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Passive House Consulting

Passive House Consulting by Abrams Design Build

At this time there are approximately 200 Certified Passive House Consultants in the United States.  Alan Abrams of Abrams Design Build is one of them.

When appropriate, Abrams applies Passive House principles to his green remodeling projects in Washington DC and Maryland.  He is also available to team up with architects, builders or developers who wish to add value to their single-family residential or light commercial building design programs.  As part of an integrated design team, Abrams contributes passive house strategies that enable any LEED or green building project to achieve an even higher standard.

How a Passive House Consultant Works

Once a preliminary design plan is presented, the Passive House consultant methodically analyzes the entire building envelope paying particular attention to air infiltration points, vapor diffusion, and thermal bridging.  These findings guide the way the structure will be assembled and determine specs for the ventilation, heating and cooling systems that will be needed.

It is important to gather a team together from the start. Communication between the consultant, architect, contractors, and engineer is critical during the planning phase as well as during construction.

Passive House Certification

Final certification of a building is granted by the Passive House Institute of the United States (PHIUS).

Pre certification begins at the planning stage.  Using proprietary energy modeling software, all specifications are reviewed for errors or omissions.  Plans, details, and the Passive House Planning Program file (PHPP) is submitted to the Passive House Institute of the United States (PHIUS).

Upon review and approval, construction begins.  Before walls are insulated, multiple blower-door tests are performed to ensure the Passive House standard is met for air tightness. If any fixes are needed, more tests are performed.  After close in but before interior finishes are applied, another blower door test is administered to ensure air tightness of the envelope.  At completion, a final blower-door test is performed.  If the Passive House standard of 0.6 air changes per hour (ACH) is met PHIUS issues a certificate.