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DON´Ts & DOes for user guide for passive house!
November 14, 2016

DON´Ts & DOes for user guide for passive house!

User guide for passive house

User guide for passive house is a very important part of the process of handover and quick start for any new (or refurbished) passive house. Read more about Quick start guide for passive house! (link here).


  • over complicate user guides
  • try to familiarise on ‘move in’ day
  • frighten occupants with complicated or technical explanations
  • leave the maintenance team in the dark.


  • provide advance information. The earlier the journey starts, the sooner it finishes
  • provide a very simple ‘quick start’ guide, stickers or posters where appropriate
  • consider accessible video guides
  • set the building up to function prior to ‘move in’ day
  • familiarise occupants through ‘hands on’ experiences
  • re-familiarise at change of season
  • involve maintenance teams in the design ensure fault response teams are well informed.


Set everything up to be working on ‘move in’ day. This allows occupiers to concentrate on the actual move, without having the added complication of learning new controls and techniques on the day. The ‘quick start’ guide should form a part of the general documentation which should be handed over on move in day.

Arrange a familiarisation session for a week or two after moving in, with as many occupants as possible. Consider who should lead the session. It is important not to overwhelm or frighten the occupants with hoards of technical experts. In a relaxed atmosphere, work through the ‘quick start’ guide (perhaps using a checklist) and explain each of the main functions.

Involve occupants in hands on experience, and avoid the temptation to demonstrate. Learning by ‘doing’ is far more effective and confidence building. Questions often occur after the session so provide a further point of contact. Repeating a similar familiarisation session at the following change to winter/summer provides an opportunity to catch up with how the users have coped so far as well as to go over how users might control for cooling instead of heating, for example.

Excerpt from “How to build a Passivhaus: Rules of thumb”, chapter by Chris Parsons, Passivhaus Trust, April 2015.

Read more on passive house certification, handover and maintanence