Passive House Institute US and EMerge in Standards JV

June 05, 2017 by Paul Shepard

The EMerge Alliance and Passive House Alliance US (PHIUS) jointly announced a cooperative effort to create an integrated active electrical power standard to enhance existing PHIUS building standards. A single technical standards group, co-chaired and comprised of members of both organizations, is being formed to develop the standard. The formal launch of the shared effort will commence in a webinar on June 8, 2017. The webinar will include a review of the new group's mission, charter, and a call-to-action for volunteer membership in the group. The joint committee is expected to become active in June this year.

PHIUS, in earlier cooperation with Building Science Corporation, under a U.S. DOE Building America Grant, developed a passive building standard, PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard North America, which was released in March of 2015. The existing standard accounts for the broad range of climate conditions, market conditions, and other variables in North American climate zones. Although ideal as a basis for Net Zero & Net Positive designed buildings, it doesn't currently cover active electrical systems in such buildings.

PHIUS co-founder and Executive Director Katrin Klingenberg comments, "While we believe our standard is ideal to meet today's economic and ecological market demands, we want to take it to the next level and provide active electrical standards to complete the journey to net Zero/Positive building construction. We anticipate, with EMerge's experience and expertise in power system standards, we will get there."

EMerge Alliance President and co-founder Brian Patterson remarked, "There couldn't be a better way to develop electrical standards for Passive House construction than to work directly with the creators of their standard. With our history of developing hybrid ac/dc power system application standards that maximize the positive impact of distributed renewable energy resources, this joint effort will be unprecedented in bringing the best of both active and passive building design elements to bear on the task."

The EMerge Alliance is active in creating technical application standards in building and campus power systems, from those used in the data centers that power super computers to ones that power the basic needs in single huts in the under-served developing economies of the world. The focus of the Alliance has been on the integration of on-site renewables in an increasingly digital device world, hence its motivation for a greater integrated use of dc electricity. The Alliance is the only application standards development group working on advancing the use of dc power to compliment traditional ac electricity in residential and commercial buildings.

Like all EMerge Alliance standards, this new PHIUS initiative will include the hybrid use of both ac and dc power by defining interfaces with existing ac power systems at various upstream and downstream levels, with the goal of providing plug-and-play convenience for homes and commercial buildings including faster electrical vehicle charging, and direct support of the expanding use of USB, wireless charging and other low voltage dc power distribution means that simplify the convenient and efficient use of personal electronics as well as 'Smart Home and Buildings' automation equipment. The goal in this case will be to provide the guidance needed to reach 'Net Zero & Net Positive Energy' use in Passive House designed and constructed buildings.