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Passive House in the Real World - Self Study


Author: Mike Duclos

Subjects: Green Building: Passive House, Green Building: Sustainable Building

Length: 4 modules

Student Rating

9.3 out of 10 (view ratings)
72 students have taken this course


Passive House Consultant Mike Duclos teaches how to apply Passive House principles in the real world. With a brief nod to theory and computation, this course will mainly focus on tips, tricks, pitfalls, and what to expect when making Passive House a reality. Through case studies, videos, readings, quizzes, and Mike’s guidance you will enhance your ability to be a part of a Passive House project team, the most vital component of any successful Passive House project.

Through the lens of existing Passive House projects, expect to learn:

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Who Should Take This Course?

If you are an architect, builder, homeowner, utility incentive program designer, government official, or anyone else interested in Passive House, this course is for you. You will learn how to be a productive and vital member of the Passive House project team. If you are a Certified Passive House Consultant but have yet to certify your first house, than this course is also for you. You will learn valuable tips, tricks, and resources to help troubleshoot future projects. You'll also review common pitfalls to avoid.

Learn from A Passive House Expert

Mike Duclos is a principal and founder of The DEAP Energy Group, a consultancy providing a wide variety of deep energy retrofit, zero net energy and Passive House related consulting services. During this course he will share his direct, personal experiences working on Passive House projects.

Flexible Online Training for Industry Professionals

This is a self-study, self-paced online course. You can begin instantly upon enrollment and complete the course materials at your own pace.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn A Certificate of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.

Earn Continuing Education Credits

Approved for: 8 PHIUS CPHC CEUs, 10 BPI CEUs.

A helpful way to discover the challenges one faces when attempting a rigorous building standard.

- Jer Greene

Great refresher for a CPHC and important new practical information not taught in the CPHC course.

- Frank Karpowicz, CPHC

+ Read more student ratings and reviews for this course


Mike Duclos

Principal, DEAP Energy Group, LLC

Mike Duclos is a principal and founder of The DEAP Energy Group, LLC, a consultancy providing a wide variety of Deep Energy Retrofit, Zero Net Energy and Passive House related consulting services. Mike was an energy consultant on the Transformations, Inc. Zero Energy Challenge entry, and has worked on a variety of Zero Net Energy, DER and Passive House projects,...[more]

Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This is a self-study on demand course. This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Introduction to HeatSpring (Video - 01:25 minutes) Preview
Module 1 - Setting the Stage – Why Passive House and Why Now?

Topics: Historical context, review of the Passive House Standard, energy language primer, comparison of building rating systems, use of energy modeling to improve performance, how challenging is Passive House space heat demand, Passive House and HERS, case study: a 35+ year old super-insulated home.

  • Introduction to Passive House in the Real World (Video - 05:46 minutes)
  • Historical Background of Passive House (Video - 21:19 minutes)
  • Historical Background of Passive House - Quiz (Quiz)
  • Energy Language (Video - 26:14 minutes)
  • Energy Language - Quiz (Quiz)
  • Energy Modeling (Video - 24:20 minutes)
  • Energy Modeling - Quiz (Quiz)
  • Leger House - Video (Video - 16:50 minutes)
  • Leger House - Quiz (Quiz)
  • Energy Language Homework (Download .xls)
  • Energy Modeling Homework - Rev. 1.2 (Download .xls)
  • Week 1 Resources (Download .pdf)
Module 2 - Enclosures, Assemblies, and Systems – Through the Lens of Existing Projects

Topics: Psychometrics, moisture control, thermal bridging, ventilation and case studies, environmental impact of insulation, and minimizing that impact, a Passive House in winter without heating, window strategies. Learn from case studies and examples how to optimize these elements of Passive House design, and construction. Most of you have probably watched All About Windows and Passive vs Conventional Floor Planning, but if any have not, they are included here for convenience, it is a good idea to watch them before the remainder of the material. The All About Windows Q+A audio is optional.

  • Lecture - "All About Windows" (Video - 56:00 minutes)
  • 1-hour "All About Windows" Q+A audio recording (Audio .mp3)
  • Lecture - Passive vs. Conventional Floor Planning (Video - 01:00:47 hours)
  • Article: Passive House Floor Planning (Resource)
  • Enclosures (Video - 39:47 minutes)
  • Enclosures (10 questions) (Quiz)
  • THERM And Thermal Bridging (Video - 12:32 minutes)
  • THERM and Thermal Bridging (10 questions) (Quiz)
  • Insulation (Video - 30:40 minutes)
  • Insulation (11 questions) (Quiz)
  • Ventilation - Theory (Video - 35:20 minutes)
  • Ventilation - Theory (11 questions) (Quiz)
  • Ventilation - Case Studies (Video - 26:11 minutes)
  • Ventilation - Case Studies (10 questions) (Quiz)
  • Interpreting Infrared images of buildings (Download .docx)
  • Psychrometric Chart and Insulation (Download .xls)
  • Week 2 Resources (Download .pdf)
Module 3 - Air Tightness, Mechanicals, Lights, and Appliances

Topics: Space heating and cooling approaches, reasons for/against solar DHW and alternatives, the importance of the DHW distribution system drainwater heat recovery, the importance of lights and appliances, with examples from PH in design and completed.

  • Air Tightness (Video - 35:49 minutes)
  • Air Tightness (10 questions) (Quiz)
  • Air Source Heat Pumps (Video - 31:31 minutes)
  • Air Source Heat Pumps (10 questions) (Quiz)
  • Domestic Hot Water - DHW (Video - 36:08 minutes)
  • Domestic Hot Water (13 questions) (Quiz)
  • Lights and Appliances (Video - 17:30 minutes)
  • Lights and Appliances (10 questions) (Quiz)
  • Week 3 Homework (Download .xls)
  • Week 3 Resources (Download .pdf)
Module 4 - To Certify Or Not To Certify

Topics: Zero Net / Passive House inspired, climate-adapted and traditional standards, evaluation of project potential for PH, organizing a successful project team, common pitfalls, helpful tools and resources. Case studies of Passive House inspired new homes, certified Passive House and Passive House inspired Deep Energy Retrofit.

  • Zero Net Energy, Passive House Inspired, Certified Passive House (Video - 44:52 minutes)
  • 4.1 Zero Net Energy, Passive House Inspired, Certified (Quiz)
  • Evaluating a project for Passive House potential (Video - 30:15 minutes)
  • 4.2 - Project Potential for Passive House Certification (Quiz)
  • Marketing Passive House (Video - 14:46 minutes)
  • 4.3 - Marketing Passive House (Quiz)
  • Organizing a successful Passive House certification project (Video - 39:59 minutes)
  • Passive House Case Studies (Video - 31:26 minutes)
  • 4.4 - Organizing a successful Passive House project (Quiz)
  • Week 4 Homework (Text)
  • Week 4 Resources (Download .pdf)
Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials (Text)
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey (Survey)
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member (Resource)
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (Certificate)

Free Courses on Green Building, Passive House, Sustainable Building

All About Windows

This free course will cover the anatomy of a window, mechanisms that transfer heat through windows, and window design and application strategies.

Passive vs. Conventional Floor Planning + Passive House Sample Design

In this 1-hour live lecture, Mike Duclos, Principal and Founder of DEAP Energy Group, describes how passive floor planning differs from conventional floor planning. Mike's free Passive House Sample Design is included.