Basic Understanding Passive House Building (50)

This course is for anyone wishing to have a basic understanding of the core principles of Passive House design and building energy efficiency regulations in Canada.

This course is recommended for homeowners and realtors.

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Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings (90)

This course provides a more in depth overview of the core principles of Passive House design and building energy efficiency regulations in Canada. It covers the history of energy efficient buildings, energy consumption data and environmental impact, case studies and the economics of creating high performance buildings. There are no prerequisites for this course and it is recommended for anyone wishing to understand the basics of Passive House high performance buildings, including:  developers, project coordinators,  subcontractors and component suppliers, architects, engineers, architectural technologists and other design professionals.

Please note: this is an introductory course and does not provide the technical knowledge necessary to design a Passive House building. If you are ready to take on a Passive House project, we recommend going directly to 120P: Pathway to Designer/Consultant Certification

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Pathway to Designer/Consultant Certification (120P)

Passive House certification ensures that you or your organization are expertly qualified to design high performance, highly efficient buildings to meet Canada’s national green building strategy.

The Pathway to Certification is the perfect combination of three courses:

Our Pathway to Certification has proven to be the most effective program to get participants ready to pass the challenging exam.

Please see descriptions below for more information on each course.

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Passive House Design and Construction (120A)

This course covers the technical, economic and policy elements of Passive House buildings. Participants will learn how to apply Passive House principles in the context of building physics, windows and mechanical systems. Numerous case studies, both domestic and international, will be used to demonstrate current best practices and teach concepts of cost assessment. Participants will also have the opportunity to solidify their learning with interactive exercises throughout the course.

120A can be taken as a standalone course even if you don’t intend to write the Certified Passive House Designer/ Consultant Exam. If you intend to write the exam we strongly recommend you take 120A, 120B and 120C.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Building science and energy use, overview of Passive House principles
  • In-depth look at insulation and airtightness design and construction techniques
  • Thermal bridging principles, elimination of thermal bridges through better design and construction
  • Window placement and construction, window components and efficiency
  • Ventilation system design principles, components, distribution and operation
  • Heating and cooling a Passive House building, design principles, components, distribution and operation
  • Economics of Passive House design and construction, cost and risk reduction, marketability
  • Quality assurance and testing
  • Building certification process

Recommended for building industry professionals and individuals who are going to be involved in the design and construction of Passive House buildings or EnerPHit (retrofit) projects, including: architects, engineers, design professionals, site supervisors, general contractors, building inspectors, city planners, homeowners, investors and suppliers of high performance building materials that may be used in Passive House construction.

There are no prerequisites for this course, however it will be assumed that the participants can read blueprints and have a basic understanding of construction terminology. This course does include some use of mathematical formulas.

Please note: 90 Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings is not required to take this course.

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Understanding and Working with the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) (120B)

This course enables you to take on your first Passive House project. It provides step-by-step instruction for using the PHPP energy modelling software, which is essential for designing a Passive House building. Participants will learn the structure, inputs and outputs of PHPP, and how to select appropriate climate data sets and record building measurements. The course includes modelling a sample Canadian project, where participants will assess building heat loss, energy demand and summertime overheating risk, as well as looking at the reliability of data sources and how design decisions impact the building energy demand.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Introduction and overview of PHPP, treated floor areas and U-values for assemblies
  • Heat loss areas and thermal bridging calculations
  • Ground calculations and energy implications
  • Window components and inputs, shading, ventilation volumes and airflow
  • Heating demand and load, summer cooling requirements and ventilation
  • Domestic hot water energy, electrical and other energy demands, renewable energy (PER)

Recommended for those who will be directly involved in the design, construction and energy modelling of Passive House buildings, including architects, engineers and design professionals. Also for anyone pursuing the Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant designation.

