Meet Emu’s Passive Pod
Builders are hands-on learners. A textbook and slide deck only go so far. At Emu, we’ve spent years developing a proprietary instruction tool that allows our student builders to get their hands on the products and methods we discuss in class, with the support of research-backed advanced building science. Instead of the restrictive case study that one mockup or product demo can show, the pods are designed to integrate with the learning objectives in our brand-neutral course. Scroll down to see more about what to expect from a Passive Pod workshop and see a list of high-performance product manufacturers and suppliers who have donated to our brand-neutral training.
How to Join a Passive Pod Workshop:
In order to be eligible to attend an Emu Passive Pod workshop, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- you are currently enrolled in Emu’s online CPHT course
- you are an alumnus of an Emu’s CPHT course
- you are a certified Passive House professional (PHI or PHIUS)
The intent of the Passive Pods is to provide a kitted learning tool to accompany our textbook and help our Trainers deliver high quality, unbiased instruction.
All of the pods have the same net volume, even the Code Pod. The only difference is that the Code Pod complies with the 2015 IECC code, while the Passive Pods comply with the international Passive House standard requirements for “Cool, Temperate Climate” (similar to US Climate Zone 5). These code standards apply to things like U/R Values of assemblies, thermal bridge requirements, air sealing, and window types. (For example, the Passive Pods all have high performance Passive House certified windows, whereas the Code Pod has a standard regulation, building code compliant window purchased from a local hardware and supply store)
For comparison’s sake, we have one “Code Pod” on hand for Trainers to be able to point to business as usual practices that can go awry.
Passive Pod teams simulate reality
Each student team is assigned job roles to simulate a construction site, and they have documentation requirements that must be met. Every section of the Passive Pod build coincides with lessons learned in class, red flags they must catch, and design flaws they must recognize that will negatively affect their structure over time.
Each team is given a manual and job roles. And a fun team name.
The Site Supervisor oversees the work of the Air Sealing Sub and Window Installer, and reports the correct documentation.
The most important part of a Passive build is an integrated team. The Passive Pod Workshop is designed to reinforce that concept.
Passive Pods are brand neutral
We have the fortune of receiving product donations from the best of the best in the Passive House manufacturing world, and we give the students an opportunity to ask questions in a brand-neutral environment where science reigns. We don’t sell any of the products used in the Pod; they have all been donated by manufacturers and distributors who know that we teach the good, the bad, and the ugly of all the options on the market, and they are confident enough in their products to support the #BuildPassive movement.
Testing the Pods
Go to our blog to see the results of the first class to ever use the Pods in class, where the student-built Passive Pods maintained 20°F higher temperatures than the Code Pod in overnight Resiliency Test in the Rocky Mountain snow. At the conclusion of every CPHT course, we run three tests on the team built Passive Pods in comparison to the Code Pod: Airtightness Test – a qualitative test where we pressurize the pods and use smoke to seek out leaks to mitigate Thermal Bridging Test – another qualitative test using infrared cameras to spot weak spots in the thermal envelope of the pods Resiliency Test – a quantitative competition, using temperature and relative humidity sensors to track the performance of the Passive Pods against each other and against a Code Pod when left outside overnight
A big thank you from Emu and our CPHT students to:
Our advanced builder training courses and workshops would not be possible without the support and product donation of several Product Partners from the Passive House materials industry. A big thank you to the following companies for donating materials to our workshops so that builder students can explore their options in an education-based, brand neutral environment.