Building Certification is a stamp of quality assurance that a building meets the high performance and comfort levels of the Passive House standard.
To start the certification process you will need to engage a certifier approved by the Passive House Institute, ideally at the start of a project.
For a building to be certified as a Passive House, it must meet the following main criteria:
- Space Heat Demand max. 15 kWh/m2a OR Heating load max. 10 W/m2
- Pressurization Test Result @ 50 Pa max. 0.6 ACH (both over-pressure and under-pressure)
- Total Primary Energy Demand max. 120 kWh/m2a
* All heating and cooling calculations are based on the net usable floor area of the building. If cooling (air conditioning) is required, the annual cooling energy demand must also not exceed 15 kWh/m2.
There are two approaches for building certification
1. Design review and certification
This involves an initial design review of the project, ideally before a building permit application is submitted. All drawings, specifications, calculations and other documentation are reviewed to ensure they meet the requirements of the Passive House standard. A short report is then issued, highlighting any issues that put certification at risk. This enables the project team to address these issues before specifications are fixed.
When the project is fully built and commissioned, the post construction documentation is reviewed. If the project meets the all requirements, a certificate is issued. If the project does not meet all the requirements, a short report describing the shortcomings will be issued. If the shortcomings can be resolved, the project can be resubmitted for another assessment.
2. Streamlined certification
This involves only the post construction review of the project. It is highly recommended that the first approach is adopted for inexperienced practitioners. A design stage review helps mitigate risk by identifying issues early on, when substantial design changes can still be made. Often, it is cost-prohibitive or practically unfeasible to make the necessary changes post construction.
When a practitioner has been through the process a few times, the streamlined approach can be adopted to reduce certification costs.
How much does it cost?Certifying a typical single family home costs between $3000-$5000, depending on size and complexity. Additional costs are incurred where more support is needed.
How long does it take?The design stage review can take between 1-3 months, depending on whether the correct documentation is submitted first time round. Post-construction review takes a minimum of 2 weeks.
Find A Building Certifier
Peel Passive House, Toronto www.peelpassivehouse.ca
MIZU Passive House Consulting, Vancouver www.mizupassivehouse.com
RDH, Canada Wide www.rdh.com
You can find a list of all international PHI-accredited certifiers on the Passive House Institute website. www.passivehouse.com