CPHT Exam Prep Course (Certified Passive House Tradesperson)

STEP 1: Learn Passive, the gold standard in building science.

Who should take this training?

This course is for design/build & construction professionals who are concerned about moisture control, air sealing, thermal bridging, healthy indoor air, durability, resiliency, and affordability of high-performance.

Strut your stuff. Become a PHI Certified Passive House Tradesperson (CPHT).

  • limit liability & increase credibility
  • avoid hidden mold & condensation
  • exceed IECC air leakage requirements
  • learn best practices & building science

In-Person format includes:

2-day CPHT course in-person with Trainer
16 total hours of instruction over 10 Units (see below)
Can be taken as part of 5-day Boot Camp
Textbook provided on first day of class
Please see our COVID-19 Terms & Conditions

Online format includes:

On-demand CPHT course (10 Units + Exam Prep)
18 total hours of recordings over 10 Units (see below)
Online comprehension quizzes after each Unit
6 weekly, live, 1-hr Q&A sessions with Trainer
Textbook shipped to you (essential for Exam takers)

How to Register:

Questions? Email training@emu.systems

  1. Select and purchase a Course to reserve your seat.
  2. Follow prompts to enroll in Emu’s Training Platform.
  3. Continue with the instructions on your Student Dashboard.

Explore our Curriculum

Written explicitly for the North American market and climate zones, with examples from a range of construction methods, building typologies, and performance levels.

Unit 1: Passive House Basics

  • Review pioneer projects of the Passive House movement, and a number of built examples including different climate zones, building typologies and sizes.
  • Learn the definition of the Passive House building standard and compare it to other concepts e.g.: Passive Solar and Net Zero.
  • Appraise the cornerstones of the Passive House building thermal envelope, and how they affect health and comfort as well as energy efficiency.
  • Familiarize yourself with different players of the Passive House landscape, including research, training, quality assurance and certification.

Unit 2: Passive House Economics in North America

  • Compare Passive House to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
  • Learn to identify value for quality thermal envelopes in terms of energy, health, comfort, indoor air quality.
  • Compare capital and operational savings for Passive House buildings.
  • Review key factors in the economics of high-performance building, including investment timeframe, energy market and thermal discomfort.

Unit 3: Thermal Insulation and Thermal Mass

  • Identify key performance differences between thermal insulation and thermal mass, and how they impact different types of buildings.
  • Familiarize yourself with thermal resistance and thermal transmittance of building assemblies and compare the Passive House method with the simplified IECC one.
  • Compare typical U-values for Passive House building in different climate zones and compare them with IECC prescriptive method.
  • Review typical insulation materials, and their application depending on different construction methods.

Unit 4: Thermal Bridges

  • Familiarize yourself with the definition of Thermal Bridge.
  • Learn about the consequences of Thermal Bridges on building energy performance and risk for mold and condensation.
  • Review climate-specific metrics to verify avoidance/mitigation of thermal bridges, and suitability for Passive House.
  • Identify typical thermal bridges for different construction methods, their risk level and cost-effective ways to mitigate them.

Unit 5: Windows and Transparent Components

  • Familiarize yourself with the Comfort Criterion PH requirement and compare it to the Hygiene Criterion.
  • Compare thermal performance of PH windows with IECC ones and the consequences on thermal comfort and heating/cooling demand.
  • Identify subcomponents of windows and transparent components and understand their implications for heat loss and solar gains.
  • Review different typical installation details for Passive House windows and how detailing impacts performance.

Unit 6: Existing Buildings

  • Recap Passive House quality goals in the context of retrofitting existing buildings.
  • Understand the potential energy savings in building retrofits, and best practices to achieve most cost-effective solutions.
  • Analyze risks associated with retrofitting different types of building structures and ways to mitigate those risks.
  • Learn to apply the principles to a range of building typologies.

Unit 7: Air Tightness + Moisture Management

  • Familiarize yourself with different air and moisture transfer mechanisms and their consequences in terms of energy efficiency and building damages.
  • Learn about PHI’s air tightness requirements, depending on different energy efficiency goals.
  • Review key factors of the blower door testing method, including Passive House-specific requirements.
  • Evaluate best practices for durable air tightness depending on different assemblies and construction methods.

Unit 8: Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery

  • Identify key metrics for indoor air quality and typical sources of air pollution inside buildings.
  • Learn about PHI’s requirements for mechanical ventilation systems, including energy consumption and heat recovery efficiency, air filtration and noise control.
  • Evaluate common types of mechanical ventilation systems, incl. pros and cons depending on project application.
  • Review balancing and commissioning procedures for mechanical ventilation systems in Passive House building applications.

Unit 9: Efficient Heating, Cooling & Domestic Hot Water

  • Familiarize yourself with key concepts of mechanical systems including heating, cooling and dehumidification and domestic hot water.
  • Evaluate how energy efficiency of Passive House buildings influences the suitability of specific systems and their operation.
  • Review innovative types of mechanical systems.
  • Learn about Primary Energy in relation to different energy vectors and how that affects the energy offsetting process to meet Net Zero.

Unit 10: Quality Assurance

  • Review construction site photos and identify poorly executed details with regards to Passive House certification.
  • Pay particular attention to implementation of air tightness and thermal insulation details in the build.
  • Provide instructions on how to solve any issues you see. The solutions will be discussed in our Live Q&A session.

Emu’s CPHT Textbook, the “Bible” of Passive building

All Emu CPHT students receive a printed version of the coursework, which is allowed for use in the open-book CPHT Exam. It is highly recommended that you keep any notes in this book, as it is the only resource allowed on your desk during the exam.

At this time, you cannot order the textbook for self-study, as it is a visual aid to the audio content in the On-Demand Course or 2-day in-person instruction. Each book is single-use license only. To inquire about group rates, please reach out here.

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