Prerequisites/ required knowledge and equipment/software:

  • 120A: Passive House Design and Construction, or equivalent
  • Laptop with Microsoft Excel or equivalent installed (PHPP is Excel based), mouse recommended
  • Area measurement software such as Autodesk Design Review (free) or Bluebeam Revu (free trial)
  • Although PHPP demonstration files will be provided for use during the course, we recommend you purchase the PHPP software prior to attending the course. The PHPP manual is provided with the purchase of the software and is useful in understanding all of the features. PHPP can be purchased on our website; please allow at least one week for shipping.


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Exam Preparation for Passive House Designer/ Consultant Exam (120C)

The Passive House Designer/ Consultant Exam is challenging, even for experienced architects and building professionals, so thorough preparation is essential. This online live exam preparation course is specifically designed for those who have completed courses 120A and 120B (or equivalent), and who wish to write the exam to become a Certified Passive House professional. It gives participants the tools required to write a successful test. 

The course is live online and consists of 4 segments of 4 hours each segment (16 hours in total) and provides slides, exercises and feedback on a design exercise if submitted by the student. 

Topics: 

  • Energy balance calculations
  • Insulated opaque envelope
  • Air tightness
  • Thermal bridging
  • Windows
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Economics
  • Passive House design exercise

This course is recommended for anyone pursuing the Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant designation. 

Prerequisites / required knowledge and equipment/software:

  • Passive House Design and Construction, or equivalent (120A) 
  • Understanding and Working with the Passive House Planning Package (120B), or equivalent 
  • Calculator, notebook, pens (multiple colours) and ruler 


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Certified Passive House Designer/ Consultant Exam

The Certified Passive House Designer/ Consultant exam is set by the Passive House Institute (PHI) and offered by examination providers internationally. Information on examination regulations and the list of learning targets can be found on the PHI website. The written examination is marked by Passive House Canada and then sent to PHI for second review. PHI will issue either a Passive House Designer certificate or Passive House Consultant certificate to successful participants.

To acquire the Passive House Designer certificate, educational qualification is required which allows the applicant to independently design buildings or technical building systems. A copy of a document providing evidence of this qualification (degree, master craftsman’s certificate or similar documents, translated into German or English if applicable) must be provided. Examination participants who do not have the qualifications listed will receive the Passive House Consultant certification. Certified Designers and Consultants will be listed on our website. See more information on Passive House Designer vs. Consultant.

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Construction Verifier

This masterclass is designed for existing Certified Passive House Designers/Consultants to build their knowledge of other professional groups and activities which are integral to the construction of Passive Houses, with a focus on im­proving com­pet­en­cy on Pass­ive House con­struc­tion sites and gaining ad­vanced com­pet­en­ce in site supervision, building commissioning and navigation of the cer­ti­fic­a­tion pro­cess of Pass­ive House / En­erPHit pro­jects.

Certification for “Construction Verifier” (CoVer) will qualify Certified Passive House Designers/Consultants in overseeing the implementation of high-caliber construction throughout the entire Passive House building process. An overview of the process of building certification, including a cost-efficient approach to the necessary preliminary work and documents, is included. In-depth knowledge of Passive House relevant construction site topics is also reviewed, in addition to an overview of the planning and implementation of energetic commissioning of Passive Houses.

Module 1. Site Supervisor

The goal of the SiteS course is to provide Passive House practitioners with in-depth knowledge for coordinating construction sites of complex and/or larger residential and non-residential Passive House and EnerPHit projects. Through the review of numerous examples and practical information, it also aims at providing concrete knowledge and illustrating the skills and responsibilities that are essential to successfully executing Passive House building design on-site.

Topics:

  • Construction management
  • Opaque thermal envelope: foundation and building structure and Opaque thermal envelope: thermal insulation
  • Airtightness
  • Windows, doors and curtain wall facades
  • Mechanical systems

Module 2. Commissioning

The goal of the Commissioning module is to ensure a successful building commissioning of Passive House projects in order to guarantee an execution and operation of the design without performance gaps. It provides a comprehensive review of the main aspects involved in designing, planning and executing building commissioning. Moreover, aspects related to monitoring, data acquisition and measuring uncertainties are addressed, together with an overview of software tools for performance evaluation and an exercise with PHPP.

