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The complex process of Passive House Certification!
August 28, 2012

The complex process of Passive House Certification!

Neither the building nor the certification of a passive house is an easy process. Also, building components and building process must be certified and verified. This article is part of the series about passive house concept, building components, technologies and techniques, among others. The article focuses on lesser-known things required for a successful passive house certification.

The entire certification process of the passive house consists of three major parts:

  • planning, including building design
  • pre-certification with improvements
  • certification

The whole process is done with the help of the Certified Passive House Designer (CPHD) including cooperation with the Passive House Institute (PHI) or passive house center. And at the end there is a certificate of Quality Approved Passive House.

The certification process usually begins before the building is built. The extensive documentation (permit drawings, Passive House Planning Package calculation, acceptable climate data) are submitted to get a pre-certification packet/status and feedbacks with possible improvements from the  national organization in the country, whether Passive House Institute or passive house center.

After completion of the house, the actual certification process of the house includes the submitting of the specified drawings including photographs, completed PHPP calculation with verified climate and building data, airtightness test, ventilation commissioning and builder´s declaration about building the house in accordance with the project documentation. A majority of the main components in the building must be also certified in accordance with passive house technology, these include: insulation, windows and doors, appliances, heating and ventilation systems.

Also, there are the documented details of the building. For example the treated floor area (TFA) must be calculated and marked clearly in the drawings. Airtightness measurements at 50 Pa difference (ACH50) must be provided from the blower-door test performed by an independent party. Blower-door test is done before the final closure of the building envelope to confirm the security and tightness of the airtight layer. The ventilation commission includes the adjusted volumetric flows per valve and total flow rates, balanced total supply and exhaust air, reported/measured fan energy, among others.

After all this, the building will be officially held as certified with plaque and certificate and included in an extensive database of passive houses at www.passivhausprojekte.de.

Image from www.passivhausprojekte.de