Passive House is an international building standard and methodology, applicable to buildings of all kinds from office buildings to hospitals, new-build and renovations, that results in a dramatic drop in operational energy use, and more comfortable and healthy occupants, and meant to aggressively mitigate our climate crisis while providing resilient adaptation.
The Passive House Standard was developed by the PHI (Passive House Institute), an independent scientific research organization, located in Darmstadt, Germany, and includes specific requirements for energy use and comfort of occupants. The Passive House Standard is being successfully applied to thousands of buildings and millions of square feet around the world, from Boston to Beijing.
The methodology starts with reducing cooling, dehumidification, and heating loads by focusing, not on gadgets and active technology, but instead on fully integrated durable passive building components, such as proper continuous thermal-bridge-free insulation, continuous airtightness, high-performance windows and doors, and ventilation that includes a high-efficiency heat/energy recovery core, carefully calculated, and all integrated with the entire architectural process of design and construction.
For those in the AEC industry, the Passive House Network has launch of the PHPP (Passive House Planning Package), an online, on-demand training course for Passive House home design and construction. The PHPP is used by architects, engineers, consultants, and contractors – as an integrated design and construction tool.
The PHPP is an Excel-based tool that allows the designer to simulate the behavior of the building both during peak times – winter and summer – and over an entire year. It’s a flexible, easy-to-use model that allows for quick iteration and design alternate evaluation. The course is self-paced, allowing participants to repeat and review sections as needed to fully absorb the lessons. It offers 24 AIA continuing education credits and is organized around nine learning objectives that give students a thorough grounding in PHPP practice for homes.
Students will learn the structure, inputs, and outputs of PHPP software, select and input appropriate climate data sets in PHPP, measure and record building characteristics (areas, volumes, etc.), specify building assemblies and components, model HVAC systems, assess building heat loss, energy demand, and summertime overheating risk, and gain practical experience in completing a PHPP assessment for a residential development.
The course was developed in collaboration with Peel Passive House Consulting Ltd. The course, Using PHPP in Passive House Design and Certification, is part of a larger Passive House education program that begins with introductory classes, including a suite of on-demand introductory topics offered by the BEEx (Building Energy Exchange). The core Certified Passive House Designer and Certified Passive House Tradesperson courses and other specialized expert training is all organized to build on each other and support growing high-performance competency to make buildings a solution to our climate, health, and social crises, not a contributor.
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