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Passivhaus Institut Launches Online Training

New video modules in English are an introduction to this high-performance building approach

Posted on Mar 25 2016 by Scott Gibson

The Passivhaus Institut (PHI), headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, announced an online training program that could be the starting point for those who want to become designers and consultants.

The video modules are available in English. They are designed as an introduction for beginners in Passivhaus design and as preparatory material for courses leading to certification as a Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. designer or consultant, PHI said in its March 23 press release.

"The Passive House principle is simple; however, a few details need to be kept in mind during
planning, to ensure that the energy savings expected by building owners are actually assured," PHI said.

PHI's three-tiered building standard includes limits on overall energy consumption, heat energy consumption, and air leakage through the building envelopeExterior components of a house that provide protection from colder (and warmer) outdoor temperatures and precipitation; includes the house foundation, framed exterior walls, roof or ceiling, and insulation, and air sealing materials.. In a revised edition released last year, the standard also added new requirements for renewable energy in the "plus" and "premium" building categories.

There are three introductory modules available for free — a good place to start for those who want a quick summary of what Passivhaus construction is about. The full course costs 195 euros (about $218 at current exchange rates).

PHI also said that its e-learning program is a good way to prepare for workshops at the International Passive House Conference in Darmstadt on April 22 and 23. If you're signed up for the conference, you'll get a 100-euro discount on the course.

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