Passivhaus is more than a label. It’s simply a sensible way to build using best practice to deliver in-use energy savings through reduction of space heating requirement of between 70-90% for new and renovated buildings of all sizes.

The Whole House Energy team has a wealth of experience, knowledge and qualification to assist and support with Passivhaus projects. Whether you are an architect, developer or self-builder we can enable you to achieve Passivhaus Certification and offer a full service from concept design through to post occupancy and monitoring.
Our PASSIVHAUS services

New build Passivhaus Design Service

Passivhaus Design and Consultancy – From the basics of advice on the shape of the building, through the PHPP modelling, detailed design, project management, training and site management, the Whole House Energy team will support your project. Contact us to find out how we can help.
PHPP (Passivhaus Planning Package) modelling – Energy modelling for both commercial and domestic buildings. The team work closely with architects to design the building using the PHPP model. Whether full Passivhaus Certification is sought or just modelling to improve on the current design, the team can help.

Refurbishment Passivhaus EnerPHit Design

PHPP (Passivhaus Planning Package) modelling – When seeking to renovate it's often an ideal time to review the energy strategy for the building. Using PHPP to model can help with this by looking to minimise energy use through good design and building methods

Passivhaus Background

Developed in Germany by Wolfgang Feist, a German physicist through a number of research projects carried out between 1988 and 1990 Passivhaus for new builds is a rigorous fabric first energy standard that achieves significant reduction in energy consumption of between 75-90%. It uses energy sources such as solar gains and heat from our bodies and appliances together with triple glazed windows and a highly insulated shell and mechanical ventilation to provide high levels of indoor comfort.
The Passivhaus Institute was founded in 1996 to promote and control the standard through Certification and there are now around 30,000 buildings completed to this standard, mainly in Germany and Austria but increasingly found throughout Europe and in the UK. It is now the fastest growing energy standard worldwide.

The Energy Standard

To achieve the required criteria a Passivhaus must be built with very high levels of insulation, using high performance windows and insulated frames. The fabric must be airtight and the construction must be free of thermal bridges. This will be supported through a mechanical ventilation strategy dependent on highly efficient heat recovery.
Passivhaus design is achieved primarily through the design of the fabric based on fundamental building physics.

Passivhaus buildings do not need to differ aesthetically from conventional buildings, while their typical features are as follows:
- Super-insulated
- Minimized or eliminated thermal bridging
- Extremely air-tight building envelope
- Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR)
- Triple-glazed windows, largely south oriented

To achieve Certification, a Passivhaus 'modelled design' needs to comply with the following:
- Specific Space Heating Demand = 15kWh/m2.a
- Or alternatively Heating Load = 10W/m2
- Total Cooling Demand = 15kWh/m2.a
- Specific Primary Energy = 120kWh/m2.a
- Airtightness = 0.6ach @ 50Pa

The Comfort Standard

The success of Passivhaus can be put down to not only it being the Passivhaus 'Energy Standard' but also the less heralded Passivhaus 'Comfort Standard'. Living or working in Passivhaus gives the occupier an environment which not only has a high level of indoor air quality (IAQ) through the mechanically ventilated systems (with reduced build up of household dust VOCs) but also a draught free environment. This is further improved on due to the walls and internal surfaces such as windows and floors needing to emit temperatures of no lower than 17 degrees Celcius. This means that if you are standing in front of a window when the outside temperature is -10 degrees you will still feel warm.
Why get qualified?

Certified Passivhaus Tradesperson Training

Passivhaus is a rigorous energy standard that benefits building occupants with huge reductions in energy consumption in addition to an extremely high level of indoor comfort. To achieve it however requires nothing more than very good detailed design and thorough good-practice through the construction process. This entails awareness of interdependencies of different components and also an ability to assess deviations from the planned work that might arise on site that could adversely affect the building performance.
The Passivhaus standard is the fastest growing energy standard in the world with in excess of 30,000 buildings constructed to date.

Whilst predominantly a course aimed at trades people, a wider audience could benefit attendance, as there is a need for contextual knowledge and understanding throughout the industry. This qualification demonstrates competence and commitment to improving building standards by both individuals and organisations.

Course Overview
The course has been designed to provide the Passivhaus Institute training requirements. In addition to this, it includes practical sessions such as airtightness detailing, windows and ventilation examples, together with hands-on sessions and demonstrations.
The basis of the course comprises of six interdisciplinary modules with two specific trades modules (thermal insulation/window installation and heat supply/ventilation). Each module will take approximately 2-2.5 hours. It is this core content that you will be examined upon.

Who Should Attend:
- Building Tradespeople, Site Operatives, Site Managers, Project Managers, Clerk of Works, Clients

- Also suitable for Quantity Surveyors and Estimators, Building & Facilities Managers, Maintenance Operatives.

Learning Objectives:
- Delivered in modules the course covers Definition and Basic Principles of Passivhaus design;
- Airtightness and vapour barrier in typical construction types;
- Good practice with all types of insulation;
- Airtightness testing requirements and regimes;
- Importance of thermal bridging detail;
- Glazing choices and installation requirements;
- Understanding and interpreting of PHPP (the Passivhaus Planning Package);
- Good practice with MVHR (mechanical ventilation and heat recovery) design, installation and maintenance;
- Supplementary heat supply, source and emitter.

Course Duration:
- Full course 3 full days plus exam
- Optional 1 Day Site tours (subject to location and availability)

- Three days with a combination of classroom based learning and practical demonstrations both in and out of classroom.

Learning and Outcomes:
- Certified Passivhaus Tradesperson Qualification (Passivhaus Institute endorsed) and Certificate
- The course qualifies for a 3 day Construction Certification CPD
- Listed on the Passivhaus Institute website
- For full list see the Catalogue of Learning Objectives pdf available online at

- 90-minute open book ‘Certified Passivhaus Tradesperson’ exam.
- Examination date: Saturday 7th November 2015

Entry Requirements:
- Provision of full CV demonstrating suitable experience and/or qualification.
book your place

Useful resources and links:

Passivhaus Trust
Passivhaus Plus Magazine
RIBA Journal - Its only natural - Enterprise Centre
CIBSE Journal 2015 - The Enterprise Centre, UEA
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