Certifications

Certification for Passive House consultants, buildings and products is available. Certification is an essential quality assurance measure. Certifications and certifying organizations are described below.

See below for more in depth details.


Designer & Tradesperson Certification

Congratulations on being a Certified Passive House Designer or Consultant! You’re a leader in the Passive House community. However, in order to maintain your certification and ensure that you’re updated on the latest Passive House has to offer, you must renew your certification every 5 years. There are several ways to renew your certificate; through continuing education events/ classes and working on active Passive House projects.

Please note that Certified Passive House Designers and Consultants have their own unique criteria for certification renewal. The following sections will explain the different certification requirements. Furthermore, Passive House Institute (PHI) has sole discretion in certifying passive house projects.

Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant

There are 2 ways to renew your certification status:

  • Submit an active passive house project
  • Obtain 100 continuing education credits

Consultant/Designer Certification Renewal – Passive House Project Certification:

Those who are actively working on certified Passive House projects (designing, building, etc) may use project documentation to renew their certification and maintain Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant status. The application and documentation will be submitted to Passive House Institute. (Passive House Institute is the only entity that certifies projects. NAPHN does not certify.) Learn more here.

Designer Certification Renewal (Project Renewal Only):

If you’re a certified Designer, you must be actively working on a certified Passive House project to renew your certification. Learn more here.

In order to maintain some level of certification while not working on a certified Passive House project, you may renew as a Consultant via continuing education and events. (Consultants can re-obtain Designer certification at any time by submitting documentation for a certified building provided that Designer certification was obtained originally). 

Consultant Renewal – Continuing Education Credits:

Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) status is ideal for researchers, instructors, and other professionals who are not actively working on certified Passive House projects. CPHC status can be obtained and/or maintained through continuing education credits. Through a wide selection of approved classes, events, and activities you can expand your Passive House knowledge while maintaining your certification.

For renewal, it is necessary to provide proof of 100 credit points (PHI CPs) which must have been acquired within the validity period of the previous certificate (5 years). One learning unit (45 minutes) equates to 1 PHI CP. Of the 100 PHI CPs, 70 at the most may be acquired in one of three possible areas: Continuing Education, Participating in Events and Teaching Activities, please see chapter 5.2.1 of the exam regulations

  • Search for qualified continuing education classes/events here.
  • Learn more about renewing your certificate as a Consultant through continuing education credits here.
  • NAPHN offers continuing education opportunities. Attending NAPHN’s annual conference including pre-conference workshops and post-conference tours are additional ways to obtain continuing education credits.

Find a Certified Designer/Consultant near you:


FAQ’s

How often do I need to renew my certification?

Every 5 Years.

How many credit points do I need to renew my certificate as a consultant?

100 PHI credit points. 

Can I obtain continuing education credits at the NAPHN Conferences?

NAPHN Conferences, pre-conference workshops, and post-conference tours are all great opportunities to receive continuing education credits.

Does NAPHN report my credits or do I?

All continuing education credits are self-reported by the student to PHI. For NAPHN events and conferences, NAPHN will provide certificates of attendance for students on request.

Who certifies Passive House projects?

Passive House Institute is the only entity that certifies projects. NAPHN does not certify.

Is it true that I can only maintain Designer status through work on a certified passive house project?

Yes. However, you may maintain some level of certification and renew as a Consultant through continuing education credits. As a Consultant you can then re-obtain Designer certification at any time by submitting documentation for a certified building using this link.

Where can I find approved classes or events for Designer/Consultant certificate renewal?

Search for some qualified continuing education classes/events here and here.

My certificate has already expired or is about to expire, what can I do?

By submitting a project documentation, it is possible to renew a certificate at any time, even if your certificate has already expired some time ago. Learn more here

I have done many Passive House buildings, but owners don’t wish to pay for certification.

A possible solution: You can also apply for certification yourself. This is worth considering in the case of smaller projects with low certification costs! Please contact one of the many building certifiers around the world here

I did not quite achieve the Passive House Standard despite my best efforts.

Certified Passive House buildings or EnerPHit retrofits, PHI Low Energy Buildings are also suitable for project documentation

I cannot find my course or event in the list of continuing education events.

