German Passivhaus Institut Darmstadt gives official nod to Rainbow Passive House in Whistler

Rainbow Passive House first Residential Building in Canada to be certified by PH Institut Darmstadt

by Alexander Maurer

Designing and building to the Passive House Standard is one thing – successfully certifying a building is another altogether. The process is very stringent; every little detail is assessed and reviewed. Quite some work is going into gathering the extensive list of documentation required. And yes, it takes a while. That said, it is quite rewarding to learn that things have been done properly and the building is working as intended. Congratulations to the entire team working on this project including the builders Durfeld Constructors & BC Passive House and the structural engineer Equilibrium Consultants plus (last but not least) our Austrian friend Erich Reiner who coordinated the certification of this project. Thanks very much.

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CLT Floor

CLT Floor

Rainbow 1

SOlar Hot Water Panel

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Rainbow 9

I believe this project was a success on several levels:

1. The project has qualified for the Whistler Restricted Housing Initiative – an affordable housing program

2. 90% Canadian and Regional products were used

3. New technologies were showcased including Cross Laminated Timber (manufactured by Structulam in Penticton, BC)

4. One unit was pre-sold – the other was sold shortly after completion with lots of interest – talk quick sales

5. The construction process was smooth and efficient including the assembly of the new prefab panels by BC Passive House – Assembly video here:

6. Over a 1000 visitors have toured the building experiencing first hand what Passive House is all about

Where do we go from here?

Interest is certainly building in the Passive House Standard with more and more professionals taking courses offered by CanPhi in Canada and PHIUS in the States.

With more Passive House buildings underway and occupied, public awareness is rising – not only about the principles, but also about how a Passive House building operates and feels. This is one of the key factors to bringing this standard into the mainstream in North America, as it has been in Europe for over 15 years now, next to communicating the post construction economics: Lower Monthly Costs of ownership and Higher ROI!

In our upcoming blog posts we will introduce some other exciting projects we just completed or are working on – such as a Low Energy Infill Dwelling in Vancouver, the 1st Passive House on Vancouver Island and a nice Energuide 85 Renovation in Vancouver…..more to come, stay tuned.

If you are interested in learning more about our projects, Passive House Certification or other please do not hesitate to contact us @ or visit us at