To gain certification, students at Smart Plus Academy sit an internationally recognised exam provided by the Passive House Institute – the world governing body for Passive House. You can sit the exam in one of two ways, either at a designated exam location or online.
The exam takes two and a quarter hours if you sit it at an official examination centre or three hours online. It includes calculations and multiple-choice questions.
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. If you have done the coursework, you have a great chance of gaining certification. Over 95 percent of our students pass the exam on the first attempt.
You gain Passive House certification by passing an internationally recognised examination administered by Smart Plus Academy.
The 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.
Renewing your certification
To remain certified as a Passive House tradesperson 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, attending related events or undertaking advanced training.
Work on a certified Passive House (NOT offered by SPA) You can renew your certification by documenting your work on a highly energy efficient building or a certified Passive House project. This work must meet some technical requirements, which will depend on the trade discipline, as well as on the location and climate of the building.
If the building has not been certified by the Passive House Institute, please make sure that the energy relevant criteria for your trade discipline work have been achieved. Because these criteria are specific to the trade discipline, your construction work does not have to be carried out in a Passive House building.
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 in addition 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 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”.
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.
What our students say
EXCELLENT Based on 40 reviews.
I enrolled in the Certified Passive House Designer Course and I highly recommend the course. The course tutors Daniel and Julia, and the team were very helpful, professional, and knowledgable.
Good course and content in preparation for examination. Supportive team prior to enrolling to discuss course suitability for my needs.
Highly recommend! Efficient, passionate and professional educators who go the extra mile to provide Passive House courses for designers and builders. Students gain more than just a qualification, but also continued communication and support from the SmartPlusAcademy family!
I wish I'd done it sooner. My only advice to future students is to make sure you have the time to study without interruptions. Running a new business whilst doing the course was a challenge!
I absolutely loved this course!! I went into the course unsure of how a passive house would work in our climate being in Queensland. I am so happy to have the experience to do this course as there was so much information and confirmed that it is definitely something we can build in Queensland and I think everyone should be following this style of building. Daniel and Julia were great lectures and went into a lot of detail and explained the process of building a passive house very well. I can’t wait to implement what I have learnt.
Fantastic course and teachers. Very enjoyable and informative.
A really comprehensive course that informs technically as well as practically. Highly recommend doing the passive house tradie course if you want to build better! Great teachers too
Very happy 😊. Daniel and Julia went and put a huge effort in on exam day to get us over the line.Lynden
Just completed the PAssive House Designer Course. Great course, these guys know their subject.
Clear, concise & relevant. Having recently undertaken the Passive House Designer course and exam with Smart Plus Academy - I can only recommend!
They take the science and physics behind the Passive House standard and break it down clearly and thoroughly. Tailored to local conditions, the methodology applied in the course I took was the perfect way to kickstart my passive house aspirations.
Thanks Daniel, Julia, and the team!
How it works
1. Book The Complete Passive Tradesperson Certification Package