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Two Projects Earn PHIUS Certification

Windover is excited to share that two of our projects have officially been recognized as PHIUS (Passive House) certified!

The projects, located in Cambridge, MA, were both gut renovations of historic 1800’s wood frame structures designed to meet the rigorous Passive House standards. The buildings were transformed from office spaces into new graduate student housing, and, in addition to meeting the Passive House standards, were also designed to meet Living Building Challenge “Core” requirements. Inherent to renovating historical buildings, a significant challenge the team faced with both buildings was achieving sustainable performance standards while only being allowed to renovate primarily within the structures, as significant exterior work was limited to preserve as much as possible of the exterior finishes, many of which were original. The team built a new exterior framing and insulation system inside the existing exterior wall to preserve the exterior while meeting PHIUS standards.

What is Passive House?

Passive House is a building standard that focuses on thermal envelope, energy efficiency, and comfort. The construction concept takes into consideration thermal heat gain of the sun, internal heat sources, and heat recovery to render traditional heating systems obsolete. Similarly, it uses passive cooling techniques to minimize the need for any cooling systems.

Using specialty windows and a highly insulated building envelope, buildings meeting the Passive House standard can regulate temperature using heating or cooling systems that are considerably smaller than conventional systems to provide a comfortable environment throughout the year. In fact, comfort for all living spaces is a specific requirement of the Passive House standard. Other critical requirements include energy consumption and air tightness.

For both projects Windover conducted its own blower door testing as a “pre-test” to address any issues early and ensure the official Passive House tests would be successful. Windover also utilized Aerobarrier to provide the tightest possible details for both the building and between the individual units.

Congratulations to the team for an amazing achievement!

Learn more about the PHIUS Certification of these two projects here:






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