Send an email with confirmation of your attendance and the agenda of the event to the Passive House Institute: [email protected]

How do I submit my renewal through credit points to PHI?

Fill out this document and submit to PHI.

  • If you attend an event or advanced training fill in the event ID number which can be found on the list of ap­proved courses/events. One learning unit (45 minutes) equates 1 CP. Be sure to attach the respective confirmations of participation.
  • If you gave a course please fill in this form.  Send in to [email protected]

I can’t find a specific course or event, what can I do?

Please contact the host of the event. They may submit their courses/events, including previous events to PHI to be recognized for certificate renewal by completing this form.

Is there a fee to renew my certification?

The Pass­ive House In­sti­tu­te will check your application, request payment of specified fee and after successful renewal of the cer­ti­fic­ate, send the cer­ti­fic­ate in di­git­al form via email.


Certified Passive House Tradesperson

Congratulations on being a Certified Passive House Tradesperson! You’re a leader in the Passive House community. However, in order to maintain your certification and ensure that you’re updated on the latest Passive House has to offer, you must renew your certification every 5 years. There are 2 ways to renew your certification status:

  • Earn further education credit points
  • Work on a certified Passive House

Earn further credit points to renew the certificate

Vis­it Pass­ive House rel­ev­ant courses and events, or en­gage in Pass­ive House teach­ing act­iv­it­ies to col­lect fur­ther train­ing cred­it points (CPs). 30 CPs must be achieved al­to­geth­er to renew your trades­per­son certificate; 20 CPs at the most may be ob­tained in one of the pos­sible areas (teach­ing, events or ad­vanced train­ing courses).

Work on a certified Passive House and document it

Re­new your Pass­ive House Trades­per­son cer­ti­fic­ate by doc­u­ment­ing your work on a highly en­ergy ef­fi­cient build­ing or a cer­ti­fied Pass­ive House pro­ject. This work must meet some tech­nic­al re­quire­ments, which will de­pend on the trade dis­cip­line, as well as on the loc­a­tion and cli­mate of the build­ing.

If the build­ing has not been cer­ti­fied by the Pass­ive House In­sti­tu­te, please make sure that the en­ergy-rel­ev­ant cri­ter­ia for your trade dis­cip­line work have been achieved. Be­cause these cri­ter­ia are spe­cif­ic to the trade dis­cip­line, your con­struc­tion work does not have to be car­ried out in a Pass­ive House build­ing.

For more information about renewing your Tradesperson certificate visit the PHI website here.

All the Certified Tradespersons may be found here.


FAQ’s

How often do I need to renew my certification?

Every 5 Years.

How many credit points do I need for Tradesperson certificate renewal?

30 CPs must be achieved al­to­geth­er to re­new your trades­per­son cer­ti­fic­ate; 20 CPs at the most may be ob­tained in one of the pos­sible areas (teach­ing, events or ad­vanced train­ing courses).

Can I obtain continuing education credits at the NAPHN Conferences?

NAPHN Conferences are a great opportunity to receive continuing education credits.

Does NAPHN report my credits or do I?

All continuing education credits are self-reported by the student to PHI. For NAPHN events and conferences, NAPHN will provide certificates of attendance for students on request.

Who certifies Passive House projects?

Passive House Institute is the only entity that certifies projects. NAPHN does not certify.

How do I submit my Tradesperson certificate renewal through credit points to PHI?

Fill out this document and submit to PHI.

  • If you attend an event or advanced training fill in the event ID number which can be found on the list of ap­proved courses/events. One learning unit (45 minutes) equates 1 CP. Be sure to attach the respective confirmations of participation.
  • If you gave a course please fill in this form.

Where can I find approved classes or events for Tradesperson certificate renewal?

You can search for qualified classes/ events here.

How do I submit my Tradesperson certificate renewal by documenting my work on a certified Passive House?

Learn more about documenting a project for Tradesperson certificate renewal here.

My certificate has already expired or is about to expire, what can I do?

By submitting a project documentation, it is possible to renew a certificate at any time, even if your certificate has already expired some time ago. Learn more here.

Is there a fee to renew my certification?

The Pass­ive House In­sti­tu­te will check your ap­plic­a­tion for a cer­tain fee and after suc­cess­ful re­new­al of the cer­ti­fic­ate, send the cer­ti­fic­ate in di­git­al form via email.


