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Wolfgang Feist
Founder and leader of the Passive House Institute

Dr. Wolfgang Feist, a physicist by training, is the founder and director of the Passive House Institute (PHI), an independent research institute founded in 1996 in Darmstadt, Germany. He has dedicated his career to the development of solutions for energy efficient buildings and increasing industry capacity worldwide through the Passive House Standard. Having researched at Tübingen, Kassel und Lund University since 1973, Feist was responsible for the planning and construction of the first Passive House building in 1991, which almost 25 years later still performs as initially designed. Since 2008, Dr. Feist also acts as a professor of building physics at the University of Innsbruck, where he has worked within the department of Energy Efficient Construction since 2008 to spur development in the region of Tyrol, Austria.
Among his many recognitions, Dr. Feist has been awarded the following:
2001 National German Environmental Award, Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)
2003 International Environmental Award of the City of Gothenborg (together with Hans Eek)
2013 Honorary Fellowship Award, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
2014 Sustainable Building Award, University City of Lund, Sweden


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Christoph Chorherr
Local Council of  Vienna

Christoph Chorherr is a postgraduate economist and politician (Green Party) and is working as a municipal council of the city of Vienna. After studying at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and majoring in economics with a focus on environmental economics, he became an associate lecturer in 1987. In the early 1990s he led a company and engaged in the realization of low-energy houses. In his political career, he served as city councillor of the Green Party in Vienna, as Federal spokesperson of the Austrian Green Party and since 1997 as Municipal Council and member of the Landtag, where he also contributed to the realization of passive house villages. In his work he mainly deals with the issues of energy policy, mobility and sustainable building.



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Michael Ludwig
Stadtrat für Wohnen, Wohnbau und Stadterneuerung in Vienna

Dr. Michael Ludwig is a politician (SPÖ) and Executive City Councillor for Housing, Housing Construction and Urban Renewal in Vienna. After studying Political Science and History at the University of Vienna, his work was focused on the issue of education and he was thus given the position of pedagogical director of an adult education centre. In 1991, he became the Landesstellenleiter of the Dr. Karl-Renner-Institute in Vienna as well as the state secretary of the SPÖ Vienna. Before being deputy major of the city of Vienna from 2009 to 2010, he served as a member of the Vienna City Council and of Parliament (1999-2007) and was part of the Bundesrat. His aim is to improve the quality of living and housing in Vienna, which he pursues by initiating the Viennese “Stadterneuerungsprogramm” (urban renewal program”). This program promotes the renovation of residential buildings in order to increase social sustainability.

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Ursula Schneider
Federal Chamber of Architects and Engineer Consultants

Since 1984, Ursula Schneidert has focused her career on ecological, solar and sustainable building technology. With the founding of pos architekten ZT-KG she focused on building research and consulting with a special interest in Passive House, Daylight architecture, plus-energy standard, carbon-neutral building technologies and recycling. Since 2011, she she has been nominated in the area of sustainability at the Architects Council of Europe and since 2013 on the executive board of the Austrian Society for Sustainable real estate management. She is also currently lecturing at the Fachhochschule Technikum Wien and has been a member of the federal division of the Federal Chamber of Architect and Engineer Consultants.


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Günter Liebel
Division Head of Environment and Climate Protection at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management

Günter Liebel has been responsible for environmental protection and climate protection since 2006 for the Globalbudget "Allgemeine Umweltschutzpolitik" (General environmental protection policy). This includes the Departments of Energy and Economic Policy, Sustainability and International Environmental Affairs.

Günter Liebel studied landscape ecology and landscaping in Vienna and Ohio, then worked as a landscape architect before becoming a senior associate at the Environmental Bureau in 1985. Günter Liebel has been working at BMLFUW since 1996.




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Michael Paula
Division Head  of Sustainable Economics at the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Innovation and Technology

Michael Paula studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Vienna. Since 1986, he has been working in public administration with a focus on energy research, environmental technologies and strategies for sustainable development.
He has led the department of energy and environmental technologies since 1996 and develops R&D-strategies for technological research questions relating to sustainability. He developed the (online) Platform for Sustainable Management with the programs 'House of the Future', 'House of the Future Plus', 'City of the Future', 'Production of the Future' and 'Energy Systems of the future'. He initiated the 'Energy 2050' strategic process, as well as the Austrian initiative 'Smart Cities'.
He has also worked as a lecturer for customized technology at the Technical University of Vienna and has lectureships at the Fachhochschule Pinkafeld and the Fachhochschule Technikum Wien.


