2019 Conference Presentations

Thursday Sessions | Friday Morning | Friday Afternoon Main Conference Page

Note:  This list is subject to change|


Conference Flier (pdf)

Track A: EMBODIED CARBON and CLIMATE, Co-Sponsored and Moderated by the EcoBuilding Guild

Quantifying the Carbon Footprint of Every Project - Stacy H. Smedley, Director of Sustainability Skanska USA Building - This session will describe the recent developments in tools and best practices for Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment and attaining Net Zero Carbon certification.

Refreshing RefrigerantsAllan Montpellier, PAE, David Mead, PAE & Thomas Schaer, SHED - What are refrigerants’ true carbon impact on the natural environment? A central component in current HVAC system design, refrigerants can be used as energy-saving tools. However, if released into the environment, many refrigerants have thousands of times the impact as CO2 and contribute directly to global warming. The presentation will draw from research done with Paul Hawkins’ Project Drawdown on the top solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions where refrigerant management came in as the number one solution.

Passive House in a Changing Climate - Eric Catania, RDH Building Science - Passive House buildings are finely tuned for the climate zone in which they are constructed. But how will these buildings perform when the climate changes? This presentation will introduce the study of future climate scenarios, will introduce sources of data for predictive future climate files, will review a procedure for creating predictive PHPP climate files, and will present an example of how the performance of a specific Passive House project may vary according to future climate scenarios.

Avoid The Carbon Rebound: How Passive House Can Create Higher-Carbon Buildings Than Conventional Methods - Lucas Johnson, 475 High Performance Building Supply - With Passive House, we have a proven approach to minimize operational carbon; however, embodied carbon is not a required consideration. This is a missed opportunity if the goal is indeed to mitigate the climate crisis.



Envelope Workshop -Scott Kosmecki of Hinge Build Group & Josh Salinger of Birdsmouth will moderate this workshop style discussion of Passive House experts in our region to qualify the best assemblies in use for our climate zone that reach Passive House standards.   The criteria will be based on Price, Trade Buildability and Risk Reduction.  At the end of this workshop we should have a set of example assemblies to share with the Passive House community.

What to do with All Those Crappy Old Buildings? Learnings from a NEEA Pilot on Small Commercial Buildings in the Pacific Northwest - Christy Love, RDH Building Science - Investigating a multi-year pilot study sponsored by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) that was undertaken to predict and measure the energy savings and air quality impacts from this conversion method in (8) small commercial buildings throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Building as a Conscious Act: Finding Opportunity in Health, Resiliency and Community - Eric Corey Freed, Morrison Hershfield - In this talk, we’ll journey through an inspirational look at the global crises facing the world and a variety of ways to transform your business to adapt to a warmer, wetter world. Learn from our work with hundreds of municipalities, agencies, and companies to reduce their carbon, boost their performance, slash their operational expenses, and provide healthy spaces for everyone. Learn how to link design to outcome and uncover new ways to expand your business.



Accelerating Energy Efficiency in Oregon’s Built Environment - The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) will provide an overview and update on the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 17-20, which gives clear direction from Governor Kate Brown to “Accelerate Efficiency in Oregon’s Built Environment” to the following state agencies: Oregon Department of Energy, Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Department of Business & Consumer Service – Building Codes Division, Oregon Housing and Community Services, and Oregon Public Utility Commission. The presentation will share progress to date on implementing the EO as well as how interested stakeholders can get involved.

 Collective Impact: Pushing Policy to Reach Zero Energy & Zero Carbon Goals in the Northwest - Hosted by Earth Advantage. Panel: Amy Cortese, New Buildings Institute | Vihn Mason, City of Portland | Amy Wheeless, NW Energy Coalition | Anthony Roy, Earth Advantage (moderator). -  In both Oregon and Washington, changemakers have formed coalitions to accelerate the efficiency of the built environment to meet ambitious goals. What are the policies that we need in the next five-to-ten years to ensure that all new buildings will be zero energy or zero energy ready and how are we going to get there? Washington’s Shift Zero and Zero Energy Ready Oregon (ZERO) will get us up-to-speed on their work, tools they are developing to make getting to zero energy easier to understand and implement, and what’s next on the path to zero energy. 



Charter Telecom Headquarters BuildingGraeme Verhulst, Waymark Architecture -  Western Canada’s first Certified Passive House office building, and the region's first engineered mass timber building in Victoria, British Columbia.

