Passive House Canada announces plan to transition CEO

For Immediate Release:

Victoria, BC 2019 – Passive House Canada CEO announces plans to step down by end of year after leading organization to great heights.

Passive House Canada announced today that Rob Bernhardt will step down as Chief Executive Officer by the end of 2019, after leading the organization since its inception in 2016. Bernhardt will stay on as the organization’s leader until a successor is found, with the search for a new leader formally launching in May.

“I started this organization with the goal of building a robust non-profit association ready for the rapidly changing environment that we currently see ourselves in. It’s been an incredible privilege to have been part of such a fundamental shift in how we think about buildings, and I’m especially proud that we’ve built such a strong and effective nonprofit able to play a meaningful role in transforming Canada’s buildings. With a visionary Board of Directors and solid organization, it is a good time to find a new leader.” said Bernhardt.

Bernhardt also highlighted: “We continue to build on our strengths, and with the strategic plan in place, we are making some exciting pivots to the future with investments in curriculum development, on-line learning, supporting the development of Canadian codes & standards, and broadening our national reach through events, technical support for industry, and support for local groups and advocacy.”

Deborah Byrne, Passive House Canada’s Board Chair, said, “We are deeply grateful for Rob’s service and leadership. During his time at the helm, Passive House Canada has grown from a volunteer-based organization to one with a solid national staff structure and a budget to support effective implementation of our plans. We have used these resources to develop an organization capable of providing the professional services required to support industry capacity building, regulatory development and exceptional member services, positioning Passive House Canada as a global leader in our field.”

Byrne noted the Board of Directors expects to hire Bernhardt’s successor by late 2019.

Much has been achieved over a few short years by Rob working with Passive House Canada’s staff, volunteers, members, donors, and many partners, with Canada making more progress advancing building standards than our founders thought possible in such a short time. In the few years since the concept of a professionally run, membership based not-for-profit was launched, buildings delivering Passive House performance levels have grown from a fringe movement to a national strategy endorsed by government and leading industry organizations.  The following examples illustrate the milestones we have passed since the incorporation of Passive House Canada in 2016:

  • Passive House Canada supported the development of the BC Energy Step Code from the early stages to its adoption as law in 2017.
  • In 2016 Passive House Canada, began engaging with UN agencies and played a central role in the development of the UNECE Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency in Buildings, which have become a global guide for energy efficiency targets.
  • In 2017 Passive House Canada supported the development of Build Smart: Canada’s Building Strategy, a federal/provincial agreement transform Canada’s buildings and change our codes and standards. This strategy forms the backbone of federal, provincial and local policies and is being supported by the federal budget.
  • The inaugural Passive House Canada conference was held in Vancouver in October 2018 in collaboration with the UNECE and the Canadian Wood Council.
  • Passive House Canada became increasingly involved in policy development and implementation with all levels of government from the local to international level – helping to shape local, provincial and national building policies and budgets.
  • The Vancouver Zero Emissions Buildings Centre of Excellence was formed with Passive House Canada as a key partner alongside the Vancouver Regional Construction Association, the City of Vancouver, and OPEN.
  • Our volunteer Board of Directors has grown from a dedicated group of practitioners to a governance board incorporating expertise in critical areas.
  • Passive House Canada’s complement of staff has grown to include 13 staff and 14 instructors offering programs and services coast to coast in both languages.
  • Passive House Canada has grown a membership base of over 800 members across Canada.
  • Passive House Canada has delivered industry training to over 4,000 industry professionals across Canada.

For more information about Passive House Canada, the CEO transition plan or our strategic plan you can contact Passive House directly or find more information from our latest Annual Report.

About Passive House Canada:                                                                  

Passive House Canada (PHC) is a national non-profit professional association advocating for the Passive House high-performance building standard. Passive House is recognized internationally as the proven best way to build for comfort, affordability and energy efficiency of residential, institutional and commercial buildings, through all stages of design, construction, and livability. PHC facilitates the adoption of these high-performance buildings through advocacy, education, and events.

Media Contact:                                                                                                         

Sacha Sauvé, Manager of Communications 250-940-2468