CEO Letter – July 2020

I hope July finds you and your loved ones healthy and feeling comfortable venturing outside your home. Because of the pandemic, there is increased interest in the health benefits of living and working in Passive House buildings. As a group, we tend to focus on the low-energy aspects of Passive House, but let’s not forget to talk up the Passive House standard for their health, thermal and auditory comfort, resilience and affordability. You are our greatest advocates for the Passive House building standard.On the education front, Passive House Canada continues to grow the number of courses it offers online. If you haven’t visited our education section recently, I encourage you to visit here and see what’s new. For example, we are now offering a course on embodied carbon and we’re launching our construction course for the trades. And, look for a short course comparing the National Building Code, the B.C. Step Code and Passive House standards. We intend to launch that program in August… details to follow.

We are pleased to be working closely with Maison passive Québec in offering our Pathways to Certification series in French. We will also be translating the Passive House Institute exam into French for our French speaking students. And speaking of exams, as I write this close to 90 Canadians are poised to write the exam online. This is the largest number of Canadians to ever write the exam, second only to Spain. And we’re set to do it again in the fall, as about 90 students are registering to take the exam.

As CEO, I committed to take our education online and to build the Canadian community of Certified Passive House Designers and Consultants – and we are doing just that. We’re working hard to bring our quality education programs to every community in Canada. If you are a member of the Ontario Architects Association, ask about our special pricing for OAA members. It’s another great way we’re reaching out to folks in the building design and construction industry.

Passive House Canada is, foremost, an advocacy organization pushing for the adoption of the Passive House standard in building codes across Canada. To that end, we are busy advocating with all levels of government and asking for quicker adoption of our high-performance standard. We are also meeting with a number of governments about the need to include “green” economic initiatives, like Passive House training and EnerPHit programs, in upcoming economic recovery plans. Our proposals would not only help kick-start the economy by creating skilled jobs, they would also help governments at all levels get closer to meeting their GHG emission targets committed to in the Paris Accord. We are quickly running out of time to find ways of reducing GHGs. EnerPHit, as you know, could provide a big piece of that solution, as well as provide great skilled jobs in construction and manufacturing.

On the government advocacy front, we note a proposed change to the National Energy Code that would mandate whole building airtightness testing, has recently been shelved by the Executive Committee of the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes. This is a shame because it means Canada will not become a leader in whole building airtightness testing. Passive House did make recommendations and we will be following up with federal government officials. In B.C. we are learning of a weakening of Step Code standards that will affect the adoption of high-performance buildings. More to come on both of these issues later. If you have comments, please feel free to reach out to me: [email protected].

Enjoy the summer weather.