The Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany, founded in 1996 by Dr. Wolfgang Feist, is an independent research institution that employs physicists, mathematicians and civil, mechanical and environmental engineers, to perform research and development on highly efficient energy use in homes.
In the United States, the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) represents a non-profit a consulting and research firm working to further the implementation of Passive House standards and techniques. The PHIUS is also authorized by the Passivhaus Institut to certify passive houses built in the US.
As published in, "New Passive House Alliance Launches," on EcoHome Magazine's website, "the PHIUS will launch the Passive House Alliance at the North American Passive House Conference between Nov. 4-7, 2010. The Passive House Alliance will relieve the PHIUS from marketing, public outreach, and political lobbying work, allowing it to focus on its core mission of training architects and builders in the use of the passive house standard, consulting on projects, and certifying buildings.
Taking on public outreach, advocacy, education, and professional support, the Passive House Alliance will expand the base of knowledge about the principles of Passive House design in the United States and push it toward the mainstream."
From my experience, its been extremely difficult to explain Passive House standards to friends and family. The concept is easy to explain, but its getting people to really understand that's the trick. I feel like I run into a wall halfway through my explanation because most of us [American's] can't see outside of the box, i.e. standard construction.
I think the Passive House Alliance is a great move for the PHIUS and I feel confident they'll be better at spreading the word than the few passive house blogs that are floating around on the internet. I look forward to their success spreading the word about passive houses' proven energy conservation building techniques.