Passive House in Very Cold Climates - Andrea Frisque, Jeanie Chan & Sergio Sadaba of Stantec - In this presentation we will present a completed, certified non-residential Passive House, demonstrating that it is possible to achieve certification in a very cold climate in Northern British Columbia.

Solis: A Case Study for Multifamily Passive House Condominiums - Emily Doe, architect with Webber Thompson and Brian Heather, CEO of Solterra - The architect will provide an introduction to the project; discussing Passive House design strategies, energy modeling approach, constructability considerations, and will review key differences between single family and multifamily passive house construction.  An owner Q&A will follow; discussing financing, market strategy, condo-ization, construction costs and public art.

HVAC Case Study: the Pax Futura project, a 35 unit Passive House - Aaron Barnett, Cascade Built - Offering insights on permitting such an advanced design with the City of Seattle, making adequate provision for the space requirements of such systems, and approaches to managing the variety of usage patterns inherent to a multi-family project.

Friday Morning


Introducing the new PHPP Expert Seal - Andrew Peel, Peel Passive House Consulting - Exploring the new PHPP Expert seal, the first of several new seals being introduced by the International Passive House Institute. Participants will be provided with a detailed overview of the process, learning objectives, and requirements for obtaining the seal.

The Architect’s PHPP Dashboard - Dylan Lamar of Cultivate and Skylar Swinford of ESCO - The Architect’s PHPP Dashboard enables architects and designers to run schematic-level energy analyses with the PHPP in a matter of 15 minutes in order to assess Passive House compliance. The Dashboard accommodates residential and basic commercial building types. Data input has been expertly simplified through “Good/Better/Best” selections, and graphical output supports at-a-glance understanding.  The Dashboard will be freely distributed to attendees with a licensed PHPP.

The Language of Mechanical Systems: An Architect's Guide to the Dialects of HVAC DesignMaren Longhurst, Sam Rodell | Architects - Learn why Manual J,S,T,D (and N) calculations are so important, where to find critical information in reports and spec sheets, and how to speak the dialects of HVAC consultants and manufacturers.
Solving the Conflicts in ASHRAE + PHIUS Energy Modeling in Large/Commercial Passive Houses - Colin Schless, Thornton Tomasetti - This proposal will be an investigation into the differences and obstacles of each, and will provide solutions for both in commercial building energy applications.



Verified successful Airtightness Approaches in the US and the PNWDan Whitmore of RDH Building Science and Alex Boetzel of Green Hammer - Airtightness is essential for Passive House buildings and the design and construction teams in this geographic region have been implementing comprehensive and successful strategies for a multitude of construction typologies. This presentation will review the means and methods utilized for successful integration.

Passive vs. Prefabrication - Brett Holverstott - Two case studies on the cutting edge of prefabrication are explored.   One a custom contemporary home designed utilizing the BuildSmart (panelized) system.   The second is a custom contemporary home designed to be factory-built in five modules. We explore the natural tension between passive design (eaves, thick walls, continuous insulation) and the dimensional constraints of modular building, as well as the connection details in the eld. Lessons learned.

Passive House Architecture – Designing Toward the Future - Graham Irwin, Essential Habitat Architecture - Based on ten years of experience in Passive House consulting and design, this presentation explores the characteristic dynamics of a successful Passive House project team, the increased responsibilities on the architecture side, details and techniques that leverage widely-available existing technology to increase quality and decrease costs for both new construction and retrofits, and a quest for expression of this new architecture.

Passive House - Great Idea! How Do I Sell It? - Tessa Smith, of Artisans Group, Zachary Semke of Zola Windows, and Jonathan Bean of University of Arizona - The presentation will cover meaningful modern marketing techniques for small and large businesses such as white papers, social media, website visibility, positive messaging and how being a Passive House designer, consultant or builder means you can provide valuable services for a range of potential clients.



Oregon Global Warming Commission Report & Clean Energy Jobs Bill - Sam Pardue, commission member Oregon Global Warming Commission and CEO of Indow Windows, will present key conclusions from their latest report to the Oregon Legislature, discuss where the State of Oregon is going in terms of climate policies, and identify key roles for residential and commercial buildings in the clean energy transition. Oregon’s largest utilities are actively pursuing paths to decarbonization, and the building sector is poised to capitalize on ever greater emissions efficiencies as the Western electric grid decarbonizes. Joining Sam will be a representative from Renew Oregon to talk about the current Clean Energy Jobs Bill working its way through the Oregon legislature.

