NAPHN Meets with Deputy Secretary General of United Nations to Further Global Building Energy Efficiency

On Tuesday, July 10th, NAPHN Board Members, Rob Bernhardt, Ken Levenson, Brandon Nicholson and Tomas O’Leary, joined senior United Nations staff and representatives from New York City, Vancouver, Ireland and Penn State University, in a delegation to brief the Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, about progress in creating international networks to meet the Paris Climate Accord goals, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing.

The meeting follows the Deputy Secretary Generals address to NAPHN17 conference last Fall in Oakland California and was the culmination of a multiyear effort by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) – which includes the US and Canada – along with NAPHN, Penn State University and others, to develop Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings and mechanisms for their implementation globally.

Presented to the Deputy Secretary General, the two related initiatives, both working hand-in-hand with the UN are: A Global Building Network, led by Penn State University, of universities around the world, and a worldwide network of International Centers of Excellence, starting first in New York City at the Building Energy Exchange and next in Vancouver and then Ireland to be followed with Centers north and south, east and west.  The university network will focus on shared research and the development of curriculum while the centers will look toward educating industry – both focused on mechanisms to spur rapid implementation.

At the core of the framework are Passive House principles, methodologies and research.  It was fitting that from the 27th floor conference room of the UN Secretariat headquarters, participants could see out the windows, the Certified Passive House tower at Cornell Tech, by Handel Architects.

With close coordination between NAPHN, Penn State, the Centers for Excellence, the Passive House Institute, and other industry stakeholders – NAPHN looks forward to working toward rapid global implementation, which the Paris Accords so urgently necessitate, including working sessions at the NAPHN18 Conference, October 17-21, in Pittsburgh, PA.  We hope you join us in this critical effort.