Preliminary Passive House Review

Preliminary Passive House Review

Set your single-family residential project on the path to Passive House level performance while ensuring your project is aligned with your thermal comfort and air quality goals with a Preliminary Passive House Review. By taking this extra step in the early stages of your concept design, you’ll be able to evaluate where to allocate the rest of your budget instead of committing to whole-project consultant fees that may be overkill.

Get an expert evaluation of your project’s building science from Emu Systems to make better-informed decisions and achieve your goals!

Start Projects with a Preliminary PH Review

The key to implementing Passive strategies in a constructive way is to start early, which is why we offer Preliminary Passive House (PH) Review services to help set your project up for success from the beginning. Learn more about the Preliminary PH Review to see the many reasons why it’s worth it.

Evaluate Your Concept Design

The Preliminary PH Review is a first step feasibility study and analysis towards evaluating a concept design for a project. You’ll receive a 30-page report detailing the aspects of your project which we believe will have the biggest impact in helping you achieve your performance goals.

Emu is able to do a Preliminary PH Review in any climate zone in North America. We’re the authors of the North American CPHT curriculum which has extensive research into the cost-effectiveness of various decisions for our particular market. Additionally, we have international experience working with a range of climate conditions.

Set Your Project Up for Success

A Preliminary PH Review is best done in the early project stages to identify potentially impactful design decisions. All that’s required for Emu to evaluate your project is a concept design with basic volumes, orientation, and planned openings. Based on a mutually decided upon set of assumptions, we’re confident that our advice will help you take the next steps with more confidence.

Whether you are seeking Passive House, Net Zero, LEED, Living Building, or simply better building results, this Preliminary PH Report is a great way to get your high-performance project started off on the right foot. Using the widely recognized Passive House standard as a benchmark, it will help you gauge the feasibility of your project. If you’re seeking certification, it’s a good idea not to jump into the deep end too quickly before really understanding the hurdles of your project’s conditions to achieving your goals.

This graph shows just how important window selection can be in Climate Zones 6 and 7. The dark line shows what temperature you can expect on the inside of code compliant windows, while the orange lines show a variety of Passive House level windows.

Lower Costs & Improve Performance

The review is perfect for project teams (designers, builders, or owners) of single-family residential projects that are seeking early-stage advice and guidance on cost-effective strategies to reach high-performance, using the Passive House standard as a performance benchmark.

This preliminary review will help identify high-impact items, without committing to whole-project consultant fees. Once areas of impact are identified, you can move forward with more confidence that your budget will be directed toward performance results.

Our Preliminary PH Review Process

Ready for Emu to review your project? Fill out the form below with some basic information about your team and your project. If you feel comfortable emailing your plans to, we can get a jump on creating your estimate. The report that we deliver to you will help determine how close or how far you are from the goal of going Passive.

In the conclusions, we’ll leave you with specific considerations about where best to spend your budget and what design goals to focus on, in order to meet your expectations of a high-performing, comfortable, and healthy indoor environment.

Buildings are for people. Health and comfort are the most sustainable qualities to strive for in resilient, long-lasting buildings.

This is an example of what we call our “Decision Matrix”. We give clients an easy visual way of understanding what product decisions will likely make it difficult to reach Passive performance standards (orange in color), vs the ones that perform so well that they could be “overkill” if the cost is also high (blue). We end up determining the sweet spot for cost and performance, based on the project goals.

Hear what happy Emus have to say about our Passive House Reviews

“After honing in on an initial design, we decided to get expert input about the energy efficiency of the design. After much internet searching, we found Emu Systems, and hired them for their Preliminary Passive House Review. That put us on the path to enrolling in their Passive House pilot program. One of the recommendations of the preliminary report was to simplify the geometry and move the mechanical room to the center of the home. We also simplified the geometry and surface area of the windows. We ended up with a better design in the end.” – Matt Kirsch and Kerri Stroupe, Homeowners

“In a recent project, Emu’s Preliminary Passive House Review readily identified that code level windows were not only the weak link in the design solution but also could lead to discomfort and condensation problems and resoundingly convinced the owner of the value of high performance windows. It set us on a better course of action while it was still efficient to make revisions and long before it was too late to turnaround.” – Greg D. Fisher, Architect

Take the Next Step

Move forward with confidence on your project by reaching out to Emu today. Fill out the form below to receive more information on our PPHR and a sample report. Ready to start your review? Email your plans and concept design to for a faster estimate!