Our Mission

Passive House Vermont is no longer a chapter of the Passive House Alliance U.S.  It is now an independent non-profit corporation dedicated to the advancement and education about the Passive House Standard in the U.S.

We are a group of about seventy building professionals, architects, builders, consultants, designers and members of the general public who represent about fifty businesses in and around Vermont which are working towards sustainable buildings through employing Passive House methodologies. 

Our members come together to share information about the various issues and challenges involved with building Passive House homes and homes that almost achieve the Passive House Standard - so called "Near Passive House" homes. We compare notes and share solutions to problems big & small, simple & complex.  We also strive to expand the Passive House standard into the commercial and public building sector.

We are active on many fronts and gladly welcome support from like-minded people.

Some of the activities in which we are engaged:

  • Holding meetings of the membership to educate one another about Passive House and keep up to date on developments in the High Performance Building community.
  • Working with local and state government to increase education and knowledge of building science and how Passive House can help us all reduce our dependence on fossil fuels - and all fuels for heating our homes.
  • Engaging in public outreach to educate the general public about Passive House - that there are affordable ways to make super energy efficient homes that are durable and healthy.
  • Monitoring and distributing data on completed Passive Houses to show that these houses are actually using drastically less energy to heat (and cool) as well as proving that the indoor air quality of these houses is superior to standard code and Energy Star homes.

Outreach

We continually reach out to architects and builders to educate them about the current state of building science, practices, and modeling tools.  But another large part of our work is outreach to the public and to other groups that are striving for stricter energy standards for our living environment and our buildings.

Currently PHVT has a project where we are reaching out to the Energy Committees throughout Vermont to inform them about the existence of High Performance Building Science. We work to show them that we now have the technology, the skill set and the materials to build super energy efficient houses and commercial buildings without huge added costs.

PHVT attends various building related conferences in Vermont to spread the word and get in touch with builders, architects and the general public about the benefits of Passive House and the fact that it is a standard that is easily achievable in our climate. We have attended the Better Buildings by Design for the past two years. This conference is put on by Efficiency Vermont for building professionals. Through our participation Passive House has gone from an unknown fringe idea to being the goal to strive for in many of the presentations. In 2013 only a few attendees knew about the PH standard. In 2014 almost everyone knew about it and wanted more information about how to incorporate PH into their future plans. Our members presented two talks on PH at the 2014 BBD and our presentation presence has only increased in subsequent years.

We create a passive house presence at many conferences every year to help spread the word even further. Look for us!

BBbDBoothPicMalcolm
Member Malcolm Gray tends our booth at the
2014 Better Buildings by Design Conference in Burlington, Vt.

Technical Development

Vermont is a special place. More special than many might suspect. It is one of the coldest climates in the U.S. offering a challenge to people working to hit the Passive House standard. It is also a very damp environment. The professionals who are associated with PHVT can share the technical challenges they encounter with others who have dealt with similar challenges and share solutions not only with Passive House professionals in Vermont but across the U.S. In this way we are contributing to the development of the building industry here and around the country. Our small state is doing our large part to further our collective mission to cut down on CO2 emissions as well as cut down on wasting money by heating the out-of-doors!

Northern Vermont Building Science Group (NVBSG)

Combining Outreach & Technical Development

The Sustainable Energy Outreach Network (SEON), based in southeastern VT, created a building science discussion group in the wake of Hurricane Irene's devastation. That group meets monthly and, with the assistance of individual beer contributions from the attendees, they discuss building challenges they're facing as well as the latest in building science news and building policy "advances."  Covetous of their process and success we resolved to investigate and then steal their idea.  Toward that end we met with them in June of 2014 at the VerMod factory in Wilder, VT, where we all toured a high performance mobile home designed by Efficiency VT that had been developed and then launched commercially. After the tour we participated in SEON's monthly building science group meeting - having brought our own beer & wine and problems to the table.  We found it quite inspiring.

Subsequently, we created the Northern Vermont Building Science Group (NVBSG).  Better offered us the use of their rooms in Burlington and we held our first meeting in November of 2014. Like SEON we invite participants to bring light alcoholic refreshments - we even ordered in pizza that first night.  Thirty-five people showed up and after a few preliminaries a lively discussion ensued.  The NVBSG immediately created a Google Group to allow the posting of images & further discussions of the topics brought up at the meeting, as well as the beginnings of other discussions.

Also at that first meeting Steve Konstantino, owner of Performance Building Supply (formerly Maine Green Building Supply) in Portland, ME attended and shared some information about his experiences with their Building Science Discussion Group. So we have two great leading lights to follow as we develop our own approach to sharing, learning, and spreading the word about the latest in "green" super-high-performance building strategies. Refer to our homepage for the latest information about our meetings.