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Lessons Learned from a Phius Rater

February 21 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


An essential piece to any certified PHIUS building is an experienced Rater. And from experience comes a deep understanding of the processes, procedures, and potential pitfalls of delivering a Passive Building. Please join us as one such expert in energy consulting, Juanita Ellias, shares her perspectives, best practices and guidance for all members of a project team to perform their best.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the role of each team member and why they need to be fully engaged for a successful project.
  2. Define the overall tasks a Rater performs throughout a project.
  3. Differentiate between what a Rater, CPHC, Architect, and Builder are responsible for.
  4. Identify the most common oversights made by project teams.
  5. Discuss value of experience, expertise, and training necessary for PH projects and how to mitigate when one or more team members are lacking.


Presenter Bio:
Juanita Ellias, is a PHIUS+ Rater/Verifier, and owner of Rivercity Woodworking LLC in Milwaukee, WI. Rivercity Woodworking opened in 1998, and in 2008 shifted the direction from restoration to energy consulting services, becoming fully certified as a RESNET Rater in 2010. In 2013, she started her Passive journey by being formally trained as a Rater with her first certified house 2016.

From Juanita, “I have too many degrees to think about: art (painting and sculpture); architectural history; historic preservation methods and policies; HVAC and Advanced Refrigeration and Air Condition. Most important and during the first energy crisis in 1970s my husband and I bought an old house (built 1885-1913 in stages) in Milwaukee. This became my New School and Laboratory where I had learned about the aging process in buildings, heat loads and modeling, materials, reticence in the trades, and new industries.

The program I entered in 2013 was PHI and over the next 10 years the PHI became PHIUS+ and I became as a result not just a Rater, but also a Verifier for DOE and EPA programs –Energy Star, the EPA Indoor AirPLUS, Watersense, and RESNET QAD. The paperwork blossomed, the responsibilities blossomed, and the certifications and re-certifications blossomed. Interest in building a Passive House has also blossomed. In watching a project evolve from start to finish makes sense only from the perspective spelled out in the PHIUS+Guidebook (in 3 versions from 2015, 2018, 2022 . . .). The complexity embedded in this document is lost to the public and often to many of the specialists working under the guidelines.”


February 21
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Chicago Public Library – Near North Branch
310 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60610 United States
(312) 744-0991
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Phius Alliance Chicago
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