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The North American Passive House Conference Is in San Francisco

PHIUS North American Passive House Conference

The 9th annual North American Passive House Conference will be in San Francisco, California on 10-14 September 2014. Confused? Maybe you heard that the North American Passive House Conference will be in Portland, Maine on 22-23 September. What’s going on here?

Sadly, the passivhaus landscape in North America is a bit confusing because of the split between the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), and Passivhaus Institut (PHI) in Germany. PHIUS brought the passivhaus movement to this continent about a decade ago under the direction of PHI but things went sour and now PHIUS operates on its own.

naphn north american passive house networkAnother organization, the North American Passive House Network (NAPHN), began after the split, and they are aligned with PHI. Their initial aim was to stay neutral, but, as you might expect, that’s been difficult to do.

I’ve been observing from a distance so far. As a new board member at PHIUS, however, I’ve lost that luxury. I’m getting in deep now and, along with other new board members, hope that we can clear the confusion and perhaps even bring the two sides back together. Who knows? It could happen.

Anyway, to clear the current conference confusion, I’ll simplify for you:

San Francisco, 10-14 Sep. — PHIUS conference (not posted yet). This is the 9th annual and has always been called the North American Passive House Conference.

Portland, ME, 22-23 Sep. — NAPHN conference. Last year they called their conference Passive House North. This year, they’ve changed the name, at least initially, to the same name that PHIUS has been using since 2006. Ken Levenson told me that it’s just a placeholder, so let’s hope they give it a new, less confusing name before long.

As a PHIUS board member, I’ll be at the PHIUS conference. I don’t have plans to attend the NAPHN conference.


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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Don’t we all have the same
    Don’t we all have the same goal – healthy energy efficient structures for home, work and the community. 
    Let’s get back together, life is too short not to!!!

  2. I’m a CPHC (through PHIUS),
    I’m a CPHC (through PHIUS), and I’m saddened by the split. My biggest concern is that PHI has a great deal of resources that PHIUS does not, and can no longer share. I know PHIUS is actively expanding their development work, but I think will be a long way a ways from matching those of PHI. Case in point – you can’t get the latest version of the PHPP from PHIUS.

  3. Bruce K.:
    Bruce K.: Hear, hear! 
    Noel C.: Ah, but PHIUS has WUFI Passive. Wouldn’t you rather have a more powerful tool that shows you dynamic results of what’s happening rather than a static snapshot? 

  4. Thanks for posting this
    Thanks for posting this clarification Allison. I have one correction: the PHIUS conference is actually in Burlingame, quite a number of miles south of both the City and County of San Francisco. Not sure why PHIUS chose this venue, but as a San Francisco resident, I’m surprised. This hotel is right under the flight path of SFO. It’s not even convenient for us locals, and is far away enough from public transit to make it a drive-to only event. (If you’re coming, make sure to bring earplugs.) 
    As a member of the regional group, Passive House California, I’d be happy to help PHIUS select a better venue, if it’s not too late? We have hundreds of great locations in our region. Never mind whose conference it is and who supports what version of Passive House, why choose to host any ‘green’ event in an isolated airport hotel?

  5. WUFI Passive is great as far
    WUFI Passive is great as far as it goes, but isn’t a reason to assume that PHIUS is further a head of the curve than PHI. Plus it’s still a product of German R & D which was sparked by the early PH movement in that country. 
    In any case PHIUS’s insistence of “Going it alone” is counter productive. I was just at the BE 14 Conference and was amused at how the PHIUS gang was giving the cold shoulder to those involved with NAPHN. Silly.

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