About the course

About the course

In this course, building tradespeople will learn the skills and knowledge required to understand how to build to the International Passive House standard. This 5-day course covers the Building Envelope and Mechanical Systems specialities. 

What is Passive House?

The Passive House Standard is not a regulation, but a methodology and certification system for creating very thermally-efficient buildings. Passive House buildings allow for space heating and cooling-related energy savings of up to 90% compared with typical building stock and over 75% compared to average new builds. Although Passive House buildings have been around internationally for 25 years, at last these super energy-efficient buildings are now appearing in Australia.

Passive House buildings show great diversity in aesthetics, size, construction methods and materials. The following five details enable buildings to achieve the Passive House standard:

  1. Exceptionally high levels of thermal insulation
  2. Well-insulated window frames with double or triple low-e glazing
  3. Thermal bridge-free construction
  4. Air-tight building envelope
  5. Comfort mechanical ventilation, with highly efficient heat recovery

These principles, together with good orientation, window shading and efficient design comprise a building that is very thermally comfortable and energy efficient.

Win work in the emerging Passive House (Passivhaus) building sector

There are 152 Certified Passive House Designers and Consultants in Australia and potentially hundreds of clients who want to build to this internationally recognised standard. Growing client demand for high performance, thermally comfortable and energy efficient buildings will provide work for specialist builders and tradespeople. However, there are only 125 certified Passive House Tradespeople in Australia. Consider upskilling, become internationally accredited and improve your marketing edge.

Becoming Passive House Accredited

The course offers the opportunity to sit the examination which is set by the Passivhaus Institut (Germany) and takes place all round the world on four pre-determined dates per year. On successfully passing the exam, you will receive the internationally recognised accreditation as

  • Certified Passive House Tradesperson - Building Envelope Specialist or
  • Certified Passive House Tradesperson - Mechanical Services Specialist or both

Certification as a Passive House Tradesperson by the Passive House Institute (PHI), Darnstadt, Germany will only occur on successful completion of the PHI exam which will be held at Box Hill Institute (date to be confirmed).  Additional fees will be charged to sit this exam which also covers 5 years registration with PHI if successful.

Pro Clima Australia Pty Ltd offer a Passive House Tradespersons Scholarship. Enrolled applicants have the opportunity to apply. The successful applicant will receive full subsidy for the Australia Passive House Association Certified Passive House course delivered by Box Hill Institute and the externally assessed exam. To apply, visit the Pro Clima website.

Passive House Course and Exam Enquiries: passivehouseenquiries@boxhill.edu.au

To enrol, complete, scan and return the enrolment form to passivehouseenquiries@boxhill.edu.au


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Code Course 2021 Dates
CPH01 Passive House Introduction

19-21 May

25-27 August

CPHT1 Certified Passive House Tradesperson

3-7 May

15-19 November

CPHT2 Certified Passive House Tradesperson Examination

8 May

20 November

CPHD1 Certified Passive House Designer

31 May - 10 June

27 September - 7 October

22 November - 2 December

CPHDE Passive House Designer exam prep course

11 June

8 October

3 December

CPHD2 Certified Passive House Designer Examination





Dates are approximate and after the courses


Course Details


Fees & Schedule


Burkhard Hansen

Burkhard Hansen is passionate about energy efficiency and living comfort.

To Burkhard, Passive House standards are the foundation of a healthy living environment.

Through modern engineering and considerations of building physics, Burkhard aims for Passive House to be a mainstream, affordable and readily available option. He has been involved in successfully executed airtight and energy efficient prefab construction methods in Europe and is keen to be part of the driving force of this change in Australia. To sustain and support this change, he believes it is vital to teach the awareness, knowledge, skills and understanding of building performance, both from a theoretical and practical level.

Burkhard has over 13 years of experience working in various countries around the world implementing Passive House standards.

Since being in Australia, Burkhard has founded Carbonlite Enterprises and has successfully delivering the first prefabricated certified Passive House in Australia. Through this business, he has continued to deliver precision fabricated projects performing to Passive House standard. Although there have been challenges due to the lack of experience and knowledge of airtight buildings, teaching the awareness to designers, engineers and trades has shown these challenges can be overcome.

Course Content

Depending on the building envelope or mechanical services options the learning aims are:

  • define the Passive House Standard and basic principles of designing a Passive House
  • understand and be able to calculate R values for opaque building elements
  • understand the importance of thermal bridging and airtightness
  • locate the correct positioning of the airtightness and vapour control layers in relation to the insulation and structural layers in a range of typical construction types
  • understand the correct handling procedures for insulation materials and describe how the integrity of insulation is affected when wet or damaged
  • study a range of insulation types to different construction types
  • outline the steps and procedures involved in the performance of an airtightness test using the Passive House methodology
  • learn the correct airtightness treatment at door and window openings, service penetrations, joints vertically and horizontally, corners and where the wall meets other constructional elements
  • outline the methods available for avoiding thermal bridging including information on any proprietary product used to assist the process
  • identify suitable Passive House glazing and frame types and compare them to those commonly used in construction
  • understand thermal bridge values for Passive House suitable window and door installations in different construction types
  • identify and accurately interpret data from PHPP files to determine construction details
  • understand Passive House mechanical systems, including heat recovery ventilation equipment design, sizing, installation and maintenance
  • outline the key elements of ventilation ducting in Passive House projects and ensure high performance in terms of airtight and highly insulated penetrations
  • summarise supplementary heating and cooling in Passive Houses, technologies, sizing and installation

More detail on the learning targets can be obtained by going to the Passive House Trades website.  



You should be a qualified and experienced tradesperson or a building design professional to benefit from this qualification.

Materials Required for class

All learning materials are provided including the CPHT combined building envelope and mechanical training manual.

Target Audience

This course is aimed at tradespersons and building contractors who wish to expand their business and trade skill areas towards the international energy efficient standards associated with passive house construction. Building design professionals may also choose to take the course by way of introduction to the Passive House standard before going on to taking the Certified Passive House Designer course.

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