NAPHN Statement on Equity and Inclusion

This statement is NAHPN’s response to our social crisis of racial inequity and exclusion. The deaths of Black Americans Breonna Taylor and George Floyd ignited newfound awareness, self-examination, and reckoning across America. On June 2, 2020, NAPHN issued a statement titled Black Lives Matter and called on us all to support systemic change. Subsequently, NAPHN has sought ways to take action, including participation in the NAACP Centering Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector initiative, supporting more diverse participation in events and in trainings. This statement gives us an organizational frame to continue these efforts.

NAPHN Statement on Equity and Inclusion

Passive House uniquely changes the way we think and work with buildings – but our efforts are not optimized within the framework of our societal racism.  Passive House must not simply challenge the architectural status quo but also the culture that produces it. We must challenge ourselves to extend the effort that Passive House already demands architecturally, to support racial equity. 

We must confront the interlocking systemic causes of racism to achieve racial equity. We must look beyond isolated symptoms and across disciplines, from our built environment to our communities to find and execute integrated systemic solutions combatting the crises we face today and will face tomorrow.

NAPHN has embarked on a journey to challenge ourselves and our community to act intentionally across all that we do. We must avoid the trap offered by the mirage of neutrality, the claims of not being racist, and the structural racism such attitudes perpetuate. We will pursue the continuous work of internal transformation to support and cultivate a NAPHN culture, a DNA of diversity, equity and inclusion that lifts all aspects of NAPHN’s work. We challenge our board of directors, our staff, and our membership to take those concrete actions, within our power, small and large, to be change agents.

That means we will dedicate funding to support diversity and inclusion, including training of board members, staff and membership. We will implement hiring practices that increase diversity and cultivate inclusion. We will provide and support educational opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, from students to young professionals to established practitioners. Developing and delivering on these objectives is our work.

This is a decisive moment in time, providing us an opportunity to lead in new and innovative ways. We call upon the larger Passive House, and building industry communities – the society we inhabit, to work with us. Now is the time for all of us to examine who we are as individuals and collectively as an industry. As we combat environmental, health, and social degradation we must actively seek racial equity, developing a culture and strategy that continuously cultivates social reform.

– NAPHN Board of Directors, April 16, 2021