Passive House Consultation

Process (Passive House Consultation – Certified Passive House Consultant) optional value added services in green text

Introduction (project team members and project requirements)

  • Determine project team members that will contribute toward meeting the Passive House standard
  • Summarize Passive House energy framework criteria
  • Outline design, energy modeling, pre-certification, updates during construction and QA/QC procedures
  • Summarize PH framework criteria and pre-certification vs. PHIUS + certification vs. other building rating/standard programs
  • Discuss conceptual construction method approaches with project parties
  • Discuss potential incentive sources and value of pursuing same

Pre Design (establish responsibilities of project team members)

Building designer (drawings and other documentation of design, including updates through completion of construction)

  • Information from designer to be adequate to allow comprehensive energy modeling inputs by CPHC
  • Drawing set(s) to be to scale and include not less than site plan (including orientation, topography, location and elevation of neighboring buildings, location of trees or other items casting shadows on building glazing), foundation plan, floor plan(s) (with thermal envelope defined), exterior elevations (with surface area of each thermal envelope assembly), building section(s) (with thermal envelope and continuous air barrier defined), details of thermal envelope junctures, details at air tight assemblies at windows/doors and component connections and (after initial energy modeling), HVAC plans/diagrams/notes and domestic (service) hot water piping plans/notes.
  • Cut sheets and/or specifications for building envelope air barrier and insulation(s); space heating/cooling systems; service water heating systems; and other energy using appliances and lighting

CHPC (create and update energy model, coordination of and submittal of energy model and construction drawings and specifications to PHIUS for pre-certification)

  • Obtain appropriate climate data set from PHIUS for use in energy model
  • Using information supplied by building designer, prepare preliminary energy model
  • Complete hygrothermal analyses of building envelope assemblies proposed by designer
  • Recommend design modifications to designer, customer and other project team members based on preliminary modeling results, hygrothermal analyses and, if possible, to eliminate/design out thermal bridges
  • Update energy model using more detailed information in cooperation with project team
  • Calculate conditioned floor area, net building volume and net ventilation volume in coordination with building designer
  • Submit ‘passing framework’ energy model and matching design/construction drawings and specifications to PHIUS for pre-certification via uploading to PHIUS database or drop box folder created by PHIUS
  • Enter project description in PHIUS + database and Feedback Document
  • Respond to requests/reviews from PHIUS – coordinate project team additional information requirements
  • Correspond with designer, PHIUS, Contractor and Rater during construction
  • Coordinate with Rater inspections, tests/commissioning and document submission and Contractor construction supervisor declaration to PHIUS. Rater and Contractor construction supervisor may modify and save documents directly to shared drop box folder created by PHIUS
  • Submit construction progress and final completion photographs
  • Submit other documentation as appropriate to document calculations, installations or final results
  • Submit results of final energy model based upon actual Rater test/commissioning results to PHIUS database
  • Prepare and post summary of building component features and Rater test results near near building’s main electric panel or space conditioning appliance
  • Post PHIUS Certification within building. Post USEPA Energy Star, USDoE Challenge Home certifications that result if a PHIUS + project, plus any other (USEPA Water Sense, USEPA Indoor Air Plus, State or Energy Utility, etc.) certifications

Contractor/builder (construction and coordination/scheduling of subcontractors and testing/verification by Rater)

  • Maintain outline of project requirements and dates/results of verification site visits and tests
  • Cooperate with Building designer, CPHC and Rater for execution of construction in accordance with design documents, modifications affecting the energy model, and site inspections/testing/commissioning by Rater
  • Sign declaration that constructed building conforms to design and other documentation – open and modify at shared drop box folder established by PHIUS

Building Rater (QA/QC inspection, testing and commissioning during construction)

  • If to be a PHIUS + certified project complete site inspections (USEPA Energy Star, USDoE Challenge Home and PHIUS + required checklists) and testing during construction in coordination with project team
  • Verify net air volume calculated by the CPHC
  • Complete building envelope air pressure leak test(s) (depressurization and pressurization) in cooperation with builder, subcontractors and CPHC
  • Complete ventilation system, forced air ducted space conditioning and domestic (service) hot water piping commissioning in cooperation with builder, subcontractors and CHPC. Total air volume at ventilation unit(s) and space conditioning air handling unit(s) and on a room by room basis to match energy model and design quantities by +/- 10%. Air volume at each air outlet must be +/- 20% or 5 cfm of design values. Hot water piping diameter(s), length(s) and insulation to match inputs in energy model.
  • Share results of inspections (if PHIUS + project), tests and commissioning with project team as they occur – open and modify documents at shared drop box folder established by PHIUS
  • If PHIUS + project, submit all documentation to PHIUS as required for a certified PHIUS + Rater – post in shared drop box folder established by PHIUS

Energy Modeling and Hygrothermal analysis (Using PHPP and WUFI software and other calculations as needed)

  • Complete energy model using Passive House Planning Package (PHPP)  or WUFI-Passive (WP) software
  • Complete 1D hygrothermal analysis using WUFI or WP, considering location of air impermeable barrier and type, thickness and locations of insulation(s) relative to air impermeable barrier and other hydroscopic materials
  • Review appropriate applicable building code or energy conservation code requirements as required in relation to location and classification level of air impermeable barriers and vapor retarders
  • Complete total building and room by room ventilation schedule. Coordinate with conflicting building codes as required. Make recommendations to system sizing, routing and outdoor air pre-condition options
  • Complete or advise on space heating/cooling/dehumidification system sizing and domestic (service) water heating system design
  • Input not less than reference dimensions, building envelope surface areas, building envelope assembly total R/U values, ground (for subgrade walls and slabs) characteristics, detailed window and glass door information, solar reduction factors for windows and glass doors based upon glazing/unit frames/wall recess/overhangs/other factors, potential for overheating in summer, summer ventilation calculations, space and service water heating system and distribution, electrical and fuel burning appliances, auxiliary electric consuming systems, and special internal heat gains (if other than residential project with occupant load + 1 occupant per 345 ft2 of conditioned floor area) into PHPP or WP

Construction phase correspondence (correspondence and coordination with project team)

  • Correspond with designer and builder if elements of design and energy model change during construction (ideally avoided)
  • Update energy model and upload to PHIUS established drop box folder along with PHIUS + Feedback document as required
  • Correspond with Rater to insure proper test and commissioning protocols are followed. If PHIUS + project Rater will be trained/certified by PHIUS to follow the protocols and conduct site visits for completion of inspection checklists required for PHIUS + certification
  • Protect client’s interest in maintaining quality to level established in designer’s construction documents for compliance with energy model inputs and correspond with project team as required

Post construction (prepare reports or other documentation) – Optional

  • Final/actual building energy modeling by inputting actual occupied first annual measured results
  • Obtain/organize information for materials and equipment that will require routine maintenance for best operation
Passive House Consultation