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 has since become a certified trainer and lead teacher at Smart Plus Academy and educates building professionals across Australia about the Passive House standard.
What our students say
EXCELLENT Based on 46 reviews.
I had such a wonderful experience and felt completely supported every step of the way during the course. Highly recommend if you're looking to become a Certified Passive House Designer!
A comprehensive and challenging course providing a very strong foundation for your passive house journey. Julia and Daniel are knowledgeable, inspirational and understanding teachers who are very good at explaining complex topics and condensing the huge volume of information. I would highly recommend this wonderful course.
Daniel Kress brings this amazing energy to class, seeing how passionate he is and his belief in passive house has motivated me all the more! The passive house designer course is very well curated to the T, they have left no stone unturned and ensured they detailed every aspect keeping in mind that learners from various levels of experience undertake this course. As a sustainability graduate with very little industry experience I found it rather easy to navigate through the course because of their systematic approach.They provide you with all the required study materials and their 6-day online course delivered by Julia gives you a complete walkthrough of all conceps. Julia and the support team are very helpful whenever you need assistance in any way! It's been an honour to undertake this course with SPA and I couldn't recommend it more! To anyone looking to start their Passive house journey, THIS IS THE PLACE TO COME!
Stuart McKenzie Hall
Excellent, detailed and thorough course, well presented perfect for a serious step in improving your Passive House Designer journey and obtaining a valuable qualification. Highly recommended.
Great course tought by a passionate experienced team!
I can say with utmost confidence that I made the best use of the Sydney lockdown by enrolling myself in the Passive House Designer course by the Smart Plus Academy.
Initially I was a bit skeptical about undertaking the course since I had just completed my Masters degree and had no prior industrial experience in this field and hence was not sure if I will be able to understand the concepts. But the course material was designed in such a way that it explained in great detail about every aspect of Passive House design. The effort put in by Daniel and Julia in delivering the concepts and engaging with the students through the homework tasks and exercises ensured a great level of understanding. The support team was also very prompt in answering our queries. Clearing the final exam was a cake walk with the level of preparation that we were put through.
Overall, it was a very knowledgeable experience and I highly recommend this course for those who aspire to bring about a positive change in the built environment.
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!
How it works
1. Book The Complete Passive Tradesperson Certification Package