Green Investment Resources: PHIUS+ Certification

Sustainable home certifications can help guide the projects of builders, designers, and homeowners. The PHIUS+ certification provides excellent energy efficiency and cost reduction. The Passive House Institute, Inc US (PHIUS) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to make passive building a viable market option. Passive building is a collection of design principles used to champion energy efficiency and comfort. These principles are based on five building-science concepts:

  • Continuous insulation without thermal bridging 
  • Building envelope is airtight, which protects against outside air and loss of inside air
  • High performance windows and doors that utilize solar gain to manage heat and cooling throughout the building
  • Contains some type of balanced heat and moisture recovery ventilation
  • Minimal space conditioning system

These passive building principles create a comprehensive, supportive system for PHIUS+ certification buildings. Homes that receive the PHIUS+ certification are third party inspected, rated, and certified based on the standards and requirements of the PHIUS nonprofit organization. 

The PHIUS+ project certification provides builders and homeowners with numerous benefits. 

Builders, designers, and homeowners with sustainable intentions should consider PHIUS+ certification for their next building project. Passive Houses are extremely energy efficient, using as little as 34% of the energy a house with lower energy standards might use. The cost reduction opportunities are just as exciting. PHIUS+ buildings have the potential to save up to 66% of what buildings with lower energy standards might pay. Ultimately, PHIUS+ certification provides the best path to Net Zero and Net Positive buildings by reducing the energy that renewable energies must provide. PHIUS+ certified buildings provide comfort no matter the season. In fact, heating and cooling criteria are based on the building’s local climate. The ventilation system issues top-notch indoor air quality. Buildings with PHIUS+ certification also tend to be resilient over time, increasing the value of investment. The certification provides climate-specific and cost-optimized performance metrics. The PHIUS certification team has some of North America’s most experienced passive house professionals design and energy model review. 

Builders hoping to incorporate more certifications will find PHIUS+ certification to include more than just PHIUS+. The PHIUS nonprofit organization has included the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) protocol into the certification program. The ZERH certification also includes the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPLUS certifications for new homes and construction. PHIUS+ certification is a great option for sustainable buildings that prioritizes energy efficiency, client comfort, and integration of multiple sustainable certifications.