Fre­quently asked ques­tions

Do you still have ques­tions? Then you may find some an­swers be­low! Oth­er­wise you are wel­come to con­tact the train­ing de­part­ment of the Pass­ive House In­sti­tu­te.

> Courses

Are there some free Passive House courses?

You can access the online course Passive House for Decision Makers for free. You may also check Passipedia, the Passive House Database as well as our free litterature section and online brochures to start learning about Passive House.

Which course should I take?

To get a brief overview of the Passive House standard, you may have a look at our elearning for decision makers. Do you want to further deepen your knowledge? Then you can check the Passive House Fundamentals online course.

Now if you are a building professional and want to learn how to design a Passive House / EnerPHit building, we recommend you to take the dedicated Passive House Designer / Consultant course. To un­der­stand how to care­fully im­ple­ment and as­sess Pass­ive House de­tails on the build­ing site, tradespeople may take a Passive House Tradesperson course.

After taking one of these main courses, you may consider taking an additional in-depth course to extend your expertise in a specific area (e.g. software, building site, retrofit, components).

> Certificates / seals

According to my diploma, do I qualify for the Designer or Consultant certificate?

Both titles are equal in terms of qual­i­fic­a­tion with ref­er­en­ce to the Pass­ive House rel­ev­ant know­ledge. The re­quire­ments for at­tain­ing this cer­ti­fic­ate and for re­new­al are also the same. Nor­mally, Pass­ive House De­sign­ers work in plan­ning of­fices on the con­crete im­ple­ment­a­tion of the Pass­ive House Stand­ard, while Pass­ive House Con­sult­ants usu­ally con­trib­ute to its dis­sem­in­a­tion through their work as re­search­ers or speak­ers, or as de­cision makers in gov­ern­ment au­thor­it­ies.

A clear classification is not always easy due to the diverse educational qualifications, professions and the legal provisions relating to buildings worldwide. For this reason, the Passive House Institute has specified two possibilities for classification as a "Certified Passive House Designer":

  • Providing proof of an educational qualification which enables you to plan buildings or technical building systems independently. This educational qualification should have reached a certain level (e.g. diploma or bachelor degree) and have been attained in a specialised subject which primarily involves the planning of buildings or building services systems.
  • Providing proof of membership in an institution, whose members are entitled to provide planning services which are subject to approval by a building authority (e.g. Chamber of Architects). In case of uncertainty, and outside of Germany, the course/examination host or the assessing body should be contacted.


You qualify for the Designer title if you have the following educational qualification:

  • Architect or interior designer
  • Civil or timber construction engineer
  • Building physicist
  • Building and energy technology engineer
  • Building contractor
  • Master carpenter
  • Certified technician for structural engineering, building construction, heating plumbing and ventilation technology or supply technology

If you have the following educational qualification, you qualify for the Consultant title:

  • Degree in (analytical) chemistry, electrical engineering or manufacturing engineering
  • Engineering degree in environmental technology and resource management
  • Construction industry environmental safety technician 
  • Environmental engineer
  • Gas, plumbing and ventilation systems technician
  • Woodwork technician 
  • Certified technician for electronics
  • Energy consultant
  • Architectural draftsman
  • Geometrician
  • Woodwork technican for window installation
  • Managing director
  • Property sales manager/estate agent
  • Economist

► Just provide a copy of the proof to your course/ex­am­in­a­tion host or as­sess­ing body. The at­tained Con­sult­ant title can be changed in­to the De­sign­er title, if such proof is only ob­tained and sub­mit­ted later on (e.g. tak­ing an ex­am­in­a­tion dur­ing train­ing). If no proof is sub­mit­ted, the Con­sult­ant title will be gran­ted upon suc­cess­ful qual­i­fic­a­tion.

Tips to pass the Pass­ive House ex­am

We can advise the following:

  • Go through the Examination RegulationsLearning Targets carefully and reflect on your confidence with each topic. Mind the gaps - then go ahead and bridge them.
  • Study the Passive House Concept and its definition, criteria and practical implementation to detailed level. Sketch Passive House suitable details for different construction methods; regular build-ups and of course joints, window installations and the like. Customers will expect you to actually design such a building and be aware of all important elements.
  • Internalize the “rules of thermal bridge free design” and their rationale. They are straightforward and invaluable guidance in everyday practice.
  • Get familiar with the importance of airtightness, design and implementation of airtight layers and airtightness testing (methodology & practical execution)
  • Study PHPP and energy balancing in general. What entities are required to compose the energy balance of a building? What is their respective impact? How does the balance react on changes of different parameters?
  • Get proficient with actual PHPP use by entering a number of examples from A to Z. How can you make them a Passive House? Get valuable advices from the PHPP handbook! To understand what happens in PHPP you should also know how e.g. U-Values are calculated. Make use of the possibility to retrace the main algorithms in the spreadsheet formula.
  • Get familiar with basic economic life cycle assessment (present value, annuity). Are you able to e.g. calculate the residual value based on given boundary conditions?
  • Generally: Repeat and rehearse any calculations, sketches… During the exam, you must be able to quickly analyse what is given and required and set to work.
Can I take the exam online?

It is currently possible to take the exam online. For more detalis please contact your course provider or Passive House Institute 

Which material can I bring to the exam?

You can bring any printed course material and notes to the exam. To save time, consider doing a summary of the main Passive House formulas and requirements. We also advise you to bring markers for the design exercise, as well as a calculator with spare batteries.

Who can register for the exam?

Anybody can register for the exam. While it is not mandatory to have attended a dedicated Passive House course, it is strongly recommended to increase your chance of success.

Are there any preparation courses to pass the exam?

Some course provider may offer a special revision session before the exam - please contact your local course provider to check which options are available.

My certificate has already expired or is about to expire

No problem! 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.

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.

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

It is not that serious... besides certified Passive House buildings or EnerPHit retrofits, PHI Low Energy Buildings are also suitable for a 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.

I think it is difficult to attain 100 credit points for the renewal of my certificate

Yes, it is very demanding: you have already provided proof of a high standard of further training by attaining your certificate. Now you can show your clients that you have continued to gather experience and are up to date by listing all your qualifications!

Can I take the PHPP expert exam on the same day as the Designer/Consultant exam?

Yes you can, but since the "add-on"-seal PHPP Expert can only be hold in combination with the "Certified PH Desiger/Consultant" certificate, you can only use it once you have successfully passed the Designer/Consultant exam.

> Course / Ex­am pro­viders

I cannot find a Passive House course provider in my area

Please contact the Passive House Institute to enquire about your different options.