Topics:

  • Commissioning of MVHR systems
  • Commissioning of heating and cooling systems
  • Commissioning of shading
  • Simplified Performance Monitoring
  • Performance Evaluation

Module 3. Navigating Passive House Certification

The goal of the Navigating Passive House Certification module is to assist participants in understanding the process, requirements and roles involved with Passive House certification, review the necessary documents and their quality for a successful submittal for certification and to provide answers to the most common questions about building certification.

Topics:

  • Benefits of certification
  • Energy Standards of PHI
  • Certification Criteria
  • Certification process
  • Quality assurance for stepwise retrofits
  • Documents to be submitted
  • Keys to a cost-efficient certification process

Prerequisites / required background knowledge:

  • Passive House Designer/Consultant Certification


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Construction Verifier Exam

After successfully passing the Construction Verifier exam, you will receive the additional certificate “Construction Verifier” – if you have a valid Passive House designer/consultant certificate.

Please note: This ad­di­tion­al cer­ti­fic­ate can only be used in con­junc­tion with a val­id Pass­ive House De­sign­er/Con­sult­ant (CPHD/C) cer­ti­fic­ate. Ad­di­tion­al cer­ti­fic­ates do not have to be re­newed them­selves. They are auto­mat­ic­ally re­newed by the re­new­al of the main CPHD/C cer­ti­fic­ate. This new “add-on seal” is used in conjunction with a valid “main seal” (Designer/Consultant seal).

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Pathway to Passive House Trades Certification (150P)

It is essential that those working on Passive House buildings can properly install components, accurately implement design details, and also assess the impact that changes from planned work will have on the performance of the building. Mistakes during construction can be costly, especially in high performance buildings where certification is being pursued. This three-day course teaches practical Passive House building techniques alongside theory, and prepares participants for the Certified Passive House Tradesperson exam. It is delivered as a combination of in-class lectures and hands-on workshop experience, incorporating actual building of Passive House details relevant to the Canadian construction industry.

Topics:

  • Passive House criteria and principles
  • Building ecology, comfort and economic efficiency
  • Introduction to Passive House design tools (e.g. PHPP)
  • Construction process and quality assurance
  • Thermal insulation
  • Thermal bridge-free construction
  • Windows and airtightness
  • Ventilation and heat supply
  • Building envelope specialization

Please note: This course teaches the skills and knowledge required for the Certified Passive House Tradesperson – Building Envelope Specialization exam. We do not currently offer the curriculum necessary for the Certified Passive House Tradesperson – Building Services Specialization exam.

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Certified Passive House Tradesperson Exam

The Certified Passive House Tradesperson Exam is a standardized international exam set by the Passive House Institute, and is offered three times each year. Certified Passive House Tradespeople will be listed in the directory on our website and also on the international Passive House Association website. The exam includes six interdisciplinary modules on Passive House principles and the application of those principles, and the Building Envelope specialization module.

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Site Supervisor

This masterclass is designed to provide existing Certified Passive House Tradespeople with in-depth knowledge for coordinating construction sites of complex and/or larger residential and non-residential Passive House and EnerPHit projects. Through the review of numerous examples and practical information, it also aims at providing concrete knowledge and illustrating the skills and responsibilities that are essential to successfully executing Passive House building design on-site.

The course contains topics about construction management, the building envelope, airtightness and mechanical services, all viewed from the perspective of the supervision of the construction site for Passive House and EnerPHit buildings. The effects of the various construction site relevant aspects on the energy balance with PHPP are also explained.

Certification for “Passive House Site Supervisor” (SiteS) can be used as a stand-alone training and certification for building professionals who are already certified as Passive House Tradespersons.