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Helga Kromp-Kolb
Head of the Center for Global Climate Change and Sustainability, University of natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Helga Kromp-Kolb studied meteorology at the University of Vienna and  completed her PhD in 1971. She worked as a research assistant at the University of Vienna and in 1982, she habilitated in the topic of environmental meteorology. She worked as a senior executive at the ZAMG, before working as an associate professor at the San José State University. She was a lecturer at the University of Vienna and led the department of environmental meteorology from 1986-1995. In 1995 she became a tenured professor for the Insitute of Meteorology at the Univesity of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. She still holds classes at the Univerity of Vienna.

Helga Kromp-Kolb became famous for her research and engagement in the topic of global climate change.


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Günter Lang
Director of Passivhaus Austria

Günter Lang completed the first certified Passive House in 1999. He has been running his company, LANG consulting, since 2001. From the very beginning, Lang’s focus has been on the growth and development of Passive House, energy efficiency and a sustainable future. In the process, he has been involved a broad rang of theoretical research and pioneering demonstration projects. To spread the findings rapidly and extensively, Günter Lang is a speaker on the subject of Passive House buildings at numerous international conferences and technical meetings.

In 2002, he founded the first Passive House network in Austria and since 2013 he has been managing Passivhaus Austria on behalf of the Passive House Institute. As an active member of the International Passive House Association (iPHA), he contributes to the global network of Passive House stakeholders to further the development of the Passive House Standard.


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Günther Jedlicka
CEO of the OeAD-Housing Office

Mr. Günther Jedliczka was born on November 22, 1966 and studied business and economics at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna. While pursuing his studies he spent two months in London and one month in Paris which helped honing his language skills and his personal growth. After successfully completing his university education, he then went on to gain experience as a counselor for deaf-and-blind people while doing civilian service. Afterwards, he started achieving professional experience while working in a private company for about 10 months before starting his career at the OeAD. He became the CEO of the OeAD-Housing Office in 1998.

Back in 1999 Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker’s book “factor4” served as inspiration to construct a passive house. He also visited the first newly built passive student residence – the OeAD-Guesthouse in Molkereistrasse – in 2005.


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Heinrich Bottermann
Secretary General of the German Federal Environmental Foundation

Dr. Heinrich Bottermann worked from 1985 to 1990 as a veterinarian in the district of Borken. From 1990 to 1993 he was Division Head of the Health Senator of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen before he became Head of the federal Ministry of Health from 1993 - 1995. He then worked as Head of Unit for Animal Welfare and Veterinary Medicines in the Department of Environment and Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia (MUNLV, 1995-2007),  as Director of the State Office of Food Economics and Hunting NRW (2003 to 2006) and as Deputy Head of the Department of Agriculture in MUNLV. From August 2007 to September 2013, Bottermann was President of the State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia, an agency with approximately 1,400 employees. In 2013, Dr. Heinrich Bottermann was appointed Secretary General of the German Federal Environmental Foundation.


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Scott Foster
Director of Sustainable Energy at the United Nations Economic Commission of Europe

Scott Foster has been Director of UNECE's Sustainable Energy Division since 2011. With more than 35 years' experience in energy, Mr. Foster has worked extensively with governments, industry, and international organizations on energy policy, market design and regulation, and climate change strategies. Mr. Foster's particular focus recently has been assisting energy stakeholders address the critical challenges of sustainability, technology choice, and investment mobilization. Before founding Nomad Energy Consulting in 2004, Mr. Foster was VP of Global Regulatory Affairs with AES Corporation, Senior Director for Global Power with Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), and Senior Expert on Electricity for the International Energy Agency. Mr. Foster holds a BA from Dartmouth College, an MS in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from UC Berkeley.



Helmut Krapmeier
Presenter of the panel discussion on Saturday, 29 April 2017

From 1990 until his retirement in the spring of 2016, Helmut Krapmeier worked as a researcher, speaker, presenter and lecturer promoting sustainable building concepts - above all the Passive House Standard - at the Energieinstitut Vorarlberg where he has left his mark on the institution itself as well as sustainable building in Vorarlberg. In 2016, he was honored with the Vorarlberg "Mitwelt- und Energiepreis" ("social environment und energy prize"), as a "committed personality who has devoted himself to the interests of nature and environmental protection for many years”.








Lloyd Alter
Editor of TreeHugger

Lloyd Alter is design editor of TreeHugger. He has been an architect, developer, inventor and prefab promoter. He contributes to, The Guardian, Azure and Corporate Knights magazines, and is Adjunct Professor teaching sustainable design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design. Lloyd is a Past President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario.

