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PG&E Introduction to the Passive House Standard

December 16 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm EST

The Introduction to the Passive House Standard guides participants through the principles and economics of the Passive House Standard, with an in-depth look at enclosure insulation & thermal bridging: principles, calculations, details, systems and components. This course also features case studies for Passive House construction in California to demonstrate successful projects across different building types and show how building codes are reconciled with Passive House requirements.


  • Introductions, PG&E Safety Message, and Welcome
  • The Passive House Idea
    – Reasons for Passive House and benefits of Passive House construction
    – Discuss CA climate goals and how Passive House achieves them
    – Review the 5 core techniques of Passive House construction
  • Review Passive House Certification
  • Discussion of the Passive House Tools: PHPP, DesignPH and Therm
  • Case Studies for Passive House construction in California
  • Class Survey, Closing and Wrap up

The objective of this course is that at the conclusion, participants will:

  • Be able to outline the 5 basic principles of Passive House design and how each principle contributes to the health, safety and welfare of occupants.
  • Be able to describe why and how hygienic ventilation is an essential defining component of Passive House design and operation. And outline how the Passive House design focuses on very good energy efficiency which results in side-benefits like great occupant thermal and acoustic comfort, improved occupant health outcomes, and economic affordability.
  • Be able to highlight the major Passive House tools: PHPP, DesignPH and Therm, and provide an overview of the tools in correlation with data-driven design.
  • Be able to illustrate the data-driven design process used to help projects meet their comfort, durability and climate goals.
  • Understand how to get from where the participant is now to building a building adhering to the international passive house standard through applicable case studies.

Ed May

Ed is a Passive House Consultant, licensed Architect and a LEED Green Associate. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2001 and a Masters of Architecture from Parsons the Newschool in NYC in 2009. Ed has been an Adjunct Professor at Parsons the NewSchool University as well an Industry Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ where he directed the school’s 2015 US DOE Solar Decathlon program. In addition, Ed teaches with the Passive House Academy the North American Passive House Network, and Passive House Canada and is certified by the Passive House Institute (PHI) in Germany and the Passive House Institute of the US (PHIUS) as a Certified Passive House Consultant.