Passive Projects Design Competition

2019 Passive Projects Design Competition

We invite you to the 5th Annual Passive Projects Competition Awards Ceremony on Thursday, December 5 at 5:30pm in Independence Center A & B. Back by popular demand, this juried competition recognizes fully certified passive building projects of all types and climate zones. This is your chance to showcase your work and celebrate the great strides being made in the field of passive building!

Featured below:

Award Categories

Winning and honorable mention awards will be given in five categories:

  • Single Family
  • Multifamily
  • Affordable
  • Commercial / Institutional
  • Source Zero

Additionally, two projects from the above winners will be awarded:

  • Best Overall Project of this year’s competition
  • Best Project by a Young Professional (35 or under)

The winning and finalist entries will be unveiled during the opening of Independence Center A & B and accompanying reception from 5:30-7:30pm on Thursday, December 5, 2019 in the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Washington, DC. Awarded entries will remain on display throughout the core conference from December 6 – December 7, comp_main

See the 2019 Passive Projects Winners


  • Submitters of winning entries will receive one full year of PHAUS membership (existing members will be extended by one year)
  • Winning projects will be featured in follow-up coverage of the conference by Green Building & Design magazine
  • PHIUS and PHAUS will feature winning entries as case studies on their home pages
  • PHIUS and PHAUS will publicize winners via social media, e-newsletters, and press outlets

Entry Fees*

  • PHAUS members: $95
  • Non-members: $145

*Entry fee covers poster printing and mounting of award winners and runners up in all categories.


Projects must be listed as fully certified in the PHIUS+ Certified Projects database, the PHI / IPHA database*, or other passive house certification database (e.g., Belgium passiefhuis-platforme).

* The PHI database includes a variety of entries – only those marked as certified are eligible.


Entries will be scored on a scale of 1 – 5 based upon the following criteria:

  • Performance (e.g., meets PHIUS+ standard, better than standard, crushes the standard)
  • Difficulty level (climate/site/location/requirements challenges)
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Design (e.g., smart use of space)
  • Craftsmanship
  • Health (e.g., use of non-toxic materials)


PHIUS/PHAUS will assemble a panel of five jurors, each of whom meets two of the following three criteria:

  1. CPHC®, PHIUS Certified Builder, PHIUS+ Rater or PHIUS+Verifier in good standing
  2. Completion of at least one certified project
  3. Licensed professional

This year’s jurors are:


Chris Benedict

Chris Benedict is a registered architect with 30 years of professional experience. Her office, Chris Benedict, R.A., was founded in 1995 and specializes in the design of exceptionally energy efficient buildings. A leader of the Passive House movement in the United States, Chris has designed over 80 apartment buildings in New York City, including three recently completed apartment buildings in New York City designed to meet the Passive House Standard.

Read Full Bio

She has another 15 Passive House buildings on the boards, all designed to cost the same as typical construction. Chris is a graduate of the Cooper Union where she was inducted into the Cooper Union Hall of Fame. Chris teaches internationally about her groundbreaking work and is a thought leader in the building industry.

 Doug Farr_rd

Doug Farr

Douglas Farr (FAIA, F-CNU, LEED AP) leads Chicago-based Farr Associates, a pioneering architecture and urban design firm which designs loveable and sustainable places and buildings. Doug wrote Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature (November 2007, Wiley) and Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future (April 2018, Wiley). In 2017, Planetizen readers named him one of “the 100 most influential urbanists of all time.” A native Detroiter, he is an architecture graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University.


Walter Grondzik

Walter Grondzik is a Professor of Architecture at Ball State University, an architectural engineer, and a licensed professional engineer. His academic and professional interests include high-performance building design and all areas of building environmental control systems and their effects on buildings and occupants. Grondzik is author of Principles of Building Commissioning and co-author of Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings (10th, 11th and 12th editions) and The Green Studio Handbook (1st, 2nd and 3rd editions).

Read Full Bio

He is an ASHRAE Fellow, a Fellow of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), and recipient of the ASES Passive Pioneer Award. Grondzik is past-president of the Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE), past-president of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC), and is currently President of the Board of the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS).