Topics:

  • Construction management
  • Opaque thermal envelope: foundation and building structure
  • Opaque thermal envelope: thermal insulation
  • Airtightness
  • Windows and doors
  • Curtain wall facades
  • Mechanical systems

Learning outcomes:

  • Provide with in-depth knowledge for coordinating construction sites of complex and/or larger residential and non-residential Passive House and EnerPHit building projects.
  • Deliver concrete knowledge and illustrate the skills and responsibilities that are essential to successfully executing Passive House building design on-site through the review of numerous examples and practical information, particularly topics of Passive House construction management, opaque and transparent elements of the building envelope, airtightness and mechanical services. Additionally, the effects of the various construction site relevant aspects on the energy balance with PHPP are highlighted.
  • Review issues that are relevant to most situations, no matter the place while providing the possibility to identify specific aspects that may be subject to national, regional or local norms, materials, staff and traditions

Prerequisites / required background knowledge:

  • Passive House Tradesperson Certification (required to take the exam) or;
  • Knowledge of Passive House standard (if not taking the exam).


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Site Supervisor Exam

On successfully passing the Site Supervisor exam, you will receive the additional certificate “Site Supervisor” – if you have a valid Passive House tradesperson certificate.

Please note: This ad­di­tion­al cer­ti­fic­ate can only be used in con­junc­tion with a val­id Pass­ive House Trades­per­son (CPHT) cer­ti­fic­ate. Ad­di­tion­al cer­ti­fic­ates do not have to be re­newed them­selves. They are auto­mat­ic­ally re­newed by the re­new­al of the main CPHT cer­ti­fic­ate. This new “add-on seal” is used in conjunction with a valid “main seal” (Tradesperson seal).

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MASTER SERIES: Building Enclosure Control Layers (200)

If you are a designer or builder who wants to achieve a high-performing, durable Passive House building, you need to understand control layers. Control layers are materials and systems of materials that are specially designed, selected, and detailed to control water, vapour, and air. They are placed throughout the building, from the roof, walls, and floor to the below-grade enclosure assemblies, details, and interfaces. They consist of membranes and other materials typically described as air barriers, vapour barriers, and water-resistive barriers, or collectively as critical barriers.

The design, selection, and placement of control layers can be challenging. Given the highly insulated nature of passive house buildings, even small mistakes in water and air control can create problems. Simply adding insulation to traditional wall and roof assemblies is risky, so air and vapour control practices must be adjusted to consider the assembly layers and details. Therefore, to design and construct effective passive house buildings, designers and builders must understand the building science behind control layers.

Session 1Introduction to Control Layers for Passive House Wall Assemblies will introduce the concept of building enclosure control layers and provide examples from passive house buildings of air barrier systems, vapour retarders/barriers, and wall/roof water management. The session will also cover placement of vapour control with different types and varying thicknesses of insulation and water control for walls, including rainscreens and water-resistive barrier materials. PHI Code

Session 2: Controlling Water and Vapour – From Rainscreens to Vapour Barriers will take a deeper dive into rainwater control and detailing as well covering vapour control for walls. PHI Code

Session 3: Control of Air – Air Barrier Systems and Material Selection will cover wall air control/air barrier systems and materials. PHI Code

Session 4: Controlling Water on Roofs and Below-Grade will focus on the special building enclosure control practices for roof and below-grade assemblies.

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How to Identify and Drive Down Embodied Carbon in Buildings (310)

This is an introductory course on embodied carbon geared towards construction professionals and policy makers.  The course provides a high-level overview of the importance of embodied carbon, how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the built environment, as well as a summary of embodied carbon calculation tools available to construction professionals.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the difference between Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Identify the different lifecycle stages of construction materials.
  • Understand the difference between operational and embodied greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Identify the primary sources of operational and embodied greenhouse gas emissions for buildings.
  • Quantify the relative importance of embodied emissions per building element.
  • Apply best practices for construction material sourcing to reduce embodied emissions.
  • Optimize building envelope design to minimize lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Select appropriate embodied carbon calculation software based on scope of analysis.


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Understanding Building Codes (320)

This 2-hour, online course will compare and contrast the proposed National Energy Code with the BC Energy Step Code, Passive House, and others. With proposed changes coming nationally and provincially, it will be important for all industry professionals and builders to understand the key differences between the standards and the metrics that they reference. Each of the standards will drive us to design and build in different ways. Some of our traditional design and construction strategies may need updates or rethinking to ensure homes are passing the new code minimums. In particular, the expected outcomes of each standard must be understood to allow clients and government to make better choices.

Learning Objectives:

  • Basic understanding of how each standard is calculated.
  • Understand the basic differences between Passive House, National Energy Code, BC Energy Step Code.
  • Understand the basic differences in outcomes for each of the standards.
  • Be able to articulate those differences to others.


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Calculating the cost/comfort equation (Part 9 Buildings) (330)

It’s what’s inside that counts: The costs and comforts of building and living in a Passive House. The math is simple: cost to build – running costs + comfort and health = customer satisfaction

This webinar will look at the detail cost breakdowns of several completed Passive houses (Part 9) as well as their long-term running costs. The class will also look as some of the less tangible measures such as air quality and health outcomes of those living in passive homes.

 Learning Outcomes:

  • Have an understanding of which parts of a passive home cost more and which cost less
  • Have an understanding of some of the health benefits of high performance buildings
  • Be able to articulate the above to others


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A Pattern Language from Passive House

How to Design and Build High-Performance Multi-Unit Buildings at the Lowest Possible Cost 

“A Pattern Language from Passive House” is an interactive workshop that teaches cost-effective planning and design of affordable, low-emission, mid-rise, multi-unit, wood-framed housing.

This four-part workshop presents design problems common to multi-unit buildings, followed by solutions that have worked in previous high-performance projects. These solutions are organized into “patterns” using a format adapted from A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander (et al).

The patterns presented in this workshop are drawn from the hundreds of affordable multi-unit buildings constructed to the Passive House standard worldwide, because this is the largest cohort of affordable, low-emission, mid-rise, multi-unit housing. While these solutions are taken from Passive House buildings, they are applicable for residential building design to meet Step 4 of the BC Energy Step Code, as well as multi-unit buildings aiming for similar low-TEDI or not-zero energy standards. Likewise, while this workshop focuses on affordable housing, the patterns apply equally to market- and luxury-housing projects.

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Flixo Training – Model Thermal Bridges for High-Performance Buildings

In this 16 hour course, you will model thermal bridges using Flixo and understand the impact of design details on the energy performance of High-Performance Buildings/ Passive House Buildings.  We cover the concepts and protocols for thermal bridge modeling. Then, you will model several common thermal bridges using Flixo with guidance. 

Course Topics

1) Identifying Thermal Bridges  

  • Types of Thermal Bridges
  • Visual examples of common details
  • Discussion of techniques to reduce psi values
  • Determining which thermal bridges need to be modeled
  • Qualitative and quantitative assessment 

2) Thermal Bridge Protocols 

  • Overview of modeling and psi value calculation process
  • Standard boundary conditions
  • Material properties
  • Geometry requirements
  • Reference points
  • Calculation and use of equivalent U-values within models
  • Entering psi-values in PHPP 

3) Flixo Walk-through 

4) In class demonstrations of modeling for several important thermal bridge types 

  • Exterior and interior wall corners
  • Rim joists
  • Roof eaves
  • Foundations (slabs and footings)
  • Parapets
  • Windows (sill, header, jamb)
  • Special cases: Heated & Unheated basement 

5) Tips and Tricks for Projects with Large Amounts of Thermal Bridges 

6) Flixo Practice 

  • Individual/small-team modeling projects using selected details from real projects. 

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Window Modelling for High-Performance Buildings using Flixo Pro

In this 16 hour course, you will learn the process of modelling windows using Flixo Pro, following Passive House guidelines and protocols. This course will cover the basics of using Flixo Pro for modelling windows, as well as the creation of U-value, psi-spacer, and fRsi models with the goal of determining performance values suitable for use in PHPP and Passive House projects. We will also cover general theory of high performance window design, as well as the process for obtaining Passive House Institute component certification for windows.

Course Topics

1) Flixo Walk-through

2) High Performance Window Introduction

  • High performance window design principles
  • Passive House transparent component criteria
  • Passive House-specific modelling standards & protocols

3) Window Modelling Protocols

  • Creation of U-value model
  • Creation of Psi-spacer model
  • Creation of fRsi model
  • Window installation model
  • Input of modeled values into PHPP & DesignPH
  • Glazing Modelling in WINDOW

4) Flixo Practice

  • Individual window modelling case study

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand and apply principles of proper Passive House window design, as well as theory behind the certification criteria
  • Understand technical requirements for Passive House Certification of Transparent Components
  • Become familiar with the features of Flixo Pro, with a specific focus on in-program tools for modeling and calculating results for transparent components
  • Carry out modelling of Uf, Psi-spacer, fRsi, and window install conditions following proper protocols
  • Understand steps in the transparent component certification process

Prerequisites / required background knowledge:

  • Familiarity with thermal bridge modelling is highly beneficial.
  • For a better learning experience in this course, we encourage participants to have 2 monitors during the course.

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PHPP Expert

The Passive House Institute (PHI) has extended the existing training and certification system for designers and tradespeople to acknowledge the further education of professional groups and the activities that are important for the construction of Passive Houses. In addition, more focus will be placed on “lifelong learning” and the gradual acquisition of Passive House knowledge. 

With this advanced PHPP training program, you will be prepared to take the exam and receive the corresponding additional certificate (“PHPP Expert”). Deeper knowledge and competencies in the use of PHPP and the entry of complex data for non-residential and refurbishment projects into PHPP are crucial to ensure the high quality of Passive House projects and to avoid performance gaps. 

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Retrofit to EnerPHit: Achieving the Passive House Standard for Existing Buildings

Buildings shape the lives, health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Unfortunately, too many of the buildings across Canada often have significant problems: from drafty building envelopes, to mold and moisture problems, to inefficient HVAC systems. The Passive House standard has evolved over the years and now includes powerful tools, guidelines and certification pathways which can assist design and construction professionals seeking to retrofit existing buildings to be more comfortable, healthier and use less energy.  
 
This in-depth seminar will introduce participants to the Passive House retrofit ‘EnerPHit’ standards and highlight some examples of successful Passive House retrofits from around the world. We will discuss the basic principles of Passive House design, including thermal comfort, energy efficiency, durability and health – as well as some of the common tools and techniques for achieving these goals on retrofits. We’ll also review how the EnerPHit standard fits into the larger efforts at decarbonization across Canada. Anyone looking to rehabilitate an existing building will benefit from this course, and in particular this course is a crucial first step for anyone looking to certify a building as a Passive House EnerPHit retrofit.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will gain knowledge about the International Passive House Standards and how these certifications apply to Retrofits of existing buildings as well as the specific Certification pathways which have been developed for conversions of existing buildings. 
  • Understand the various Passive House strategies for improving durability, health, comfort and energy-efficiency and how they can be applied in retrofit scenarios 
  • Analyze the implications of modifications to the building envelope and review some common issues and pitfalls in high performance retrofits 
  • Understand how building retrofits fit into the larger nationwide efforts at climate-change adaptation and mitigation.

Prerequisite/ required background knowledge:

Helpful to understand the Passive House new-construction standard, but not required. Basic knowledge of building construction, materials and basic physics of buildings (heat, air water) are useful. 

Recommended for anyone engaged in the design and rehabilitation of existing buildings to the Passive House standard. Architects, tradespeoplebuilding-owners

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SELF-PACED: Up and Running with DesignPH 2.0

Interesting to fold the new DesignPH into your Passive House design process but not sure where to start? This course will take learners from the very beginning up to a completed whole-building energy model using the powerful new DesignPH 2.0 plugin. Participants will follow along, step-by-step as we build up from raw CAD geometry into a full 3D surface model, build and apply assemblies, manage thermal bridges, create complex window objects as well as detailed site shading and interior room-level data. We’ll also review the overall workflow and how to use DesignPH within a real project, how it fits in with other Passive House tools such 2as THERM and PHPP, and how to move project data to create certification-ready PHPP models. No prior experience with Sketchup or PHPP is required, although a basic understanding of these tools will certainly help you get the most out of this class.

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