In the course of his work developing small residential units and prefabs, Lloyd became convinced that we just use too much of everything- too much space, too much land, too much food, too much fuel, too much money, and that the key to sustainability is to simply use less. And, the key to happily using less is to design things better.



Ivonne Higuero
Director of Forests, Land and Housing Division at the
United Nations Economic Commission of Europe

Ms. Ivonne Higuero is the Director of the Forests, Land and Housing Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. She provides overall management to the Division and ensures the effective and timely implementation of two programmes of work: Forestry and Timber and Housing and Land Management. Under Housing and Land Management, the main issues covered are access to affordable, healthy and decent housing and promoting energy efficient housing.

Previously, at the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Europe in Geneva from 2002-2014, Ms. Higuero was leading the development of the ecosystems management sub-programme at the regional office and was the UNEP Coordinator of the Pan European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy. From 1994 to 2002, Ms. Higuero held the post of Programme Officer at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi.

Ms. Higuero holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Missouri (USA) and a Masters of Environmental Management degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University (USA).


Credit: Umweltbundesamt/Andi Bruckner


Jürgen Schneider

Director of Sales at Environment Agency Austria

Jürgen Schneider studied chemistry in Vienna where he also completed his diploma and doctorate studies. After working as a university assistant, Dr. Schneider began his work at the Environmental Bureau in the then department for air hygiene in 1994. From 2002 to 2004, Dr. Schneider worked as a project manager at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Bonn, Germany. He then returned to the Environmental Bureau to head the Department of Air Hygiene from 2004 to 2006. From 2007 to 2014, Dr. Schneider was Head of the Department of Economy & Efficiency at the Federal Environmental Agency. Today he is head of the sales department.



 Workshop: Deep Retrofits with PHPP | PHPP basics

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Jan Steiger
Passive House Institute

Born in Stuttgart in 1974, Jan Steiger pursued a career as a traditional architect through his studies at the University of Stuttgart complemented with various internships. He became inspired by the Passive House Standard in 2004 working for Michael Tribus Architecture in South Tyrol as internal project manager on energy efficiency and Passive House projects. As of 2011, Jan has worked as a researcher at the Passive House Institute where he leads the development of PHPP and thereby is involved in the coordination of projects such as the DEEVi and the EU-funded project EuroPHit. Always seeking to provide a simple understanding of cost-effective and energy-efficient construction, Jan is also an experienced speaker and certifier of buildings, doors and building systems.


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Zeno Bastian
Passive House Institute

Zeno Bastian has worked at the Passive House Institute since 2007. He studied architecture at the Universities of Hanover and Stuttgart as well as the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastián in Spain, graduating with a major in Energy Efficient Buildings. Following his graduation, he worked as a construction site supervisor for the refurbishment of two large apartment buildings to near Passive House Standard. At the Passive House Institute, Zeno works as a senior scientist, specializing in energy retrofit with Passive House components. He is also project leader of the “Research Group on Cost-Efficient Passive Houses” and author of a comprehensive Handbook on Renovation with Passive House Components.

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Esther Golltwitzer
Passivhaus Institut

Dipl.-Ing. Esther Gollwitzer studierte Architektur an der TU Darmstadt und an der KTH in Stockholm. Anschließend erstellte sie bei Goldbeck GmbH Ausführungsplanung von Nichtwohngebäuden und gewerblichen PV - Anlagen. Seit 2009 arbeitet sie als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Passivhaus Institut. Ihre Schwerpunkte liegen in der Forschung, Beratung und Energiebilanzerstellung für Nichtwohngebäude (insbesondere für Hallenbäder) und in der Entwicklung des PHPP (Passivhaus
Projektierungspaket). Ergänzend dazu ist sie als Referentin tätig. Im Bereich der Wärmebrückenberechnung ist sie vor allem für die Zertifizierung von Fensterrahmen und Rollläden zuständig.


Workshop: Energy Efficient Hot Water Systems

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Jessica Grove-Smith
Passive House Institute

Jessica Grove-Smith  graduated with a master’s degree in physics (MPhys) from the University of Sussex in England. She has been part of the research team at the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt since 2008. Her responsibilities range from stationary and dynamic energy demand modelling, climate data for the PHPP and hygrothermal simulations of individual building components. The application of the Passive House concept for indoor swimming pools has also been a main focus of her work, as well as contributions to the renewable primary energy assessment method that is being introduced for the new Passive House classes.


