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    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2011 edited
     
    I'm considering taking a 6 -9 day course to become a Certified PassivHaus designer. As I'm not a qualified architect I understand that, if I pass the exams, I would be able to call myself a "certified PassivHause consultant" rather than a "certified PassivHaus designer", which doesn't sound too different to me.

    Have any of you take this course - I'd love to know your experience - it's offered at BRE, Strathclyde Uni, Dublin and I'm not sure where else?

    Feel free to whisper if more appropriate.

    many thanks

    RobinB
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011
     
    or second hand experience?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011 edited
     
    Who are the accrediting body and do they have a literature that gives you an idea of what you will really be covering. I have found that many of these courses are just a load of old rubbish really. Think back to Y2K, great for a couple of days off work and some entertainment.
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011
     
    Thanks ST!

    It's PassivHaus institute. It looks useful but I don't want to spend 2k-ish on a "load of old rubbish" so I was hoping some on here might have experience.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011
     
    Why pay two grand?

    Just go through all Viking House's past postings and get it all for nothing more than some well-spent time. :wink:
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011
     
    I'm a great admirer of Viking house's posts and wonderfully clear drawings.

    So the idea of being "certified" is definitely not cutting any ice with you lot!

    Really, having built our house quasi-passiv I guess I'm looking for a sensible way to effectively demonstrate what I do know and fill in the gaps asap.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011 edited
     
    In my industry, while interviewing I have found a strong *negative* correlation with certification and actual ability to do what I want done. (General degrees, relevant skills, etc, all good, but specific narrow certs not.)

    Indeed I'm nominally a domain expert (and been on standards committees) in one area, and I doubt I'd pass some of the standard certs in that area.

    Rgds

    Damon
  1.  
    Passiv Haus is quite certification driven, the idea being that the detail design, implementation and monitoring are at the heart of providing buildings that actually do achieve what they set out to.

    Notwithstanding a certified Passiv Haus is in my view quite a way up the slope of diminishing returns and so worthy an ambition it may be (in some respects), the really useful thing PHI have done (in a Top Shop-rather-than-Catwalk kind of way) is the Passiv Haus Planning Package.

    Therefore if you are really interested in PH but not being certified... ...I would suggest you get hold of a pucka copy of PHPP which comes with quite a thick, (if not entirely intelligible) manual and work your way through it starting with your own house, ~£200.

    A background/training in SAP might be helpful but again technically to provide SAPs for compliance etc requires you to be an accredited competent person; with ~£1k training; although you may be able to get part funding, Enhancement for Skills Fund etc. Although again to start with get the books and software (FSAP, free from Stroma; book from DECC)

    J
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011
     
    Thanks James, good suggestion!
  2.  
    Posted By: James Nortonthe really useful thing PHI have done (in a Top Shop-rather-than-Catwalk kind of way) is the Passiv Haus Planning Package.

    Therefore if you are really interested in PH but not being certified... ...I would suggest you get hold of a pucka copy of PHPP which comes with quite a thick, (if not entirely intelligible) manual and work your way through it starting with your own house, ~£200.


    Fully agree.

    You probably also want to join the AECB at support/individual member level to get access to the relevant forums. This is pretty much the only way to get support in the UK for questions on modelling. It's relatively cheap in the scheme of things (especially compared to a £2k course).
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011
     
    I'm a member. Good tip for others too. I joined initially mainly for the discount on paint! Have been to a great local group visit to the Ecological Building society.

    thanks

    Robin
  3.  
    Thanks for the comments above, but everyone here has their expertise. Most of the guys I've spoken to in Ireland who did the PHPP course found it really worthwhile. If you're interested in this area then having the cert would help you get a job or getting in work if you're a sole trader. €2k seems a bit steep though, I think the Irish course is cheaper than that! Sinnerboy who contributes here, did the course in the PassiveHouse Academy in Wicklow and he's happy he did, http://www.passivehouseacademy.com/index.html
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011
     
    A lot of UK establishments offering the courses are surprisingly coy about the cost. Why would that be?
    •  
      CommentAuthorali.gill
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011
     
    I was looking into this a few weeks ago and taking into account I can get free accommodation in birmingham I'm leaning towards the aecb course.

    http://www.carbonlite.org.uk/carbonlite/course_detail.php?cId=15
    http://www.passivhaus.org.uk/page.jsp?id=24

    whether the cost can be justified in terms of return on investment remains to be seen.
    • CommentAuthorsinnerboy
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2011 edited
     
    Posted By: Viking HouseSinnerboy who contributes here, did the course in the PassiveHouse Academy in Wicklow and he's happy he did,http://www.passivehouseacademy.com/index.html" rel="nofollow" >http://www.passivehouseacademy.com/index.html


