Becoming a PHIUS Certified Passive House Consultant

December 29th, 2021

Dear Readers,

William is interested in becoming a PHIUS Certified Passive House Consultant. I am super proud of him for pursuing such an endeavor! I am also of course super curious…

So, while I went ahead and made a step by step outline for William on what he needed to do in order to achieve the label of “PHIUS Certified Passive House Consultant” (super fancy, I know…), I figured I could share this information with all of you as well! You know, just in case any of you became interested in obtaining your fancy schmancy certification as a PHIUS Certified Passive House Consultant 😉

The information for this outline was obtained from the following sources (see references for exact page locations):

– PHIUS. “CPHC Program Overview,” 2021. https://www.phius.org/become-a-professional/certified-passive-house-consultant-cphc-training/program-overview. Accessed on 17 December 2021.

– PHIUS. “CPHC Training Terms & Conditions,” 15 Sept. 2017. https:// www.phius.org/CPHC-Application/PHIUS%20Certificate%20Training%20Terms%20and%20Conditions.pdf. Accessed on 17 December 2021.

– PHIUS. “PHIUS – CPHC Training Application.” https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form?EQBCT=c9ce9cd3cf1c481eac66d6fab7e68627.  Accessed on 17 Dec 2021.

 

Steps to Achieving PHIUS Certification

1. Apply for Admission.

– Apply here.

-Admission to the PHIUS Certification program is not guaranteed. In order to be considered for admission, you must qualify for one of the following credentials: Licensed Professional, Recognized Professional, Education Qualified, Field Experience Qualified, or PHI- Certified Consultant/Designer.1

-The five credentials above are defined in the CPHC Training Terms and Conditions:2

        • Licensed Professional: A licensed professional is considered a Registered Architect or a Registered Professional Engineer. Verification requirements include proof of current registration along with a professional resume with contact info of two professional references.
        • Recognized Professional: A recognized professional is considered as a Building Science Specialist, Building Performance Specialist, Practicing Energy Consultant, Practicing Architectural Designer, or a Practicing Engineering/Architectural Technician. Verification requirements include a resume with contact info of three professional references and a history of employment for the past 3 years.
        • Education Qualified – Current student or college graduate in one of the following areas: architecture, engineering, building science, environmental science. Verification requirements include current class schedule, an unofficial transcript or copy of diploma, and/or resume with contact info of three references from teachers or employers.
        • Field Experience Qualified – Practitioner in one of the following fields: building performance, building science, building diagnostics, building construction, building systems (i.e. HVAC, plumbing, electrical). Verification requirements include history of employment for past 3 years and resume with contact info of three references from professional associates or employers.

2. Register and pay for Phase I Online Training.

-Phase I consists of pre-recorded videos available online on-demand. Access is granted for 4 months, starting from the date of payment. PHIUS recommends allowing four to six weeks to cover the material.3 Phase 1 consists of about 40 hours of online instruction.4

3. Register and pay for Phase II Online Training.

-Phase II is now also offered online, based on live presentations spread over 8 days. The live sessions run for 3 hours. Phase II also includes group projects, homework assignments and online tutorials. The sessions are recorded for later review.

-Phase II previously required five days of in-class instruction; when conditions allow, PHIUS will offer both an in-class an online option for Phase II.5

4. Register and pay for the CPHC Exam.

-To achieve CPHC accreditation, students must take and pass a computer-based exam and complete a take home Passive Design exercise.

-The final result of the online portion of the exam will be available to the trainee instantly upon completion. Exam takers have the opportunity to inspect their graded exam online and can request a review of possible contested points for a time period of 24 hours after the exam has been completed. No further appeal is possible after this time period.

-Students must score an overall combined percentage of 70% for the online and take-home portions of the exam in order to pass.

-The computerized portion of the exam is weighted as follows:

        • General Building Science 10%
        • Passive House/Building Standard Comprehension 30%
        • Passive House/Building Standard Comprehension 30%

-The take home Passive Design Project portion is weighted for the remaining 30%

-The take home portion has to be postmarked three weeks after the issuing date of the exercise. It will be graded by PHIUS within four weeks of receipt and the final pass/fail results will be sent out via email. In the case of passing, a signed and water-marked paper certificate will be mailed via postal service. Exam takers have the opportunity to inspect their graded take home portion at the office of PHIUS and can request a review of possible contested points. PHIUS will consider the request and make a final determination after one week. No further appeal is possible after the examinee has been informed about the decision. Any legal challenge of the exam result is excluded.6

Total CPHC Certification Cost

Details regarding registration and payment, event location, the exam, and CPHC consultant certification procedure will be emailed to accepted candidates. Submitting the online application in no way obligates the applicant to register for the training.7

How to Maintain Certification

“Certification continues for a period of three years or until the Consultant has a building verified as a Certified Passive House or Building with PHIUS under the PHIUS+ program, at which point the Consultant’s certification is renewed for another three years.

