Certifications

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

 

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), and Low Energy Building (near misses).

NACC logo

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

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.

 

Tradesperson logo

Substantiated expertise for the construction of Passive Houses is imparted to skilled Tradesperson within the framework of further training courses. The aim of the Certified Passive House Tradesperson Course is to convey an overall impression of the Passive House concept to the specialists involved in construction in an interdisciplinary approach and within a reasonable time frame.

All the Certified Tradespersons may be found here.   For information on training to become a Certified Passive House Tradesperson see here.

 

CPHC-CPHD Logos

Passive Houses do not look any different from other buildings. However, on account of their clearly defined energy standard, they exhibit a high level of thermal comfort and extremely small energy consumption. Good planning as well as careful execution of the details is essential in the construction of Passive House buildings, so that the high requirements for the building envelope and technology can be met. For this reason, designers and specialist planners need additional expertise which can be acquired and substantiated with the Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant training course.

Find a Certified Designer/Consultant near you:

For information on training to become a Certified Passive House Designer or Consultant see here.