Passive House Inspired Codes and Policies: How Leading Jurisdictions are Shifting Their Approach in order to Meet Ambitious Energy and Carbon Reduction Goals - Mark Lyles - New Buildings Institute, Lisa Westerhoff - Integral Group (Vancouver) - Advanced energy codes and policies are one of the biggest opportunities for cities and states to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with the built environment. However, based on the current trajectory of currently adopted energy codes it is becoming increasingly clear that they are not requiring the levels of efficiency needed to meet many of the energy reduction goals adopted by leading jurisdictions and organizations such as Architecture 2030. A number of jurisdictions including Massachusetts, New York and British Columbia have incorporated passive house principles into their Stretch or Step codes as a more energy efficient alternative code pathway. This session will examine these principles and how they are are being applied through different energy and building policies to dramatically improve building performance and meet energy and carbon reduction goals.



Educating the Next Generation - Alison G. Kwok, PhD, University of Oregon - This session will garner lessons learned from integrating the CPHC/passive house principles into the curriculum at three US universities (University of Oregon, Miami University [Ohio], and Prairie View [Texas]) and will describe exercises, activities, successes and challenges/hurdles.

Indoor Air Quality and HVAC Strategies for High Performance Healthy Homes - Greg Davenport, Mitsubishi Cooling and Heating - Homeowners, home builders, and HVAC contractors rarely put healthy indoor air quality and energy efficiency before the tangible elements of a home. If homeowners properly understood the risks and rewards of living in a healthy energy efficient home, they would probably choose differently.  We will look at case studies that illustrate best practices for ducted mini splits, transfer fans, and HRVs in high performance homes.

Central Heat Pump Water Heating for Passive Houses - Shawn Oram and Colin Grist, Ecotope - Overview of heat pump technology and 3 case studies delivering COP 2.6 - 3.8.  This presentation will cover strategies for design, implementation, and optimization of these systems.

Development and implementation of the Sanden Co2 Heat Pump Water Heater as a Combi [Space + DHW} for Passive House Buildings - Albert Rooks, Small Planet Supply - This presentation covers the sequence of development and implementation steps of the Sanco2: Concept, partnership buy-in, trial projects, installation and commissioning mis-steps, current performance, approaching mainstream status.


Friday Afternoon



Wood Innovation Research Lab - Dr. Guido Wimmers, University of Northern British Columbia - The WIRL is a small university certified (spring 2018) Passive House laboratory with a large equipment industrial workshop for developing innovative wood products, a small office component, and one seminar room. It achieved a final airtightness test result of 0.07 ACH50. The facility provides students, faculty, and researchers the ability to build and test large-scale integrated wood structures using engineered wood products. Learn about the challenges the industrial equipment posed for meeting primary energy and for the dust extraction with respect to ventilation and wall perforation.

Weaving Large-Scale PH Envelope Design, Detailing and BECx into a Cohesive Approach - John Duncan, Jamie McKay, Prudence Ferreira - In this panel discussion, we will review intersection details for various multifamily and commercial projects that can cause issues with thermal bridging, air sealing and waterproofing. We’ll cover design workow and plan review strategies with respect to high performance detailing. Together, we’ll explore how to use the BECx approach to avoid getting into trouble. We'll wrap up with a summary of recommendations for streamlined design and commissioning of high performance enclosures from PH to beyond.

Purifying the murky waters of modeling household appliances in PHPP - Andrew Peel, Peel Passive House Consulting - This session will explore research undertaken to compare North American and European standards for assessing the energy performance of household appliances. PHPP requires specific performance data on appliances in order to assess their annual energy demand.  A supporting tool for converting North American values to PHPP entries will also be demonstrated. This will provide insight into how well North American products perform relative to their European cousins.



Rowing Together: Creating Highly Effective Teams to Achieve a Regenerative Future - Alex Boetzel, Director of Operations and Sustainability & Erica Dunn, Director of Design at Green Hammer - This session will explore the why and how of creating integrated teams with strong, healthy communication and the ability to overcome difficulties and roadblocks commonly seen in the pursuit of sustainable goals.

Passivhaus for Existing Multi-use Buildings - Peter Vierthaler, Northwest Partners LLC - This presentation will address many existing retrofit strategies, such as; how Passivhaus concepts can be used in existing multi-unit buildings, the retrofits available for reducing energy usage in multi-unit buildings, the increased electric capacity through energy retrofits offers more car charging capacity and the importance of reduced VOCs and good ventilation in living units.

