Posted in | Green Building

Canadian leader in the global movement to cut home energy costs up to 90 per cent offers comprehensive Passive House course at Ryerson University to train next generation

Ross Elliott, aka “Mr. Energy”, wants to inspire a new generation of Canadian Passive House architects, designers, contractors and engineers to build to the emerging Passive House standard that can reduce home energy costs by up to 90 per cent. The CEO of Homesol Building Solutions Inc. – currently involved in 8 Passive House projects and anticipating another 30 this year – has assembled a North American team of Passive House consultants at Toronto’s Ryerson University starting July 31st to create a new generation of expertise around the world’s highest residential energy design standard.

Buildings in Canada plus their associated electricity use currently exceed all transportation emissions combined. Why are people still content to build leaky, uncomfortable, energy guzzling homes when we know a better way?” asks Elliott.

“Passive House buildings can be built now, in Canada, with North American building techniques and technology, and deliver huge energy savings in the Canadian climate. Smart people will buy a Passive House, not only because it’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” says Elliott. “Over nine days we are offering the most detailed, course available in Canada on Passive House design. Our Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) Training course is the first in Canada being taught by people who are already Certified Passive House Consultants.”

What also makes this course unique is the recognition by the Ontario Architectural Association (OAA) and the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) that it qualifies for 32 hours of Continuing Education credits. The Continuing Education program is mandatory for Ontario architects, licensed technologists and LEED professionals to increase the knowledge, skill and proficiency of those in the green building design and consulting professions.

Passive House design represents the world’s highest energy standard for residential and commercial construction and delivers energy cost reductions of 70 to 90 per cent. Passive House is also equivalent to the Canadian standard for home building by 2030 – making today’s Passive House buildings almost two decades ahead of their time. “Passive House building hits economic and environmental sweet spots, as the buildings reduce energy costs and resource consumption,” says Elliott. “For a 10 per cent increase in building costs, you make back your money in about 10-12 years. If energy prices go up, that return on investment happens faster.”

Elliott has a 30-year career as an energy auditor, carpenter and homebuilder. His company verifies 1,200 buildings a year to R-2000, Energy Star, LEED and Passive House standards. Elliott has Trainer qualifications from both the Passive House Institute United States and the Passivhaus Institute in Germany. In 2011, for the second time in five years, EnerQuality, an organization established by the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association to promote energy conservation practices, named Elliott Ontario’s Top Energy Evaluator.

Taking Elliott’s Passive House course on how to dramatically improve a home’s energy-efficiency is a smart response to consumer demand. A study done in the spring of 2011 for the Canadian Home Builders Association found that energy- efficiency is now a “must have” feature for buyers and has become “significantly more important” to Canadian consumers. A series of U.S. studies in recent years reveal green features are a key factor for consumers:

  • 70% of buyers are willing to pay more for a green home
  • 80% of buyers would choose the most energy-efficient home
  • 55% list “green” features as an important part of the decision to purchase
  • 70% of homebuyers are more likely to buy green in a tough economy
  • 79% are willing to pay more for a home with predictable energy costs

Elliott has assembled a team of trainers from across North America for the Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) Training course at Toronto’s Ryerson University. Participants can also take the CPHC exam to gain their own certification. Graduates learn all of the principles of Passive House design and will learn from instructors who have designed and built Certified Passive Houses. They will study built examples, learn materials selection and work with the energy modeling software, the Passive House Planning Package. Elliott’s team includes:

  • Russell Richman, CEO of Russell Richman Consulting Ltd. an engineering firm in Toronto specializing in sustainable buildings. He is also an Assistant Professor of Building Science at Ryerson University
  • Ryan Abendroth, the Certification Manager at the Passive House Institute US and a Certified Passive House Consultant and Trainer. He is also Principal of Passive Energy Designs LLC in Missouri
  • Graham Irwin of California has worked in construction for more than twenty years and was one of the first Passive House Consultants in the US. He has a degree in physics with additional studies in engineering and architecture and he is Principal of Essential Habitat Consulting

The Certified Passive House Consultant course will be held over nine days from July 31 to August 4 and August 20 to 23. “This course offers a Canadian perspective on this new generation of sustainable buildings. The course is of particular interest to architects and provides real benefits to engineers, contractors and designers who want to improve both energy and environmental skills while learning how to build the kind of home that clients want and will pay more to buy.” says Elliott. Cost of the course is $2,250 + HST and $250 + HST for the Certified Passive House Consultant exam. For more information and to register contact Homesol Building Solutions Inc. at 613-278-0467 or e-mail [email protected]

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