting of ‘source energy,’ looking closely at which fuels power which appliances and HVAC equipment, noting that not all source energy is equal. This presentation will delve into how the international Passive House standard is structured to support both electrification and decarbonization. We’ll dig into the back end of the Primary Energy Renewables framework, seeing how these apply across a few regions. Lastly, we’ll look at how these renewable source energy factors work using a specific project as an example.

Learning Objectives:

  1. How do electric grids differ across the U.S.?
  2. Why do regional grids have different renewable energy capacities?
  3. What is an electric utilization factor?
  4. How does the Passive House energy model (PHPP) calculate electric energy use by local region, by season and by specific appliance use to make grid decarbonization easier?
Presented by Bronwyn Barry, The Passive House Network Board Chair & Dylan Martello, Steven Winter Associates Senior Building Systems Consultant


Passive House Multi-Family 101: An Intro to Passive House Buildings & Design

December 15 @ Noon – 1:30

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This course will provide an overview of the Passive House building standard, including certification metrics, common design elements of buildings, history and growth of the standard, and results and impacts on energy use, carbon emissions, air quality, and occupant comfort. Examples of various building types will be presented and information on funding initiatives will be provided. Get your questions answered on what Passive House is, where it came from, and how it is expanding throughout the region.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn what the Passive House standard is, what the requirements and metric are, and why it matters.
2. Learn about the principles and common elements of Passive House buildings and impacts on energy use, carbon emissions, and health & wellness.
3. Learn about examples and case-studies of successful Passive House buildings of different types.
4. Learn about policies and funding initiatives impacting Passive House and how the region is growing

Presented by Aaron Gunderson, PASSIVEhouse Massachusetts


Passive House & Embodied Carbon: What You Need to Know

Passive House & Embodied Carbon – What You Need to Know

November 18, 2021 Lunch & Learn
In collaboration with Passive House Massachusetts

Passive House is the world’s leading energy standard, focusing on design & construction strategies to drastically reduce the operational energy use of buildings. Beyond this operational energy, though, another form of energy use has been rising in concern – Embodied Carbon. In other words, what about the energy used to construct the building and create all the materials used?

This session will explore the embodied carbon outcomes of various projects based on the designs as they are being constructed, as well as design alternatives, based on a few current case studies. Our range of projects includes deep energy retrofits as well as new construction. This session is made possible through a partnership between the Sponsors of Mass Save and Energize Connecticut.

Presented by Michael Hindle, CPHC, Principal of Passive to Positive, and Christina Aßmann, CPHC, Passive to Positive

Policy Onramps: Using Passive House to Drive Decarbonization

October 7, 2021 Lunch & Learn

A macro view of policies applied to building development, highlighting opportunities available to policymakers to accelerate decarbonization using the Passive House standard.  Ms. Barry will look at where and how the Passive House development process fits (or doesn’t fit) within conventional code frameworks. This macro view of the development journey typical for most buildings will identify specific leverage points available to policymakers, highlighting how and where Passive House may be leveraged to drive higher performance, not just for projects targeting Passive House, but for all buildings. She’ll close by reviewing specific policies and programs currently being utilized in North America as onramps to Passive House, sharing why they’re working and how these programs may be adapted for similar local success.

Presented by Bronwyn Barry, The Passive House Network Board Chair

1.5 AIA LU

Passive House Process: The Path to Certification
June 9, 2021 Lunch & Learn

The path to Passive House certification ensures the topmost quality and building performance for both new construction and retrofits. This presentation demystifies the process by introducing key players, mapping critical milestones and reviewing concepts and tools that come up along the way.

• Review the timeline for certification and learn how to efficiently integrate it into the design process
• Review energy modeling software such as WUFI Passive and THERM and hear about resources for learning more about these programs
• Learn about the roles of Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), Certified Passive House Builder (CPHB) and Certified Passive House Rater/Verifier and what roles they play in the process
• Learn the basic building science behind Passive House Certification and how it leads to up to a 90% reduction in energy consumption when compared to conventional building

Presented by John Loercher, a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), serves on the board for the Passive House Alliance US and is a Certified CPHC trainer. He brings experience from over two dozen certified Passive House projects including Residential, Mulitfamily, Commercial, New Construction and Retrofits.

Passive House 201: A Technical Look at Passive House

May 19, 2021 Lunch & Learn

Go into greater depth regarding the challenges and successful strategies employed to achieve the Passive House design criteria on significant projects in the Northeast. Topics covered include basic massing, shading and solar control; air barrier, weather barrier and thermal control layers; balanced ventilation, efficient heating, cooling and domestic hot water systems; models used to guide the design.

• Learn more about the Passive House standard, what it accomplishes, and common elements of Passive House buildings.
• Understand how Passive House provides an ideal path to achieving Net Zero Energy buildings.
• Understand how the building enclosure design is critical to meeting the Passive House certification criteria.
• Learn how mechanical systems design can work with envelope design to reduce energy loads.

