At Emu, we believe in the mantra: “think globally, act locally”. As such, we have spent a lot of our resources on capturing the international knowledge base we’ve gained over the years into a CPHT curriculum that relates global information to local North American markets.

We are proud to have a 92% pass rate on the international Certified Passive House Tradesperson exam, and we are constantly updating and revising our content to reflect the most current information available. We issue revisions to our curriculum every February at our Rocky Mountain Retreat CPHT course and exam.

The catalogue of learning objectives is based on the assumption that tradespeople already possess the relevant skills required for construction work due to their basic training. The content is therefore restricted to essential additional knowledge relating to the Passive House.


CPHT Unit 1: Passive House Basics

  • Pioneers of High Performance
  • Definition of the Passive House Standard Potential for Energy Savings
  • Hazards of Building as Usual
  • Value of Passive House Quality

CPHT Unit 2: Passive House Economics in North America

  • Cost in Construction: Emotions vs Rational
  • Passive House vs Code
  • Does Passive House Cost More?
  • Energy, Savings and Perceptions in the American Market
  • Other Costs Associated with Buildings
  • Value, Litigation and Liability

CPHT Unit 3: Thermal InsulationTypical Insulation Values for Assemblies

  • Thermal Properties of Materials
  • R-value, U-value
  • Moisture Properties of Materials
  • Typical Insulation Materials
  • Sample Questions for CPHT Exam

CPHT Workshop Part 1: Insulation

CPHT Unit 4: Thermal Bridges

  • Definition and Identification of Thermal Bridges
  • Effects on Heat Flow and on Mold/Condensation
  • Typical Thermal Bridges in Different Types of Structures
  • Climate-specific Requirements and Cost-Effectiveness
  • Thermal Bridge Mitigation

CPHT Unit 5: Windows + Transparent Components

  • Mold, Condensation and the Hygiene Requirement
  • Thermal Performance and the Comfort Requirement
  • Incremental Steps in Window Performance
  • Energy Balance – Windows as Solar Panels Components of Windows and Transparent
  • Components Detailing of Window Installation

CPHT Unit 6: Existing Buildings

  • Goals and Quality Assurance
  • Incremental Steps in Building Retrofit
  • Avoiding Mold, Condensation and Other Damages
  • Retrofit Strategies for Different Types of Structures
  • Retrofit Planning

CPHT Workshop Part 2: Windows

CPHT Unit 7: Air Tightness and Moisture Management

  • Air, Moisture, Mold and Condensation
  • Vapor Diffusion, Air Tightness, Wind Tightness
  • Blower Door Test
  • Passive House Requirements and Cost-Effectiveness
  • Air Tightness of Typical Assemblies, Junctions and Penetrations

CPHT Unit 8: Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery

  • Ventilation requirements for Hygiene and Indoor Air Quality
  • Costs, Advantages and Consequences of Manual vs Mechanical Ventilation
  • Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery: Types and Design Rates for PH
  • Intake, Exhaust, Supply, Transition, Extract
  • AirTypes and Recovery Efficiency of different HRVs/ERVs
  • Other Components of Mechanical Ventilation Systems
  • Mechanical Ventilation for Retrofits
  • Balancing and Commissioning of Mechanical Ventilation Systems for PH

CPHT Workshop Part 3: Airtightness

CPHT Unit 9: Efficient Heating, Cooling and Domestic Hot Water

  • Typical Heating Loads: PH vs conventional buildings
  • Energy Demand: Building Heating vs Domestic Hot Water (DHW)
  • Heating/Cooling Generation
  • Integration with Renewables
  • Distribution: Heating, Cooling, DHW
  • Heating/Cooling in Refurbishment Projects

CPHT Unit 10: Quality Assurance – Masonry

  • Identify Work Phase for Each Image
  • List PH-relevant Aspects, including: Air Tightness, Insulation, Warnings
  • Order Images by Work Sequence

CPHT Workshop Part 4: Testing