How Passive House Is Boosting Construction Industry


The drive for low and zero carbon buildings and the supporting legislative changes are resulting in the need to improve the knowledge and technical capabilities of the construction industry as a whole. Stacey Temprell, Residential Sector Director for Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland, explains how the industry can build itself a competitive advantage by responding to the growing demand for Passive House buildings.

As the demand for sustainable buildings continues to grow, construction industry professionals are finding themselves facing a number of new practices and systems that require very different skills from more traditional building materials and methods. In order for the UK industry to stay ahead of the curve and to take advantage of sustainable building growth opportunities, it is important that contractors are equipped with the skills and knowledge to meet the rising demand for standards such as Passive House.

Passive House is a low-energy performance standard for buildings, which focuses on minimising the requirement for space heating and cooling, and therefore overall energy consumption, and also aims to provide good indoor air quality and thermal comfort. Its fundamental principle is that a Passive House building can maintain its designed internal temperatures and air quality simply by adding a small amount of heating or cooling to the air being circulated by the ventilation system, thereby eliminating the need for traditional wet central heating systems.

In 2012 – 4 years after the first certified Project Passive House Project was completed in the UK ­– more than 100 Passive House buildings were built, while in 2015, 1,000 are expected to be completed, according to a Passivhaus Trust estimate.

Considering this trend and the growing potential of Passive House Buildings, which can have several types and serve multiple functions, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in sustainable habitat and construction markets, created the Passive House Tradesperson Course. The world’s first accredited course is delivered in partnership with the Passive House Academy, one of the leading training providers globally in Passive House, The Passivhaus Institut, Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and The Passivhaus Trust.

On 21–22 October, Saint-Gobain UK holds a new edition of this successful course, giving industry professionals and experienced tradespeople an opportunity to learn how to build to Passive House standard and gain international accreditation for one of the world’s most efficient energy standards.

Over two days of intensive hands-on training, attendees will learn about the Passive House principles, the importance of thermal bridging and airtightness, and how to calculate U-values for opaque building envelope. The course also covers Passive House mechanical systems, including heat recovery ventilation equipment design, sizing, installation and maintenance.

In addition, attendees will benefit from training, provided by experts in the field, in the most important Passive House techniques, such as outlining the building methods to employ to avoid thermal bridging, detailing the correct airtightness treatments, correctly handling and fixing insulation materials to different construction types, optimal fitting techniques for Passive House suitable window and door installations, plus interpreting data from the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP).

This course gives participants the tools they need to build a competitive advantage and improve their business prospects as Passive House certified experts.

Two additional days of online training are also available for attendees who want to sit the exam to receive international accreditation from the Passivhaus Institute as a certified Passive House Tradesperson. The exam will be held on 7 November.

The two-day course cost is just £395 (plus VAT) and there’s a 2 places for 1 special offer reserved for those who book their places before 2 October, as well as a CITB grant funding of £50 per day – a total of £100 contribution towards the course cost.

The Passive House Tradesperson Course will take place at Saint-Gobain’s Technical Academy in Erith, Kent.

For more information and to book places, visit


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