Exploring a Path to More Cost-Efficient, Energy-Efficient (Passive House) Affordable Housing - Mike Steffen, Walsh Construction - This is a brief synopsis of Mike Steffen's detailed case study that will be presented in a 2hr format on Thursday Morning.   It is an illustrated application of the Cost-Efficient Design and Construction (CEDC) Method and how it has been applied to several affordable housing projects in the Pacific Northwest. This idea has appropriately drawn lots of discussion in the industry, and if you cannot make the full workshop on Thursday, you will get a taste of this presentation in this short version.

 Passive House: Stepping, Stretching and Reaching - Dan Whitmore, RDH Building Science - When ambition joins forces with scale. With the capacity to provide predictable, achievable and laudable energy goals for buildings, and following the successes demonstrated by many pioneers, Passive House is providing the basis for where our buildings are going locally, regionally and globally. This presentation will review how Passive House has been integrated or adapted in the efforts of agencies and programs to put muscle behind the momentum to reduce the energy use and climate impact of our buildings.


Decarbonization: A Way Forward, Hosted by New Buildings Institute - 
Ralph DiNola, New Buildings Institute (moderator) | Lisa Westerhoff, Integral Group (Vancouver) | Bronwyn Barry, North American Passive House Network |  Jeff Frost, Brightworks Sustainability -  Slowing climate change will depend on rapid decarbonization of the built environment. This will need to be achieved through a wide range of strategies that include policy development and implementation, market transformation, user engagement and a more comprehensive understanding of building materials. This session will start with panelists highlighting some of the current work they are doing to reduce carbon emissions associated with the built environment while focusing on key takeaways and actions that might be implemented here in the Northwest.

Building Practices in the Northwest - What Does the Data Say? - Mehka Abraham & Dan Wildenhaus, BetterBuilt NW, NEEA - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined that to achieve our climate goals of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C, we need to reduce our carbon emissions by 40% by the year 2030. In this data driven presentation, Dan and Mekha will discuss how our building practices in the Northwest are currently contributing to this goal. By looking at regional trends in construction, as well as the average carbon savings for all “above code” homes, we’ll dive into just how far along our building stock is coming, and how much harder we need to push to get our Residential New Construction efforts to meet this target.

Comfort and Wellness in High Performance Buildings - Dan Luddy, PAE Engineers - How do we optimize a passive house design to best serve the occupants? This presentation will examine the elements of building design that impact thermal comfort, indoor air quality and access to daylight, as well as provide an overview of analysis tools and resources available to assist designers who want to more carefully consider these parameters.
Madison House - A Case Study - Tessa Smith, Artisans Group - A case study of Madison House, a 1200 sf PHIUS Certified home recently completed on an inner city urban lot in Olympia, Washington.  The case study will cover design approach and solutions, assemblies and construction lessons learned. 
Case Study on Washington’s First Passive House Apartment BuildingJames Ortega, PHIUS & Sloan Ritchie, Cascade Built - Pax Futura is a 4-story, 35 apartment building located in Seattle, WA. Being the first large apartment building in Washington, this project has many interesting and noteworthy design features that set it apart from typical single-family passive house projects that are more prevalent in Washington. This session will outline the design process from the point of view of the developer/builder (Cascade Built) and the passive building certification body (PHIUS).

From Path to Place: Bellevue’s Gateway to a Sustainable Future
The University of Washington offered an interdisciplinary graduate studio to students from architecture, construction management, landscape architecture, and urban design & planning called mid2mod: from mid-century to a modern high-performance.

This studio challenged the students to explore a near term 2030 vision along with a grand scheme envisioning a high-performance design and neighborhood for 2050 for the existing historic mid-century modern single family neighborhood of Surrey Downs in Bellevue, WA.

These future neighborhood visions tackle historic preservation, social capital, benchmarking energy and carbon, Passive House performance, urban planning, density increases, eco-districts, transportation, and community building. Hear and see a vision of the future that may be directly applicable to many neighborhoods across the pacific northwest as we all work to create a more sustainable and equitable society.

Julie Kreigh, AIA, PhD, LEED AP, CPHC, Affiliate Instructor, University of Washington
Noor Awad, graduate architecture student
Amanda Fleischman, graduate landscape architecture student
Michael Laurencelle, graduate architecture student
Sarah Peters, graduate urban planning student
Brando Reece-Gomez, graduate landscape architecture student
Pedro Vaquera, graduate architecture student

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