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Certified Passive House Consultant/Designer Training

September 24, 2018 @ 8:00 am - September 28, 2018 @ 5:00 pm EDT

$1750 – $1850

Join GBA for a Certified Passive House Consultant/Designer Training!


Register Now


So to clear the air- what is Passive House?  Passive House is a technique of building design and construction that drastically improves the energy performance of all buildings – from a 26 story building to single family homes.  We are Green Building Alliance after all, and we are here to help encourage and enable high performance buildings in the region, so we’ve blogged about it a few times (hereherehereherehere, and here).  The how?  By focusing on Passive elements first, i.e. a well-insulated, airtight building envelope (walls, windows, roof, foundation, doors) and orientation (to allow for solar gains).

Developed in Germany, Passive House (or Passivhaus) design champions passive elements first (a tight building envelope, increased insulation, use of solar gains) to minimize energy use and mechanical systems. Demand for Passive House design in both residential and commercial buildings has been increasing in Western Pennsylvania, and the trend is growing. The Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant course at Green Building Alliance is taught by Pittsburgh-based instructors who participated in an in-depth master training with the Passive House Institute and Passive House Academy. This course is specifically designed to teach the international Passive House Standard to design professionals (architects & engineers) making Passive House buildings in the U.S. construction industry.

With 5 days of in-class instruction, and an additional test prep day a week before the October exam date, participants will get thorough instruction in the critical aspects of Passive House design and construction. After taking this course students will be able to immediately start applying what they have learned to greatly reduce the energy demand of buildings they work on.  After passing the exam (which students in Pittsburgh have a historically high pass rate), participants will receive a five year registration as an internationally accredited Certified Passive House Designer or Consultant.

This course is for all building professionals: architects, MEP and structural engineers, builders and construction managers working in the design and construction of new build and retrofit Passive House buildings.

Image: NK Architects, copyright Aaron Leitz

Image: NK Architects, copyright Aaron Leitz


In-class schedule:

  • Day 1: Introduction to Passive House, including: principles, economics, insulation & thermal bridging
  • Day 2: Opaqued Building Envelope and Windows
  • Day 3: Ventilation, heating, cooling, dehumidification and domestic hot water
  • Day 4: PHPP energy model basics
  • Day 5: Retrofits, economics, certifications and exam preparation.

Test Prep Day:

CPHD exams taken in Pittsburgh have had one of the highest pass rates – in part because we have offered this exam prep day.  On this day we will focus on:

  • Insulation,Energy Balance & Calculations
  • Airtightness Calculations
  • Thermal Bridging Calculations
  • Designing a Passive House
  • Window Calculations
  • Ventilation Requirement Calculations
  • Economics


The exam dates are set by the Passive House Institute for 4 different dates around the world: in March, June, October and in December. Exact dates and more information on the exam is available here.


The current version of the PHPP energy model will be provided and registered to the attending participant for use in class – and any subsequent professional work.


The designation “Designer” is reserved for architects, engineers and similarly specialized building professionals. The “Consultants” designation is for non-specialized professionals and others. A more detailed guideline can be found here.)




The $1,850 ($1,750 for GBA members) fee for the course includes a training manual and breakfast, lunch, and snacks for all days of training.  In addition the candidate will need to cover the software fee ($175) and the exam fee ($500) to become a Certified Passive House Consultant.  To become a Certified Passive House Designer, the candidate will need to submit proof of educational attainment that would qualify them to be a CPHD. More info can be found here and registration will be available shortly.


Learning Objectives

1.Gain an in-depth understanding of the Passive House building standard, including its intent, requirements, history, the players involved, some common misconceptions, and its applications for both residential and commercial buildings.

2.Learn the basics of building science as an essential piece of the Passive House standard.

3.Explore the theories behind the Passive House building standard and put them into practice during in-class design and critique sessions.

4.Learn to use the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) energy modeling software as part of being adequately prepared to pass the Certified Passive House Designer exam and become a fully credentialed CPHD.


To learn more about the Passive House Standard, click here.


Register Now


This training is made possible by generous support of

Passive House WPA


September 24, 2018 @ 8:00 am
September 28, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
$1750 – $1850
Event Category:


Kris Osterwood


Green Building Alliance
333 E Carson St, Suite 331
Pittsburgh, 15219 United States
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