Calling all the Passive House engineers!

Where are all the Passive House engineers?

The design of certified Passive House buildings requires skilled architects and engineers, equipped with the know-how to handle the special requirements of Passive House projects. Every day I work on Passive House projects, helping architects and engineers apply ventilation equipment that will allow their building to meet the requirements, and the intent, of the Passive House concept. My ability to assist these design professionals in their work was greatly enhanced recently by taking NAPHN’s Certified Passive House Designer (CPHD) course.

Understanding the engineering and the architectural perspectives of Passive House design is critical. In the course, my decades of experience applying various ventilation equipment was challenged by interesting – and proven – new ventilation concepts. Gaining first-hand exposure to the architectural requirements of a project was quite frankly new to me. The instructor’s knowledge was impressive and the course material was well-designed. And best of all, I went on to pass the CPHD exam.

Few of my fellow mechanical engineers, however, are enrolling in the CPHD training courses. CPHD classes are full, growing in frequency and in location, but they are also dominated by architects. For example, of the twenty students in my class, just two were engineers. Compare that to the fifteen architects enrolled!

I encourage all engineers interested in gearing their profession into the design of more energy-efficient building design to sign up for one of NAPHN’s CPHD training courses.

You’ll get a bit of a refresher on load calcs, but you will also gain valuable exposure to new construction materials, current architectural design concepts, thermal bridge analysis, Passive House Planning Package (PHPP), and economic analysis tools that justify Passive House investments.

If you are thinking about enrolling in CPHD training, contact me ( I would be happy to tell you more about what to expect when you go to class, and the steps to becoming certified as a CPHD.

Mike Woolsey, CPHD

NAPHN Ambassador