Building Certification

The certification of a Passive House through the Passive House Institute or any of its accredited Building Certifiers offers enhanced quality assurance. The vast experience of these certifiers benefits designers throughout the planning process whereas the certification itself provides evidence of the building’s quality.

Building Certification categories include:

And there are several certification levels:

  • Passive House ClassicPassive House Plus (with renewables)
  • Passive House Premium (with  more renewables)
  • EnerPHit (retrofits)
  • Low Energy Building (near misses)

North American Certifiers Circle

The North American Certifiers Circle (NACC) is an association of  organizations actively certifying buildings to the international Passive House Standards (Classic, Plus, Premium, and EnerPHit) in North America.  The NACC works cooperatively to serve the public.  Download the two-page flyer HERE.

Members include:

Benefits of Certification

Passive House building certification provides many benefits to the developer, designer, consultant, builder, owner, and others:

  • Independent Review.  Certifiers’ review services are separate and distinct from Passive House consulting and design services.   This clear separation ensures an independent and completely objective assessment.  This additional quality assurance benefits all parties involved, including not just owners and occupants, but also investors, governments, funders, and other stakeholders.
  • Project Team Professional Development.  Expert review of the energy calculations, design, specifications, and construction documentation is continuing education for the project team.
  • Assurance for Project Team. The project team can breathe easier at all stages of the project, knowing their energy calculations and related details have been double-checked.
  • Assurance for Developers and Owners.  Previous building certifications assure the developer or owner of a prospective team’s skill and expertise.
  • Protects the Passive House Standard.  Rigorous quality assurance maintains the integrity of the world’s highest building energy-efficiency standard.

Passive House Certification Steps:

  1. Early in the concept design stage, obtain proposals for Passive House consulting and design services for your project and select your Certified Passive House Consultant/Designer.
  2. With your Consultant/Designer’s help, assemble key information about your project, such as its location and site conditions, architectural and structural concepts, any program constraints, as well as building assemblies and other components under consideration. Call out any unusual conditions or new technology you anticipate using.
  3. Early in the design process, send this information to Certifier(s) and request proposals. Select your PHI-accredited Certifier (or PHI), and then meet to discuss the certification process.
  4. Design Stage Review. Prepare your detailed certification submittal package (PHPP, plans, specifications, and required supporting documentation) according to your Certifier’s guidance.  Double check it for completeness before submitting it to your Certifier.
  5. Make corrections your Certifier requests to your package and re-submit until your Certifier can conditionally assure certification when construction is completed, the building is commissioned, and required documentation submitted. If requested, your Certifier will issue a design stage assurance letter stating that the planned building can be certified, but there is no “pre-certification” status.  Certification is always dependent upon the completed and commissioned building’s compliance with PHI’s published certification criteria.
  6. Upon completion, submit complete construction documentation: testing and commissioning reports, PHPP (adjusted if necessary for any changes from plans and specifications), photo documentation, construction and occupant certifications, etc. for Certifier’s final review.
  7. Upon review, if your building meets all certification criteria, you will receive the building certificate. You may post the certificate on your website and attach the plaque to your new Passive House building.  If you wish, your Passive House will be listed in PHI’s online international project directory.

Note: Although PHI and NACC recommend you obtain a Certifier’s initial review and conditional assurance before construction, sometimes that is not feasible.  Some Certifiers will review your building even when you first submit your information after starting construction.  Or even after completing construction.  However, all Certifiers recommend you submit your information during the design stage so you benefit from helpful feedback and advice before starting to build.

Many (but far from all) Certified Passive Houses can be found in this global database.


Component Certification

As an independent authority, the Passive House Institute tests and certifies products in respect of their suitability for use in Passive Houses. Products that carry the Certified Passive House Component seal have been tested according to uniform criteria; they are comparable in terms of their specific values, and are of excellent quality regarding energy efficiency. Their use facilitates the designer’s task and contributes significantly to ensuring the faultless functioning of the resultant Passive House.

Product Categories Include:

  • Opaque Components: wall systems, balcony connectors, facade anchors
  • Transparent Components: windows, doors, curtain wall
  • Services: ventilation, heat pumps

A complete list of PHI certified components can be found at here.

See the criteria for component certification here.