Presented by Luke McKneally, CPHC, AIA, LEED AP who has over 20 years of experience practicing architecture, implementing renewable energy systems, and supporting energy efficiency – with a focus over the past 6 years on ultra-efficient Passive House design and construction. Luke is a licensed architect in MA, a USGBC LEED accredited professional, and a Certified Passive House Consultant. He currently works at ICF on the Multi-Family High Rise and Passive House incentive paths for the Massachusetts Residential New Construction Program (Mass Save), where he assists project participants to improve building energy performance. He has served on the board of Passive House Massachusetts, and is co-chair of the Medford Energy and Environment Committee.

4-Part Building Science Workshop Series — Workshop 1: Intro to PH and Building Envelope

Part 1 of the 4-Part Building Science Workshop series presented by Steven Winter Associates, Inc.

May 12, 2021


During the construction of Passive House buildings, the construction manager, contractors, and trades people are ultimately responsible for executing the design intent of the project. In this session we will identify ways to successfully construct the building envelope to achieve a well-insulated, airtight assembly. This will include a close look at details and photos of typical construction types, wall assemblies, innovative products and the good, bad, and ugly. This is planned to be an interactive training, so come prepared with questions and to discuss challenges faced when constructing high performance buildings.


• Brief review of high-performance design basics
• Review typical construction types along with sample details and photos
• Focus on common problem areas along with ways to avoid issues
• Look at new and innovative Passive House components.


About The Speaker: Michael O’Donnell

Michael O’Donnell is a Principal Building Systems Consultant at Steven Winter Associates, Inc., with over ten years of energy efficiency and building science experience. He provides consulting, certification support, site inspections, and performance testing for primarily new construction multifamily projects in the New York City and Northeast region. Project types include Passive House (PHI and PHIUS), ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise, Enterprise Green Communities, and NYC Energy Code TR8 Inspections. He currently holds the Certified Energy Manager, Certified Passive House Tradesperson, PHIUS+ Verifier, and BPI Multifamily Building Analyst certifications. He has developed and delivered Passive House field training for Passive House Massachusetts and SUNY New Paltz’s Net Zero Carbon Training series funded by NYSERDA.

4-Part Building Science Workshop Series — Workshop 2: Carpentry, Window Installers, Air Barrier, and Insulation Trades

March 19, 2021

This session will prepare staff for in-field conditions and the level of detail necessary to construct Passive House buildings. During the construction of a high-performance project it is critical that the design intent is accurately implemented to achieve the desired efficiency and durability. The application of building envelope air barrier, insulation, and windows will be demonstrated through a series of mock-ups. The trainer will demonstrate both good and bad installations and show how to identify and diagnose problem locations. Come prepared with scenarios in mind to share from your projects as well.


  • Application of air barrier materials at rough openings and field of wall
  • Installation of windows and different air sealing strategies
  • Approach to sealing penetrations through the building envelope
  • Performance testing, results, and strategies to improve assembly performance
4-Part Building Science Workshop Series — Workshop 3: HVAC and Plumbing Trades

April 9, 2021


In the construction of a Passive House building, it is critical that the construction managers, subcontractors and tradespeople are equipped with the knowhow to accurately execute MEP systems as designed. This session will focus on typical mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems used on high performance buildings and best methods used on-site to achieve the project’s energy goals. Come prepared to discuss the challenges surrounding the on-site application of MEP systems.


  • Learn how to accurately execute MEP systems as designed
  • Discuss HVAC – ventilation, space conditioning, ductwork air sealing
  • Examine Plumbing – DHW, piping layout, pipe insulation, hydronic systems
  • Discuss Electric – Lighting and controls, pumps, elevators
4-Part Building Science Workshop Series — Workshop 4: QA/QC Techniques for Ensuring Success

April 16, 2021


Building on previous sessions, this module will focus on the quality control and quality assurance techniques for high-performance construction. The need for oversight on the construction of Passive House buildings is essential to meeting the project’s energy targets. This session will address a variety of topics related to energy efficiency including construction quality, documentation, implementation, and best practices from successful projects. This will be an interactive session, so come prepared to speak about challenges with quality control/assurance as it pertains to energy efficiency.


  • Define construction quality
  • Discuss best practices for ensuring project success
  • Review quality documentation requirements & quality control and quality assurance mechanisms
  • Identify quality issues, how to correct and document corrections
  • Understand building envelope testing considerations
Passive House 101

February 26, 2021

Passive House is the world’s most rigorous building energy performance standard, requiring a significant reduction in energy consumption while yielding other benefits such as superior comfort, durability, resilience, and health. It can play a major role in our energy future, contributing to our reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by moving away from fossil fuel combustion.

This virtual program is an introduction to Passive House, covering the core principles of Passive House standards and methodologies.

Presented by two Connecticut Passive House Board Members and Co-Founders:
Leonard Wyeth AIA, CPHD and CTPH President
George Penniman AIA, LEED AP, CPHD and CTPH Treasurer