    Indeed. I did attempt to use PHPP and manual before taking the training and to be honest found it not a little intimidating. The course was quite intense with a lot of content. You need to have your Weetabix and pay full attention every day. Not everyone passed the exam. For me it helped to gel together all the concepts of fabric losses , ventilation losses , thermal bridging , solar gains etc . We didn't simply open up the software , take measurements from drawings and input into the software ( i.e. how I was trained to do BER certs / use DEAP ( EPC certs / use SAP in UK ). In fact we only used PHPP less than 10% of the time. We spent a day devoted to windows , another to ventilation another to economics etc. A really good aspect of the Wicklow course was a visit to Tomas O'leary's house - the 1st Certified in Ireland. Nothing like seeing a real life example.

    So when I completed the training - the PHPP and all it's demands for inputs was much less intimidating.
    •  
      CommentAuthorali.gill
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2011
     
    Thanks sinnerboy - Any feedback on the perceived return on investment after completing the training, in monetary terms as it is quite a large investment for an individual to make.
    Outlay is similar to the BREEAM New Construction 2011 4day course (3days + exam day)
    http://www.breeam.org/eventdetails.jsp?id=5465
    So it would be interesting to hear which way people would swing - BREEAM Assessor or Passivhaus Consultant ?
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2011 edited
     
    Thanks for all the comments - I had wondered about going to Ireland for training (partly since I have NEVER been there before) and pricing looked a bit cheaper. I did wonder if the regs being different to England's would have an impact on it's usefulness? Sinner boy's comments really sum up what I'd hope to get from a course. Will look into it further.... And will be interested to see if anyone has feedback on the BREEAM courses.

    cheers
    RobinB
    • CommentAuthorsinnerboy
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2011
     
    @ ali.gill / RobinB

    In my case the cost of the course + exam was €2400.00 . It's less now . I charge €800.00 per PHPP / DEAP analysis ( I assess a design using PHPP and DEAP ( SAP in UK ) so that a B regs check is made together with the PHPP analysis. ( It is possible to build a certified Passive House and not comply with Irish b regs ! )

    I include 3 wall types usually and include a circa 2 hour face to face with each client. The first 2 or 3 took me
    about a week to prepare and you would need a fairly constant workload to to pick up and maintain proficiency. So far I've done about 4 assessment in 18 months ! covered my training fee is all. Bear in mind the construction industry in on it's knees in Ireland so with a reduced training fee and hopefully brisker market in the UK one may recover costs quicker.

    A typical client will have received planning permission and seek PHPP/DEAP analysis to optimise their build spec. So far no one has asked to go "all the way" ( snigger , snigger ) to PHI certified.

    Robin - if you do make it over - the first pint's on me :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2011
     
    Agree with Damon HD et al but have decided to go for it and have signed up for the Dublin course starting January. It can't actually sap the things I already know! Might never pay for itself but should be very interesting at least.
    RobinB
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2011
     
    Get as much course stuff as you can on disc, then we can all have a look and you can be our mentor :wink:
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2011
     
    You know, the sun actually does shine in the GBF world. What a thoroughly NICE thread. :bigsmile:

    Good luck Robin.:wink:
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2011
     
    It was the offer of a pint that swung it. :bigsmile:
  4.  
    I'll buy you the second one!
    •  
      CommentAuthorali.gill
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011
     
    Do research the potential for grants availability in your county.
    Being in South Wales I'm eligible to claim up to £1500 or 50% of the course fees through GoWales and I think the figures were similar for the Enhancement for Skills Fund in Yorkshire that James Norton mentioned above.
    I don't think the location where the course takes place affects eligibility.
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2011
     
    Thanks for that ali.gill, I'll look into it. And for the offers of pints!
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2011
     
    Not a lot of work going to get done then! :rolling:
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2012
     
    I had very polite replies from the Skills Fund, they're only funding "basic" skills at the moment.

    On the plus side Father Christmas (well me really) has been v. kind. I've got a little Macbook, the PHPP planning package and even Office for Mac for fear of spoiling the ship for a tuppence of tar.

    Travel is booked, all I need now is a few euros and to find a B & B - any suggestions near Ballyfermot, Dublin?

    Maybe I should add this old bird can't really drink more than a pint or two.

    RobinB
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2012
     
    So can you see the vote on forum114 on the Mac :wink:

    Better look up what the SF has to offer, do you have a link to them?
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2012
     
    No! I can't see the vote but hadn't said anything in case it was just user error! What is SF please?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2012
     
    Robin

    SF=Skills Fund
   
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