CEO Letter – September

Back to school amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is on my mind this week, even though my children are long graduated. I feel for parents, teachers and all those who work in the public school system. I am especially concerned for children and teens who are stressed returning to school after many months. Along with COVID-19, they face the pressure of getting caught up.

During this pandemic, I am frequently asked if Passive House buildings reduce the risk of catching the COVID-19 virus. I’m aware of one study underway comparing the levels of COVID-19 infection among those who live in Passive House buildings to those who don’t. While we do know fresh, filtered air means a healthier home and work space, we’ll have to wait for the studies before commenting on viral spread.

At PHC we’ve been working hard on advocacy with all levels of government. We meet with public servants, political staffers and elected officials to educate them about the Passive House standard. It is heartening to meet so many people interested in a high-performance building standard that isn’t “green washing.” They are impressed that our standard is open source — meaning anyone can use it without paying a fee. They are also impressed with our science-based approach and reliance on evidence.

As we meet with federal government decision makers we continue to advocate for a green economic recovery strategy — one that focuses on building retrofits and high-performance building training. We’re working with like minded groups to amplify this message.

We’re told a federal election is unlikely this fall, although one never knows for sure. The federal budget, scheduled for fall, has been moved to the spring. We anticipate an economic update announcement by the federal government this month, hopefully outlining green economic recovery investments. We will continue to communicate Passive House Canada’s position with the feds.

I recommend you read (and share!) our policy papers published each month. They are succinct and help make the case for the Passive House standard and improved building standards in Canada. PHC’s founding CEO, Rob Bernhardt, is authoring them, with input from PHC staff. There is a link in this newsletter. Please read and share them.

With my appointment as CEO, PHC has focused on making inroads in Ontario. We are supporting lower tier governments in the Great Toronto Hamilton Area and across Ontario. Because of Toronto’s Green Building Standard, we hear from many in our industry who need support. It’s exciting to see so many in government and our industry embrace the Passive House standard.

If PHC is to succeed in ensuring building codes reflect the Passive House standard, and our industry is ready to respond, we need you to be part of the solution by talking to elected officials, associates and friends. Sharing our policy papers is a good start.

Enjoy September and stay safe.