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Oliver Ottinger
Passive House Institute

Oliver Ottinger, senior scientist at the Passive House Institute, studied Physics at Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz and completed his PhD in material science at the Technical University of Darmstadt. He has been working at the Passive House Institute since 2013, focusing on a variety of national and international research projects. Oliver has considerable experience in predicting the energy demands of Passive House buildings using both static and dynamic simulations. In addition, he has attended numerous conferences, working groups and course lectures as a speaker, distributing the knowledge gained from research projects.

Workshop: Commissioning and Performance Optimisation


Wolfgang Hasper
Passive House Institute

Wolfgang Hasper has been a scientist at the Passive House Institute since 2005, focusing on building monitoring, project consulting, as well as education and training.  Before joining PHI in 2005, he trained as an architect and has gained broad experience in practical construction, ranging from his own work as a carpenter and locksmith to site supervision on behalf of an architect.

He continues to be involved in a number of consulting and research projects, for which on-site quality assurance is an important part of the work. Current challenges include the development of simplified techniques for post-occupancy building performance monitoring. This involves using specialist measuring equipment and data evaluation procedures to make systematic performance evaluations and optimisations more accessible for designers and building owners worldwide.


Workshop: Windows

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Benjamin Krick
Passive House Institute

Dr. Benjamin Krick works as a senior scientist at the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt, where he is head of the Component Certification department. His activities are focused on the field of energy efficient, cost-effective windows and evaluation of the sustainable energy supply for buildings. Born in 1976, Krick studied and researched at the Hochschule Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences and the University of Kassel, where he received his PhD. in 2008 in experimental construction. As a trainer and author of numerous papers and books, he disseminates his knowledge on energy efficient, cost-effective, sustainable building.


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Corinna Geiger
Passivhaus Institut

Corinna Geiger ist Wirtschaftsingenieurin und seit 2016 wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Passivhaus Institut. In ihrem Studium hat sie sich intensiv mit den Themen energieeffizientes Planen und Bauen und Ökonomie auseinandergesetzt. Ihr Tätigkeitsschwerpunkt am Passivhaus Institut ist die Gebäudeberatung und Zertifizierung.


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Dr. Berthold Kaufmann
Passivhaus Institut

Dr. Berthold Kaufmann ist Physiker und war zu Beginn seiner beruflichen Laufbahn in der Entwicklung von Solarthermie-Anlagen und in der Beratung tätig. Seit 2000 leitet er beim Passivhaus Institut die Forschungsarbeiten zu thermischen Eigenschaften, Energieverbrauch und Wärmefluss von Gebäuden. Er wirkt dabei auch an der Konzeption stark isolierter Fenster und von kompakten Wärmepumpsystemen mit. Dr. Kaufmann berät Architekten und Bauunternehmer bei der Planung von Passivhäusern, sowohl von Neubauten als auch von Modernisierungen. Er ist zudem Experte, wenn es um die Wirtschaftlichkeit von Passivhäusern und Finanzanalysen geht. Zusätzlich zu seiner Beratertätigkeit und seinen zahlreichen wissenschaftlichen Publikationen hält Dr. Berthold Kaufmann Fachseminare zu Passivhäusern sowie Vorträge vor internationalem Publikum.


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Dr. Witta Ebel
Passivhaus Institut

Seit 1980 beschäftigt sich die studierte Physikerin und Mathematikerin Frau Dr. Witta Ebel mit den Themen Energiepolitik und Energieeffizienz. Sie war aktiv in die Entwicklung und in die Evaluierung des ersten Passivhauses in Darmstadt involviert, in dem sie seit seiner Errichtung 1991 selbst lebt. Dr. Witta Ebel ist eine der Mitbegründer des Passivhaus Instituts und ist dort seit 1996 in leitender Position tätig. Ebel engagiert sich in zahlreichen nationalen wie internationalen Projekten zur Energieeffizienz von Gebäuden. Dabei beschäftigt sie sich insbesondere mit der Forschung und Weiterentwicklung von Niedrigenergie- und Passivhäusern, mit der Energieeffizienz des Gebäudebestands und Energieszenarios, mit der Bewertung der Wirtschaftlichkeit sowie der Weiterentwicklung des Passivhaus-Projektierungspakets (PHPP) – das führende Planungstool für Passivhäuser.


Compact Course: Passive House - a contribution to climate protection

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Søren Peper
Passive House Institute

Søren Pepper studied environmental engineering in Hamburg, focusing his thesis work in 1995 on the comparison between actual consumption data and planned values of a multi-family low energy house. He has worked as a researcher at the Passive House Institute since 1998 where he coordinated the Research and Measurement group.Søren primarily focuses on monitoring buildings built to the Passive House Standard, both for new construction and retrofits. He has authored many research reports on a variety of different building types such as residential, schools and daycare centers, factories, office buildings and indoor swimming pools. Søren is also a specialist in airtightness and has worked on publications for airtightness measurement. He is a certified tester and a member of the asociation for airtightness in buildings (FLiB).


