Nabih Tahan: 2012 Board Candidate
- Certified Passive House Consultant: Yes
- Member of Royal Institute of Architect of Ireland
My name is Nabih Tahan. I am the founder and current board member of PHCA.
Qualifications: I am an architect, licensed in California and Ireland. I am a certified passive house consultant. I have developed, designed and built new and retrofit, single and multi-family projects to the low energy and passive house standard in California, Austria and Ireland.
Pre 1992: USA
- Project manager at an architecture firm in California, specializing in investigative and forensic architecture and repairing defective buildings. This gave me first-hand experience of how our fragmented construction industry leads to low performing buildings.
- Moved to Austria, developed projects and became familiar with the culture that allowed the passive house standard to flourish, including the education system, design and construction strategies including focus on building science and prefab and government policy. This experience introduced me to a new perspective of integrated design and construction which makes it possible to reach such a high standard as the passive house.
- In 2001, I became the managing director of a company that exported low energy, prefabricated homes from Austria to Ireland. This was my first experience to embed an advanced design and construction system into a foreign, under-performing building industry. I became aware of the obstacles in introducing a modern, building system into a society that does not have the cultural background and knowhow to implement such a system.
- In 2005, decided to return to Berkeley and retrofit our old bungalow with the goal of introducing the Passive House Standard to California. Besides the normal challenges of completing a major retrofit, we encountered major difficulties through the design, permitting and construction processes because this strategy was unknown to building officials, consultants, builders and product manufacturers.
2006 to present: PHCa
- As a result of my experiences, I began to introduce the passive house standard through presentations throughout the Bay Area. I have given over 75 presentations in the last few years to organizations such as the American Institute of Architects, Build it Green, West Coast Green, architecture, engineering and construction offices, city and state agencies and educational institutes.
- October 2008 – I received positive feedback after many of my presentations and was encouraged to start a passive house group. By October 2008, I called the first meeting at our house in Berkeley, which was the beginning of Passive House California.
2008-2010: Cooperation with Austria through the Austrian Trade Commission
- As a result of my experience in Europe and the USA, I was commissioned to write a study for the Austrian government describing the opportunities for Austrian companies to do business in the US green building industry.
2010-present: Representing Cree in USA
- Cree is a general contracting firm that wants to start building in the USA. They have developed a system approach to designing and building high performance commercial and multi-family residential projects. This approach is based on timber construction and considers the Life Cycle of buildings and their materials.
Role and future motivation:
My role on the board of PHCA would be to continue transferring knowhow between Austria and California and continue to grow our organization to include other groups throughout California.