Passive House Tradesperson (CPHT) Training in Santa Barbara

It’s beyond my expectations to say the least. Initially I was debating between LEED BD+C certification or Passive House Tradesperson Certification (CPHT) and I’m glad I made the right choice. The biggest fear as builders is that can we realistically take what we learned and apply it to our project? Can the materials be cost efficient and acceptable to the homeowners? Oftentimes, various on-site challenges require us to rely on our experiences rather than standard textbook SOPs, we are trained to learn and improv case-by-case rather than in class. Therefore, most of us are reluctant to acknowledge in-class information, but EMU was able to break through the barrier with real examples, hands-on practices, and images to make the 4-day training so much more interesting.

The first two days were textbook and PowerPoint crash courses with real building examples, definitions, and understanding the five main pillars of a Passive House. Everyone was engaged in every discussion and the real examples are relevant given it’s based on buildings within the states. It’s also helpful that some of the calculations were in the US metrics system, which makes us Americans easier to understand.

The next two days were group activities, working with different components and materials to build a passive house pod, including to install a nice European triple pane tilt-turn window. The hand-on activities were very impactful because we got to understand what type of barriers, tapes, and membranes to implement for every stage of the building process. The techniques of eliminating thermal bridges and improving air tightness can also be applied to both new construction and retrofit buildings. It was also nice to be working with different types of the insulation, especially the sheep wools, it felt like the inside of a UGG boots. I would recommend for every tradesperson or designer to attend the hands-on boot camp if their time allows, the takeaway will be so much more than virtual learnings.

Overall, it was a tremendous experience and I was glad to meet others who have similar goals as I have to build and provide impact within the construction and housing industries.

Author attending the Training: Kelly Hsu