The PHIUS Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) training—launched in 2008—is the first and still only training program geared to North America’s unique climates, construction details and market conditions. Over the years we’ve made strides toward streamlining the process—for example, we’ve implemented computerized testing at the end of each session, offered the training at multiple locations across the United States, and offered more standalone test opportunities nationwide. As a result, PHIUS is far and away leading training provider in the United States and Canada. More than 850 professionals have takend the 9-day training; 450 have gone on to pass the exam and earn the CPHC credential.
Now it’s time to take another leap forward. During our recent constituent survey, you were good enough to spend your valuable time and give us your feedback and loads of great suggestions. Many of you said that you want to take the CPHC training but you simply couldn’t be away from work for 9 days; that traveling once for a five-day session was a limit. That the time and travel for two in-class sessions was just too much.
We heard you: To make the training more accessible, we are making a portion of the class available in live, virtual format:
- Phase I will now be available via eight three-hour virtual sessions presented in collaboration with GreenExpo365, a national leader in virtual sustainable building training. Lecture and homework sessions—which are well-suited for this format—will be delivered twice a week for four weeks. The sessions will be taught live by PHIUS trainers and will feature live interaction. They will be also be recorded and made available to registered students for review and exam prep. Instructors will also hold “office hours” outside of class time to field questions from participants.
- Phase II will still be delivered in-class over 5 days—students can choose the most convenient of several in-class locations in the US and Canada. (See schedule here.)
The new format cuts travel and accommodation requirements in half. It allows students to take Phase I from their home or office. And—it allows PHIUS to reduce course fees, which are being reduced by $300! (See the full description here).
We’re very excited to launch this new format in April (see the schedule here) and we think it will open opportunities for more and more professionals to become CPHCs.
Still, you might be wondering why we have not taken the entire training online.
A proficient CPHC must fully understand the core underlying passive house principles, and have ability to optimize a project’s
energy balance and performance, all within the context of a realistic budget. Years of in-class instruction have taught us that mastering tools like WUFI Passive or PHPP demands personal interaction. Classroom give-and-take between a student and experienced instructor is critical to understanding work flows, appropriate component choices according to climate, and making cost-effective design choices based on modeling results.
In person, group interaction also greatly enhances the mechanical systems design exercises. Perhaps most important: We’ve seen firsthand the kind of personal connections that develop among classmates and between students and instructors. It has fostered a spirit of sharing and exchange, and forged connections that are the foundation of the passive house community. It has made us strong.
The PHIUS CPHC curriculum is constantly evolving—and it’s better than ever. It reflects the ever-growing collective knowledge and practical experience of our trainers–the most active CPHC consultants, who have build the most certified projects nationwide. Students received a binder of passive house information as well as CDs of class content.
And the CPHC training now incorporates the new WUFI Passive modeling tool. It is truly the dawn of a new age for passive designers! In addition to integrating WUFI Passive into CPHC training, PHIUS is offering three-day, standalone WUFI Passive training. It’s a great opportunity for CPHCs to refresh and upgrade their modeling skills.
I just finished participating in the first ever WUFI Passive 3-day training at Parsons College in NYC. CPHCs from the Northeast, Southeast, the Midwest and California and even CPHCs from areas with extreme climates like Texas and Toronto made the trek—and the energy was fantastic! (We just added WUFI Passive trainings in Chicago and Portland, Ore.)
This is a modern production tool with a terrific user interface. On day one we created a 3-D visualization in Sketch-up, imported it into WUFI Passive, and assigned window properties to the model. On day two we built assemblies in WUFI P in the 3D detail visualizer and on day three we’re trying out the dynamic options of the model for hygrothermal and comfort assessments.
We’re very excited about this new tool and the new CPHC training format. We expect that our partnership with the DOE—PHIUS+ Certification now also earns DOE Challenge Home and Energy Star designation—will put passive house on the national stage. And the demand for CPHCs will grow faster than ever.
We hope to see you all in 2013 and hope you will find the new format as exciting as we do!