The Passiv Report

Commercial Passive House building, the Malcolm Rosenberg Center for Jewish Life, earns rigorous green building certification, PHIUS+

Commercial Passive House consulting firm, Passiv Science, announced today that its Passive House community center project, the Malcolm Rosenberg Center for Jewish Life at Virginia Tech, has earned the rigorous PHIUS+ certification from the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS).

The PHIUS+ designation means that the project not only meets the stringent energy efficiency and airtightness criteria of the Passive House standard but also withstood the close scrutiny of a third-party quality assurance/quality control verification process conducted by a trained PHIUS+ rater and building science technician.

“As the adoption of Passive House in North America begins to take off, safeguarding the integrity of the standard becomes more important the ever,” said Passiv Science founder and commercial Passive House expert Adam Cohen. “The independent, third-party verification process of PHIUS+ certification helps guarantee that Passive House buildings perform as advertised.”

The Hillel Center ( is the first Passive House religious assembly building in North America, as well as the first building in North American to incorporate a commercial kitchen (complete with commercial grease hood) within a Passive House building envelope.

“The Hillel Center is the latest example of what a ‘no brainer’ Passive House design and construction is for commercial buildings,” said Cohen. “Hillel uses 70% less energy than a conventional code-built building, but cost no more to build.”

By investing in air tight, super-insulated walls, roof and foundation, Passive House designers and builders can both dramatically downsize expensive mechanical systems and increase occupant comfort. In moderately larger buildings like the 8,000 square foot Hillel Center, the ratio of building skin (walls, roof, and foundation) to building volume (the interior spaces of the building) becomes so advantageous that Passive House construction becomes cost equivalent to conventional construction.

Hillel was designed and built by Structures Design/Build, a leading Passive House builder in Roanoke, Virginia co-owned by Passiv Science founder Adam Cohen and long-time business partner Steven Strauss. Passiv Science provided high performance building expertise and guidance on the project, services it now shares with Passive House design and construction teams throughout North America.

To learn more about commercial Passive House consulting services, visit

Passiv Science guides large-scale Passive House building projects throughout North America, empowering teams with the expertise and integration for success. With offices in Roanoke, Charlottesville, San Francisco, and Toronto, the firm helps bring the comfort, efficiency, durability, and cost savings of Passive House to commercial buildings.

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