FAQ – What is a CPHT?

Frequently Asked Questions about becoming a Certified Passive House Tradesperson

What is a CPHT?

logo CPHT

CPHT = Certified Passive House Tradesperson. The CPHT training ensures participants are equipped with the necessary framework and interdisciplinary skills to effectively convey the international Passive House (PH) standard. 

Professionals armed with this knowledge often find that Passive building science guidelines inform decisions made in every other “sustainable” or “green” certification or building code requirement that exists.

Professional accreditation increases your credibility with clients and colleagues in the industry alike. After passing the exam, CPHTs are given membership and are listed in the database on the International Passive House Institute (PHI) website for 5 years.

What is Passive House?

Passive House is an international construction standard maintained and continuously developed by the International Passive House Institute (PHI). Residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings constructed to these guidelines are characterized by significantly increased comfort and health for the occupants, extremely low energy consumption, durable construction quality, and knowledgable project teams at the forefront of the construction industry. Learn More.

What is the CPHT professional certification?

The CPHT certification allows members of the construction industry to engage and participate in the integrative and interdisciplinary approach necessary for better building. While much improvement can be made in the design and calculation phases of a project, the implementation of Passive House principles on site is absolutely fundamental to the success of a quality build.

What’s the difference between CPHT, CPHD, and CPHC accreditations?

The international Passive House Institute AND the Passive House Institute U.S. both offer training to Designers (CPHD), Consultants (CPHC), and Tradespeople (CPHT) or Builder (CPHB). Some of the language can be overlapping and a tad confusing at times, but it’s getting more clear as the standard gains more momentum in North America.

Generally speaking, the CPHTradesperson course is geared towards design/build professionals, specifiers, foremen, general contractors, and installers/subs – the ones who will be figuring out how to implement measures that allow the design to reach certification. The CPHDesigner/Consultant course is more heavily focused on the calculations and software necessary to design to the standard, and is ideal for architects wishing to go down the path of becoming Passive House consultants. 

For which accreditations does Emu offer curriculum and why?

At this time, Emu officially develops CPHT curriculum for PHI accreditation, and you can find our curriculum both in our own Colorado based Passive Pod Workshops, as well as in the classrooms of our Training Partners. However, much of our curriculum can also be applied to other advanced builder training programs, and we have helped colleagues achieve CPHD/C certification via project builds. We believe professional accreditations offer you a way to protect your knowledge, but there are many paths to get there.  If you know of an opportunity where our curriculum could be useful in helping you attain a different accreditation, please let us know!

We have received feedback from professionals who have taken many Passive House courses that our curriculum is incredibly comprehensive for any AEC professional looking to dive into the Passive standards. We include information on the economics of Passive project, the communication of value in selling a project, the health and wellness concerns for the end user, as well as practical and memorable applications of complicated building physics issues.

Emu decided to focus on the hands-on, implementation side of things for several reasons. Mainly we saw that the bottleneck for us, as architects, was that we could design it however we wanted with little hope it would implemented on site correctly unless the builder was engaged in training early on. In short, “it takes a village”, and the village needs to be trained!

If you are an architect/designer and wondering how starting with a CPHT can lead to a career as a Passive House consultant, please reach out. We would be happy to explain how we and others have done this.