Passive House Designer / Consultant Exam

Sit the Passive House designer exam to gain certification
and lead your industry.

Home|Passive House courses for Designers and Consultants|The Passive House Designer/ Consultant Exam

About the exam

One of the ways to gain certification as a Passive House designer or consultant is to pass an internationally recognised exam provided by the Passive House Institute, Passive House’s international governing body. Students at Smart Plus Academy can take the Passive House Institute exam with us in one of two forms: either in person at a testing location in Sydney or remotely at a location with a suitable internet connection (such as a home or office).

The exam takes three hours if sat on site or three and a half hours if sat remotely. It includes design and mathematical components as well as multiple-choice questions.

To ease your mind when you take the exam, we offer a unique certification guarantee. Should you not pass within three attempts, we will refund your exam fee. (Applies only to students who have completed the full certification package, not individual components.)

But relax. You will be in the best possible position to gain certification with the world governing body, the Passive House Institute. Over 95 percent of our students pass the exam on the first attempt.

Gaining your certification

The exam is not the only way to gain certification as a Passive House designer or consultant. You have two options:

Pass the international written exam provided by Smart Plus Academy (SPA).
Germany’s Passive House Institute provides us with all the examination documents and files. Once you have sat the exam, SPA will conduct an initial assessment and then send your paper to the Passive House Institute. The Institute then carries out the final marking ahead of issuing certification to those who have passed.


Design a certified Passive House (NOT offered by SPA)
(See details under renewing certification)

Renewing your certification

To remain certified as a Passive House designer or consultant your certification must be renewed after the first five years and then again every two years. You can do this in two ways:

Earn further education credit points
Not every graduate is actively involved in Passive House projects and able to present evidence of this work. It is possible to renewing your certification by instead teaching Passive House courses and attending related events and advanced training.


Design a certified Passive House (NOT offered by SPA)
You can renew your certification by documenting a certified Passive House, EnerPHit retrofit or PHI Low Energy Building where you exercised full responsibility for the building design and the project planning with the PHPP. Project documentation can be used to earn or renew the certificate for one person per building.

Smart Plus Academy

The difference between ‘designer’ and ‘consultant’

Certified Passive House ‘designers’ and ‘consultants’ both receive identical educations and their qualifications have equal weight within the Passive House Institute. The different titles reflect the type of education a graduate has previously undertaken. In short, a graduate with a university degree related to the building industry is referred to as a designer and those without such a degree are referred to as consultants.

Establishing which group an applicant belongs to is not always easy, given the diverse educational qualifications, professions and the legal provisions relating to buildings worldwide. For this reason, the Passive House Institute has specified two possible methods for obtaining certification as a Certified Passive House Designer. These are:

  • Providing proof of an educational qualification which enables you to plan buildings or technical building systems independently. This educational qualification should have reached a certain level (e.g. diploma or bachelor degree) and have been attained in a specialised subject which primarily involves the planning of buildings or building services systems.
  • Providing proof of membership in an institution, whose members are entitled to provide planning services which are subject to approval by a building authority (e.g. Chamber of Architects).

You qualify for the Designer title if you have the following educational qualification:

  • Architect, building designer or interior designer
  • Civil, timber, structure mechanical or construction engineer
  • Building physicist
  • Building and energy technology engineer
  • Master carpenter or builders licence
  • Certified technician for structural engineering, building construction, heating plumbing and ventilation technology or supply technology

Please provide evidence of having achieved any of the above qualifications when you register for the exam.

Exam dates & fees

Please note that Passive House Designer Exam can only be booked in combination with The Complete Passive House Designer Certification Package.

Passive House Designer/Consultant Exam

$ 800 (including GST)
    3.5 hours
    3.0 hours
    (Sydney) TBC

Save on your tuition fees and receive a certification guarantee by booking The Complete Passive House Designer Certification Package now.

Learn more


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23.08.2021 – 14.09.2021
(every Mon and Tue)
Time: 09:00 – 17:00
AEDT (GMT+10:00)+ 1-3 hours of homework daily
Fri, 24.09.2021Sat, 16.10.2021
(Sydney )*
22.11.2021 – 02.12.2021
(every Mon to Thu)
Time: 09:00 – 17:00
AEDT (GMT+10:00)+ 1-3 hours of homework daily
Mon, 13.12.2021 
Tue, 14.12.2021
Sat, 11.12.2021
(Sydney )*
Book now
18.02.2022 – 25.03.2022
(every Friday)
Time: 09:00 – 17:00
AEDT (GMT+10:00)+ 1-3 hours of homework daily
Fri, 01.04.2022(TBC)
Book now

* Due to COVID-19, the final exam may not be provided on a face-to-face.

Smart Plus Academy:
Australia’s leading provider of Passive House education
The proven, innovative and fun learning formula that gets you results

Knowledgeable teachers that inspire and engage with local knowledge in live online sessions

Certification guarantee and Australia’s highest first attempt pass rate

Businesses supported with advice and certification
Happy Passive House professionals trained
Certification pass rate of on first attempt
Learn more about the academy

Course details


Completion of the certified Passive House Designer Course

Materials Required for exam

Materials required include: a scientific calculator and coloured pens. Note that course notes, manuals and any printed material can be used.

Online exam specific:
Students need to supply their own PC or Mac computer for the exam. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they have an adequate data connection. Speeds of 16 MBPS are required for the final online exam. A mobile phone or tablet with web camera and microphone capabilities is required additional to the computer with speed of Speeds of 4 MBPS.

Face-to-face specific:
If fewer than seven people attend the course in your location additional changes apply.
1 – 3 people at the location + $500,
4 – 6 at the location + $250,
7 + at the location no extra charge.


Daniel Kress

Daniel started his career in the construction sector as a carpenter employed on sites in his native Germany. He next worked in Ireland on what was then the world’s biggest modular residential project. After 10 years on the trades side of building, Daniel completed a Master of Civil Engineering and worked as a researcher on EU sustainable building projects.

Daniel has been based in Australia since 2015, and in 2017 he founded the Smart Plus Academy. His vision is to help build a more sustainable construction sector and to promote dwellings that are comfortable and liveable while using minimal energy.

Daniel is a Certified Passive House trainer and through his work at the Smart Plus Academy and other institutions has helped train more than 50 per cent of the certified Passive House professionals in Australia today. Daniel’s philosophy is to “inspire and lead with passion and love” and “to contribute to society through teaching that inspires growth”.

Julia Kiefer

After studying architecture in her native Germany, Julia moved to Australia in 2006. She then worked for leading architectural practices in Melbourne, Perth and Darwin, along the way gaining an understanding of Australia’s different geographic zones and the extremes of its climate.

Deeply passionate about sustainability and energy-efficient building design, Julia graduated as a Certified Passive House Designer in 2018. She has since made it her mission to bring about change in the building sector and to educate Australians about comfortable, healthy and sustainable living spaces.

In 2020, Julia joined Smart Plus Academy as assistant Passive House trainer. She now educates building professionals across Australia about the Passive House standard.

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How it works

1. Book The Complete Passive House Designer Certification Package

2. Arrange your dates with the SPA team

3. Complete the course

4. Lead your industry

Save on your tuition fees and receive a certification guarantee by booking The Complete Passive House Designer Certification Package now.

Learn more