Katrin Klingenberg

PHIUS Executive Director & Co-Founder

Katrin is the executive director of the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), Chicago, Illinois, USA. PHIUS is an organization committed to making high-performance passive building the mainstream market standard. After studying at the Technische Universitaet in Berlin, Germany and graduating from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana with a master’s degree in architecture in 1996, Katrin began her career in architecture with Murphy/Jahn in Chicago, Illinois.

Read Full Bio

She then worked for the architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz in Chicago. In 2002, she started her own firm and became a registered architect in Germany. In 2007, Katrin co-founded the Passive House Institute US to work on education. She is the executive and the lead instructor for the PHIUS Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) training. She also directs the technical and research programs at PHIUS which has trained over 2,000 architects, engineers, energy consultants, energy raters and builders in passive building standards. PHIUS has become the leading passive building research and information provider in North America.

Katrin has written and co-authored magazine articles and book contributions. She has also presented internationally on the topic of passive building science and won the Woman in Sustainability Leadership Award in 2015.

Betsy Pettit_rd

Betsy Pettit

Betsy Pettit is the president of Building Science Corporation and is a registered architect with over 40 years of professional experience in the design and renovation of residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. With a particular passion for and commitment to environmentally responsible design, Ms. Pettit managed Building Science Corporation’s role in the Department of Energy’s Building America project for the past twenty years, which has involved the design of over 5,000 high performance houses throughout the United States.

Read Full Bio

Consistent with her philosophy that environmental responsibility ought to also be economical, Ms. Pettit has done extensive work to advance the building industry in the area of energy efficient affordable housing, partnering with Habitat for Humanity, as well as developers and builders across the United States. She is the former Director of Modernization and Redevelopment in the public housing division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Offices of Communities and Development, where she oversaw over $120 million of building improvements to Massachusetts’ 40,000 units of public housing. Notable projects include the Zero Energy Research Facility on the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, MD and the pioneering zero energy Deep Energy Retrofit of a Sears Kit home in Concord, MA

Ms. Pettit has given seminars on the subject of healthy and environmentally responsible housing to builders and architects across the country, and she has contributed to many procedural and technical manuals and papers to guide designers and contractors in the area of high performance design. She has also served as chair of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Buildings Conference, where BSC staff members are frequent presenters.

Ms. Pettit holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Design from Miami University and a Master of Architecture from North Carolina State University. Based on Ms. Pettit’s “notable contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture,” she was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in February 2008.


Mary Rogero

Associate Professor, Dept. of Architecture and Interior Design, Miami University of Ohio

Mary Rogero, RA, CPHC®, LEED AP, is an Associate Professor and former Chair for the Department of Architecture and Interior Design at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She teaches Passive and Low Energy Design seminars and studios to freshman through graduate level and is currently teaching the CPHC curriculum to students. Prior to teaching, Mary was a principal in the design firm of Rogero Buckman Architects for fifteen years specializing in the adaptive reuse in older buildings.

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With her business partner, she also helped develop a construction company to construct the firm’s designs and a development company. She continues to practice architecture with her firm Rogero Architects. Mary is currently the Chair of the PHAUS Council and Vice President of the PHIUS Board of Directors.

Mary is currently the Chair of the PHAUS Council and Vice President of the PHIUS Board of Directors.


How to Enter

  • Register and pay the entry fee using the links at the bottom of the page.
  • Complete the online application form (we recommend that you review the form and assemble the required information prior to completing the form).
  • Upload a pdf suitable for printing and mounting a vertical orientation poster measuring 24″ wide x 36″ high and 300 dpi that includes:
    • Project Title/Use-Type/Location/Client
    • Photos/Drawings
    • 250 word maximum text description of project
    • WUFI Passive or PHPP results

*PHIUS employees and board members may not enter their own projects into the competition; however, other project team members/firms are eligible to enter a project. Projects with a PHIUS board member as CPHC are eligible to apply.

Deadline for Entry Monday, November 11, 2019 at 11:59pm ET.

Projects must be fully certified by entry deadline. Payment, online application and poster board (pdf) must all be submitted by entry deadline.

Awards Announcement

Winners will be announced on Thursday, December 5, 2019 during the opening of Independence Center A & B and accompanying reception from 5:30-7:30pm at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport in Washington DC.

Register and Pay

Application Form

If you have trouble with the form above click here.

Poster Submission

File-size limit 30MB. If your file exceeds this, please email and we’ll provide a Dropbox upload link instead. (example poster design)