Workshop: Cooling and Dehumidification

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Jürgen Schnieders
Passive House Institute

Jürgen Schnieders is physicist and part of Passive House Institute's scientific staff since 1997. Apart from consultancy in building projects, monitoring evaluation, development of PHPP, and all kinds of simulations, he is particularly dedicated to taking the Passive House approach to warm and hot climates. Jürgen wrote a Ph.D. thesis on "Passive Houses in South West Europe" and was project leader of several studies on Passive Houses for different climates.



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Tomas Mikeska
Passive House Institute

Tomas Mikeska joined the team at Passive House Institute in 2014. He received his Phd degree in Civil Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark in 2015. Tomas has been focusing on energy efficiency in buildings during most of his studies and sees the Passive House concept as a very natural way of building houses. His areas of expertize are technical installations in buildings with special focus on heating and cooling solutions. At Passive House Institute he is involved in the development of certification schemes for heat pumps.



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Sichen Sheng
Passive House Institute

Sichen Sheng studied building and energy engineering in China and Germany, focusing on building energy efficiency and building services. Since 2017, he has been part of the research team at the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt. His responsibilities range from further developing the dynamic building simulation software Dynbil and consulting on various Chinese building projects. He also has special expertise in the cooling and dehumidification of Passive House buildings in warm and humid climate zones and related building services solutions. Moreover, he is involved in the development and support of IP-PHPP (imperial units) and PHPP CN.




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Oliver Kah
Passive House Institute

Oliver Kah, a trained physicist, worked as a research associate at the University of Siegen between 1999 and 2001. His main focus was on the area of building physics and solar energy. Since 2001, he has worked at the Passive House Institute, where he deals with the energy efficiency potential of non-residential buildings, building technology and the development of energy balance methods.


Workshop: Tips and Tricks for designPH | designPH basics


Camille Sifferlen
Passive House Institute

Camille Sifferlen is a graduate architect from France, who has worked in the field of sustainable construction in her home country as well as in Spain, China, Australia and Germany. She is a particular advocate of the Passive House Standard, because it can be adapted to different climate zones and building types. Camille has worked at the Passive House Institute since 2015, where she mainly focuses on training and education. In addition to developing the e-learning platform, Camille regularly gives lectures and courses on energy efficiency and the planning tool designPH.



Harald Konrad Malzer
Passive House Institute

Harald Konrad Malzer studied architecture at the University of Innsbruck. After having worked as a research assistant at the university for several years, he was put in charge of the organizational management of the Passive House Institute in Innsbruck in 2010. Within the Passive House Institute, Harald is leading the EU project FP7 Smart Cities – SINFONIA and is responsible for setting up and programming a database to determine Best-Practice solutions, including evaluation; the methodological development of retrofit concepts as well as the co-conception and data analysis of the district-tool, which is aimed at the energetic evaluation of districts. In 2012, he began to design the 3D-CAD Plugin designPH. This includes the development of the software as such, technical support and giving lectures on designPH and PHPP.


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David Edwards
Passive House Institute

David Edwards studied both Physics at the University of Durham and later Architecture (Part I, University of Nottingham, Part II, Centre for Alternative Technology). Before joining PHI, he worked in various UK architectural practices in Nottingham and London, specialising mainly in housing. He first discovered PHPP whilst studying for a Masters in "Architecture: Sustainability and Design" and was quickly impressed by the attention to detail and openness of the calculations. Shortly afterwards he took the qualification to become a Certified Passivhaus Consultant. Since 2012 he has worked for the Passive House Institute as the creator and developer of designPH, working remotely at the 'virtual' PHI office in London. In the UK, David has provided the designPH training modules for the AECB Carbonlite programme and has been a guest tutor, teaching PHPP and designPH to students, at University of Sheffield, UCL Energy Institute, University of Brighton, Centre for Alternative Technology and others.



Dragoș Arnăutu
Passive House Institute

Dragoș Arnăutu is an Architect at the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt. He joined the Passive House team in 2012, working in the field of building consultancy and certification. He previously studied architecture at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and was awarded a Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt Internship at the Passive House Institute.
Besides building consultancy and certification, Dragoș is currently involved in the development of an Online Certification Platform and designPH.
Dragoș teaches responsible architecture and believes the Passive House Movement is on the right path towards achieving sustainability.