Ben Leer, PHN Trainer

Ben has had a diverse career focused on sustainability and the urban environment. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate building science courses at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the City College of New York. He is currently a trainer for the North American Passive House Network, where he instructs professionals to become Passive House Certified. Ben has consulted on numerous projects, spanning ecological infrastructure to Passive House design. He specializes in high performance daylighting systems, providing a comprehensive suite of services ranging from design review, thermal bridge modeling, specification and sourcing, as well as onsite installation support. He has given numerous talks, trainings, and workshops on the topic. Ben graduated with a MS in Sustainable Architecture from the City University of New York. He is a Certified Passive House Consultant who has worked on projects across North America. He has a passion for creating environmentally friendly buildings, and is deeply committed to the Passive House movement.

Gaby Brainard, PHN Trainer

Gaby is a licensed architect, CPHC/D, building envelope specialist, and educator. Her work includes technical consulting, academic research, and teaching architecture students and professionals. In her consulting practice, she helps clients design and build efficient, durable, and constructable building envelopes using Passive House principles. Her research on envelope retrofits has been supported by NYSERDA and the AIA Upjohn Research Initiative. She teaches architecture and building science at Pratt Institute and Columbia GSAPP, and previously taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Gaby joined the Passive House community after a decade working as a facade specialist on high-profile commercial and multifamily residential projects in New York City, as a senior technical architect at SHoP Architects and a facade consultant at Heintges. She has a Master of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture.

John Mitchell, PHN Trainer

John Mitchell graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College in 1996 and a Masters of Architecture from Parsons the New School in NYC in 2009. In the interim, John worked as a carpenter, first on residential renovations and later the design and construction of custom homes, and as a project manager and digital fabrication specialist for a theatrical design and production company. The combination of design and craft embodied in Passive House resonated with John when he was first exposed to Passive House as a construction manager for Parsons the New School/Stevens Institute of Technology’s 2011 Solar Decathlon entry. John soon became a Certified Passive House Designer and in 2015 began training others in Passive House principles. John is a partner in BLDGTYP, a high-performance building consultancy located in Brooklyn, NY.

Matthew Bowers, PHN Trainer

Matthew Bowers spent 6 years in the Navy as a nuclear engineer and became interested in Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics. Once his tour was over, he attended RIT’s Mechanical Engineering Technology Program where he wanted to become a HVAC designer. While at RIT he learned of “homes so efficient they don’t need furnaces”. He then focused his career path on Passive House. He graduated with the highest honors in 2010. Since 2013 Bowers has worked as a Certified Passive House Consultant and Tradesman and HERS Rater. In 2017 Matt started his own Company – Rochester Passive House Consulting – specializing in high performance homes. He has been featured in the Journal of Light Construction’s Energy Column under multiple topics including Blower Door Testing for extremely tight homes, Infrared Scanning, Blower Door Testing and Retrofitting airtightness and trouble spots for airtightness in new homes. He was the designer of Rochester’s 1st Certified Passive House – his personal home. Matt started certifying Passive Houses in 2019 and provides training for PHPP and FLIXO. Matt is also a certified trainer for the Certified Passive House Designer (CPHC/D) and Certified Passive House Tradesman (CPHT) Courses.

Steve Mann, PHN Trainer

Principal of Home Energy Services, Steve Mann, is a California HERS Rater and Certified Energy Analyst (CEA), LEED AP+ Homes and Green Rater, and is a certified Passive House Designer, Tradesperson, Trainer, and building Certifier with Passive House Institute. His two most recent design/build residential projects are Net Zero Energy (NZE), and are both LEED Platinum and Passive House certified.