All projects certified and verified by PHIUS and its affiliates will automatically count towards extension of the certificate for an additional three years and no other step or fee is necessary to extend the Certificate.

An alternative path to maintain certification is to complete a minimum of 36 continuing education credits per three-year period. PHAUS [Passive House Alliance US] is offering CEU-approved webinars throughout the year. Also, local chapter conferences and the national conference offer opportunities of obtaining CEUs.”8

Benefits

Besides obtaining knowledge in passive building principles, training in the WUFI Passive modeling software, learning on how to design and execute commercial, residential, and retrofit projects, and becoming a part of a group of professionals that pave the way to quality passive house projects specific to the North American climate and market conditions, certified participants will…..

-Consultants receiving CPHC certification will be listed and promoted on the publicly accessible websites of PHIUS and the Passive House Alliance US (PHAUS), www.phius.org and phaus.org.9

-CPHC consultants will be granted access to the CPHC logos according to use guidelines issued by PHIUS to designate their certified consultant status.10

-Earn AIA Continuation Credits. PHIUS is an AIA National, International, and Distance CES Provider. In Phase I you can earn 40 LU/HSW units. In Phase II you can earn 40 LU/HSW units.11

 

Alrighty, that about sums it up! I hope this outline was helpful to you and your fancy schmancy CPHC certification endeavors!!

 

Sincerely,

Shelby

1. PHIUS. “PHIUS – CPHC Training Application.” https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form?EQBCT=c9ce9cd3cf1c481eac66d6fab7e68627.  Accessed on 17 Dec 2021.

2. PHIUS. “CPHC Training Terms & Conditions,” 15 Sept. 2017. https://www.phius.org/CPHC-Application/PHIUS%20Certificate%20Training%20Terms%20and%20Conditions.pdf. Accessed on 17 December 2021. Pages 2-4.

3. PHIUS. “CPHC Program Overview,” 2021. https://www.phius.org/become-a-professional/certified-passive-house-consultant-cphc-training/program-overview. Accessed on 17 December 2021.

4. PHIUS. “CPHC Training Terms & Conditions,” 15 Sept. 2017. https://www.phius.org/CPHC-Application/PHIUS%20Certificate%20Training%20Terms%20and%20Conditions.pdf. Accessed on 17 December 2021. Page 1.

5. PHIUS. “CPHC Program Overview,” 2021. https://www.phius.org/become-a-professional/certified-passive-house-consultant-cphc-training/program-overview. Accessed on 17 December 2021.

6. PHIUS. “CPHC Training Terms & Conditions,” 15 Sept. 2017. https://www.phius.org/CPHC-Application/PHIUS%20Certificate%20Training%20Terms%20and%20Conditions.pdf. Accessed on 17 December 2021. Pages 4 – 5.

7. PHIUS. “CPHC Training Terms & Conditions,” 15 Sept. 2017. https://www.phius.org/CPHC-Application/PHIUS%20Certificate%20Training%20Terms%20and%20Conditions.pdf. Accessed on 17 December 2021. Page 1.

8. PHIUS. “CPHC Training Terms & Conditions,” 15 Sept. 2017. https://www.phius.org/CPHC-Application/PHIUS%20Certificate%20Training%20Terms%20and%20Conditions.pdf. Accessed on 17 December 2021. Pages 5 – 6.

9. “CPHC Training Terms & Conditions,” 15 Sept. 2017. https://www.phius.org/CPHC-Application/PHIUS%20Certificate%20Training%20Terms%20and%20Conditions.pdf. Accessed on 17 December 2021. Page 1.

10. “CPHC Training Terms & Conditions,” 15 Sept. 2017. https://www.phius.org/CPHC-Application/PHIUS%20Certificate%20Training%20Terms%20and%20Conditions.pdf. Accessed on 17 December 2021. Page 4.

11. PHIUS. “CPHC Program Overview,” 2021. https://www.phius.org/become-a-professional/certified-passive-house-consultant-cphc-training/program-overview. Accessed on 17 December 2021.

3 Comments

  1. Wow,
    My friend is building a precision cut log home. I wonder if that could also be certified as a passive house?

    Reply
    • Hey Frank! Thank you again for reading our blog!! 🙂

      We certainly don’t see why a log home couldn’t be certified! It would just take an extra level of attention and compromise for insulation, airtightness, and assuring a ventilation system…along with no thermal bridging. The owner would probably have to compromise on seeing the logs on the interior or the exterior for the sake of insulation.

      From a quick search on google, here is one manufacturer who is gettin’ pertty darn close to perfecting Passive House certified mainstream log homes (without necessarily the compromise…): Katahdin Cedar Log Homes (https://www.katahdincedarloghomes.com/blog/passive-house-series-the-envelope/).

      Thanks again, and William and I hope you and your family are having a joyful, healthy, and rejuvenating holiday season!

      Reply
  2. OK then.

    Reply

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