North American Passive House Pilot Program

On/off-site, climate-specific, light-frame, residential construction system for Passive House certification.

We are seeking project teams, led by builders or design/builders, to join our pilot program from climate zones all over continental North America.

To qualify to be a Pilot Project, we ask that you commit to using Emu’s construction system and to participate in our data collection. In exchange, you’ll receive high quality consulting to bring your project to Passive House certification at reduced fees.

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What is the Emu construction system?

It’s an enhanced version of typical North American stick frame construction, with insulation levels adjusted to climate zone, allowing for a range of vapor-open insulation type (foam-free above grade).

Assemblies and junctions have been developed with the intent of reaching Passive House performance, preferably using North American sourced products. They have also been optimized for simplified construction methods and streamlined application on site. However, the system can also be applied to off-site builds, eventually becoming a Passive House prefab product iteration tool. 

Within the range of suitable combinations, project teams are free to select different performance packages and products to meet their design goals.

What services will you receive from Emu?

You will receive the benefit of a fully pre-designed and pre-analyzed construction system (assembly and junction details), suitable for climate-specific Passive House criteria (hygiene and comfort). Furthermore, envelope assemblies have been pre-verified for building durability via dynamic hygrothermal performance (WUFI), which is not typically required for project certification with PHI.

Additional services are included in the program to assist with the development of the design and the execution of the construction, in a flexible and cost-effective manner.

(see list of services)

What project data will you be sharing with Emu?

As a means to validate our method of pre-designed construction systems, we ask you to track the amount of time you spend researching, designing and pricing your project, as opposed to a project following a traditional approach. We also ask you to share with us your estimates and project pricing, to help us create case studies to show the economic viability of Passive House in different climate zones of North America.

What data will Emu be monitoring post-occupancy?

For the purpose of monitoring the performance and durability of the construction system itself, we’ll ask you to install sensors in your building. This will allow us to analyze conditions inside the assemblies, in relationship to the internal/external climates. Data will be collected by us remotely, which will compared to our virtual prototyping and simulations.

For the energy performance of the Passive House, additional data can be collected for the energy consumed by different services, as well as the energy produced by any renewables installed on site.


Where is Emu seeking projects?

We would like to ideally have at least one project using our system in each climate zone to be able to gather data for the next phase of our platform development, with some climate zones having multiple projects. As of Summer 2018, we are especially seeking more projects in warmer climate zones (1-4).

Request information:

Meet the first generation of Emu Pilot Builders: