50: Basic Understanding Passive House Building

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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110: Introduction to the Passive House Building Standard

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 120: Passive House Design and Construction.

Upcoming Courses

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120A: Passive House Design and Construction

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: 110 Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings is not required to take this course.

Upcoming Courses

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

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.

Upcoming Courses

 

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120C: In-Class Preparation for Passive House Designer/ Consultant Exam

The Passive House Designer/ Consultant Exam is challenging, even for experienced architects and building professionals, so thorough preparation is essential. This two-day 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.

Overviews of each topic that could potentially be tested in the exam will be presented and participants will be able to complete example test questions, including a design exercise, and will learn to identify common mistakes and discuss exam time management.

Note: The in-class and online exam preparation modules both review the exam material but contain different example test questions. Much like having two textbooks on the same topic, past participants have found it beneficial to complete both the online and in-class exam preparation courses, though this is not required. The online module requires separate registration and can be started after the completion of 120A.

Day 1  Insulation and airtightness • Thermal bridging • Windows • Passive House design exercise

Day 2  Ventilation and heating • Economics • Cumulative exercises and common mistakes • Exam day: overview and tips

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

Learning resources provided
Course manual and digital copy of course slides.

Prerequisites / required knowledge and equipment/software

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

Professional development

  • Total number of learning hours – 14
  • HPO training hours – 14

Upcoming Courses

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120C: Online Preparation for Passive House Designer/ Consultant Exam

The Passive House Designer/ Consultant Exam is challenging, even for experienced architects and building professionals, so thorough preparation is essential. This online 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 module is self-paced and provides slides, exercises and feedback on a submitted design exercise. Topics covered include:

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

*Please allow at least two weeks prior to the exam to register for the online module to ensure you have enough time to complete the exercises and receive feedback. The online module can be started after the completion of 120A.*

Note: The in-class and online exam preparation modules both review the exam material but contain different example test questions. Much like having two textbooks on the same topic, past participants have found it beneficial to complete both the online and in-class exam preparation courses, though this is not required. The in-class exam preparation course requires separate registration (please see course calendar for details).

Extending access
Your access to this module is valid until the upcoming exam. Should you find yourself unable to attend the upcoming exam, you can re-register for the online module at a reduced rate. See re-register ticket information below.

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

Prerequisites / required knowledge and equipment/software 

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

Upcoming Courses

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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.

Upcoming Exams

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150: Passive House Construction Training Course

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 covered:

  • 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.

Recommended for
Tradespeople, site supervisors and general contractors who will be involved in the construction of Passive House building. It may also be of interest to designers, architects, architectural technologists and developers. All theoretical components of this course are covered in 120A: Passive House Design & Construction.

* Participants should have prior knowledge/experience in the construction industry or related fields.

Professional development

Total number of learning hours: 22

AIBC: 22 Core LUs

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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.

Upcoming Exams

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200: Building Enclosures for High Performance Buildings

Thermally efficient, airtight and durable building enclosure designs have evolved from existing North American practices with the introduction of many new materials to the local market in recent years. These materials include air barrier systems, improved tapes and sealants, thermally efficient cladding supports and unique fasteners, along with higher performing fenestration and insulation products. Many prefabricated building enclosure systems have also been developed and successfully integrated into recent projects.

This one-day course provides an in-depth discussion of high-performance building enclosures for North American buildings, including single-family homes and large commercial buildings, with a focus on walls, roofs and window systems. Numerous case studies will be presented to demonstrate how innovative building enclosures have been integrated into various projects ranging from mid-rise wood frame buildings and prefabricated Passive House buildings, to towering wood, concrete and steel structures. Topics covered:

  • Introduction to the requirements and design principles for Passive House building enclosure assemblies and details
  • Evaluation of exterior insulation cladding supports and details to minimize thermal bridging, along with the tested real-world performance of new air barrier materials and systems
  • Durable, highly insulated roof and roof deck assemblies and review of roofing material selection and problematic detailing
  • High-performance glazing systems and efficient, durable glazing products and window assemblies that meet North American and European standards.

Recommended for
Passive House Designers and Consultants
Builders, architects, architectural technologist and engineers
Building officials and planners

Learning resources provided
Course manual
Digital copy of course slides

Prerequisites/ required knowledge and equipment/software
General understanding of building design and construction, including vapour barriers, insulation values, etc. This course is not intended for those outside of the building industry. Knowledge of PHPP is not required for this course.

Professional development
Total number of learning hours: 7
PHI credit points towards CPHD/C certification renewal: 5
AIBC Core Learning Units: 7.0
HPO Training Hours: 7.0
APEG credits: self-reported

Upcoming Courses

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MASTER SERIES: Introduction to Control Layers for Passive House Wall Assemblies

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.

Building Enclosure Control Layers –  Session 1 of 4 Part Series

Session 1 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.

This two-hour session will include 90 minutes of live web-based instruction and demonstrations plus a 30-minute Q&A.

Recommended for
Passive House Designers and Consultants
Builders, architects, architectural technologist and engineer

Building officials and planners

Trades
Students
Anyone interested in the subject

Learning resources provided
Webinar recording 20 days after the event has ended
Digital copy of course slides

Prerequisites / required knowledge and equipment/software

No prerequisites are necessary, but a basic understanding of passive house principles, including Passive House Canada 120A, would be beneficial.

Professional development

Total number of learning hours: Seeking Accreditation

BC Housing (HPO): Seeking Accreditation

AIBC: Seeking Accreditation

ALBNL: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

AANB: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

NSAA:  2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

AAA webinar credits: self-reported

APEG credits: self-reported

ARIDO credits: self-reported

OPPI credits: self-reported

EGBC credits: self-reported

OAA: self-reported

 

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MASTER SERIES: Controlling Water and Vapour – From Rainscreens to Vapour Barriers

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.

Building Enclosure Control Layers –  Session 2 of 4 Part Series

Session 2 will take a deeper dive into rainwater control and detailing as well covering vapour control for walls.

This two-hour session will include 90 minutes of live web-based instruction and demonstrations plus a 30-minute Q&A.

Recommended for

Passive House Designers and Consultants
Builders, architects, architectural technologist and engineer

Building officials and planners

Trades
Students
Anyone interested in the subject

Learning resources provided

Webinar recording 20 days after the event has ended
Digital copy of course slides

Prerequisites / required knowledge and equipment/software

No prerequisites are necessary, but a basic understanding of passive house principles, including Passive House Canada 120A, would be beneficial.

Professional development

Total number of learning hours: 2

PHI: Seeking Accreditation

BC Housing (HPO): Seeking Accreditation

AIBC: 2 Core LUs (based on attendance of live event

ALBNL: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

AANB: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

NSAA: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

AAA webinar credits: self-reported

APEG credits: self-reported

ARIDO credits: self-reported

OPPI credits: self-reported

EGBC credits: self-reported

OAA: self-reported

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MASTER SERIES: Control of Air - Air Barrier Systems and Material Selection

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.

Building Enclosure Control Layers –  Session 3 of 4 Part Series

Session 3 will cover wall air control/air barrier systems and materials

This two-hour session will include 90 minutes of live web-based instruction and demonstrations plus a 30-minute Q&A.

Recommended for
Passive House Designers and Consultants
Builders, architects, architectural technologist and engineer

Building officials and planners

Trades
Students
Anyone interested in the subject

Learning resources provided

Webinar recording 20 days after the event has ended
Digital copy of course slides

Prerequisites / required knowledge and equipment/software

No prerequisites are necessary, but a basic understanding of passive house principles, including Passive House Canada 120A, would be beneficial.

Professional development

Total number of learning hours: 2

PHI: Seeking Accreditation

BC Housing (HPO): Seeking Accreditation

AIBC: 2 Core LUs (based on attendance of live event

ALBNL: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

AANB: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

NSAA: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

AAA webinar credits: self-reported

APEG credits: self-reported

ARIDO credits: self-reported

OPPI credits: self-reported

EGBC credits: self-reported

OAA: self-reported

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MASTER SERIES: Controlling Water on Roofs and Below-Grade

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.

Building Enclosure Control Layers –  Session 4 of 4 Part Series

Session 4 will focus on the special building enclosure control practices for roof and below-grade assemblies.

This two-hour session will include 90 minutes of live web-based instruction and demonstrations plus a 30-minute Q&A.

Recommended for
Passive House Designers and Consultants
Builders, architects, architectural technologist and engineer

Building officials and planners

Trades
Students
Anyone interested in the subject

Learning resources provided

Webinar recording 20 days after the event has ended
Digital copy of course slides

Prerequisites / required knowledge and equipment/software

No prerequisites are necessary, but a basic understanding of passive house principles, including Passive House Canada 120A, would be beneficial.

Professional development

Total number of learning hours: 2

PHI: Seeking Accreditation

BC Housing (HPO): Seeking Accreditation

AIBC: 2 Core LUs (based on attendance of live event)

ALBNL: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

AANB: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

NSAA: 2 Core Learning Hours (based on attendance of live event)

AAA webinar credits: self-reported

APEG credits: self-reported

ARIDO credits: self-reported

OPPI credits: self-reported

EGBC credits: self-reported

OAA: self-reported

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310: How to Identify and Drive Down Embodied Carbon in Buildings

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.

Recommended for:

  • Passive House Designers and Consultants
  • Builders, architects, architectural technologist and engineers
  • Building officials and planners
  • Trades
  • Students
  • Anyone interested in the subject

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320: Understanding Building Codes

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

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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