The Passive House (formerly Passivhaus) standard is a bold and intriguing approach to reducing the energy usage associated with residential construction. After breaking away from Passivhaus-Institut in August of this year, Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) has decided to kick things up a notch, as it were.
Now, the organization is requiring what they refer to as a Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC) component to the certification process. As my friends at OAC Management Incorporated are quick to point out, there is a difference between quality assurance and quality control. However, semantics aside, this is an important development in the green building movement. As I wrote at Chris Hill’s Construction Law Musings, true sustainability requires verification that buildings are constructed as intended.
Here is what PHIUS has to say about the QA/QC requirements:
PHIUS has added a Quality Assurance/Quality Control component to the standard Passive House Certification process. Through the PHIUS+ QA/QC program, a third-party RESNET*-approved energy rater—who has received special Passive House training–confirms the work of PHIUS certifiers, assigns a HERS Index**, and evaluates the project for possible eligibility for other energy ratings (such as Energy Star) that may qualify a project for financial incentives.
Source: Maintaining Passive House Quality [PDF]
Unfortunately, I can’t find any clear documentation about what specific quality assurance and/or quality control measures PHIUS is implementing. I will post an update as soon as I find out.