Course Curriculum Outline

Explore the Units below to see the comprehensive list of advanced building science topics we cover in this course.

  • 1


    • Welcome to the Emu mob!

    • Get your Textbook!

    • Meet our Lead Trainer - Enrico Bonilauri

    • Instructions and FAQs

    • Tech Check: Test your Zoomability

  • 2

    Unit 1: Passive House Basics

    • 1.0 - Unit Overview (2MIN)

    • 1.1 - Pioneers and Built Examples (4MIN)

    • 1.2 - Definition of the Passive House Building Standard, and Comparison to Other Standards (18MIN)

    • 1.3 - Cornerstones of the Passive House Thermal Envelope (10MIN)

    • 1.4 - Institutions and Professionals in the Passive House Landscape (5MIN)

    • 1.Q - Sample Exam Questions

    • 1.R - Reference Guide

  • 3

    Unit 2: Passive House Economics

    • 2.0 - Unit Overview (3MIN)

    • 2.1 - Building Thermal Envelope: Passive House vs Building Code (16MIN)

    • 2.2 - Key Economic Factors (15MIN)

    • 2.3 - Capital vs Operational Costs: Passive House vs Building Code (23MIN)

    • 2.4 - Passive House: Value Beyond Energy Efficiency (20MIN)

    • 2.Q - Sample Exam Questions

    • 2.R - Quick Reference Guide

  • 4

    Unit 3: Thermal Insulation & Thermal Mass

    • 3.0 - Unit Overview (1MIN)

    • 3.1 - The Effects of Thermal Insulation and Thermal Mass on Different Types of Buildings (21MIN)

    • 3.2 - Thermal Resistance (R-value), and Thermal Transmittance (U-value) (21MIN)

    • 3.3 - Insulation Materials: Application, Performance, Pros and Cons (30MIN)

    • 3.4 - Best Practices in Insulating Different Types of Building Assemblies (21MIN)

    • 3.Q - Sample Exam Questions

    • 3.R Quick Reference Guide

  • 5

    Unit 4: Thermal Bridges

    • 4.0 - Unit Overview (1MIN)

    • 4.1 - Thermal Bridges: Definition and Key Metrics (31MIN)

    • 4.2 - Hygiene Criterion: Avoidance of Mold and Condensation and Passive House Suitability (14MIN)

    • 4.3 - Best Practices in Thermal Mitigation in Typical Building Assemblies (45MIN)

    • 4.4 - Thermal Bridge Mitigation: An Example In Different Climate Zones (12MIN)

    • 4.Q - Sample Exam Questions

    • 4.R - Quick Reference Guide

  • 6

    Unit 5: Windows & Transparent Components

    • 5.0 - Unit Overview (2MIN)

    • 5.1 - Comfort Criterion and Passive House Suitability of Transparent Components in Different Climates (25MIN)

    • 5.2 - Parts and Specs of Windows and Transparent Components, and Their Role For Performance (51MIN)

    • 5.3 - Whole-Window Performance, and Efficiency Classes (31MIN)

    • 5.4 - Best Practices in Window Installation, And Outcomes in Performance and PH Suitability (23MIN)

    • 5.Q - Sample Exam Questions

    • 5.R - Quick Reference Guide

  • 7

    Unit 6: Existing Buildings

    • 6.0 - Unit Overview (2MIN)

    • 6.1 - High Quality Building Retrofits: Passive House and EnerPHit Standards (14MIN)

    • 6.2 - Retrofitting Different Types of Structures: Pros and Cons (23MIN)

    • 6.3 - Thermal Bridge Mitigation in Building Retrofits (17MIN)

    • 6.E1 - Exercise: Retrofit Planning (11MIN)

    • 6.E2 - Exercise Solution: Retrofit Planning (41MIN)

    • 6.Q - Sample Exam Questions

    • 6.R - Quick Reference Guide

  • 8

    Unit 7: Air Tightness & Moisture Management

    • 7.0 - Unit Overview (2MIN)

    • 7.1 - Air And Moisture Transfer Mechanisms in Buildings (53MIN)

    • 7.2 - Air Tightness Requirements and Testing for Passive House Buildings (28MIN)

    • 7.3 - Planning A Continuous Air Barrier: Assemblies, Junctions, Penetrations (34MIN)

    • 7.4 - Continuous Air Barrier: Built Examples (12MIN)

    • 7.Q - Sample Exam Questions

    • 7.R - Quick Reference Guide

  • 9

    Unit 8: Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery

    • 8.0 - Unit Overview (1MIN)

    • 8.1 - Indoor Air Quality and Passive House Ventilation Requirements (66MIN)

    • 8.2 - Heat and Moisture Recovery Ventilators: HRVs and ERVs (39MIN)

    • 8.3 - Other Components of a Passive House Mechanical Ventilation System (30MIN)

    • 8.4 - Heat Recovery Mechanical Ventilation Systems: Performance, Commissioning, and Monitoring (13MIN)

    • 8.E1 - Exercise: Mechanical Ventilation Planning (3MIN)

    • 8.E2 - Exercise Solution: Mechanical Ventilation Planning (6MIN)

    • 8.Q - Sample Exam Questions

    • 8.R - Quick Reference Guide

  • 10

    Unit 9: Efficient Heating, Cooling, & Domestic Hot Water

    • 9.0 - Unit Overview (1MIN)

    • 9.1 - Loads and Sizing of Mechanical Systems in Passive House Buildings (33MIN)

    • 9.2 - Efficient Mechanical Systems: Generation, Storage, Distribution, Delivery (61MIN)

    • 9.3 - Primary Energy and Classes of Passive House Buildings (14MIN)

    • 9.4 - Commissioning and Other Aspects of Mechanical Systems for Passive House Buildings (12MIN)

    • 9.E1 - Exercise: Insulation of Mechanical Systems (3MIN)

    • 9.E2 - Exercise Solution: Insulation of Mechanical Systems (6MIN)

    • 9.Q - Sample Exam Questions

    • 9.R - Quick Reference Guide

  • 11

    Unit 10: Quality Assurance

    • 10.E1 - Exercise: Quality Assurance (7MIN)

    • 10.E2 - Exercise Solution: Quality Assurance (9MIN)

  • 12

    Sample Exam Questions

    • Exercise: Sample Exam Questions

    • Exercise Solution: Sample Exam Questions

  • 13

    Course Evaluation

    • Course Evaluation (anonymous; not tied to your sign-in)

Who should take this training?

Not just the cool kids. This course is for design/build & construction professionals who are concerned about moisture control, air sealing, thermal bridging, healthy indoor air, durability, resiliency, and affordability of high-performance.

Meet our Lead Trainer

...and our Chief Building Science Geek.

Lead Trainer

Enrico Bonilauri

A native of Cavriago, Italy, Enrico is an established expert in the international Passive construction standard. He is well respected for being able to see complicated, cutting-edge data through the lens of practical on-site implementation. He has extensive work experience in Australia, Europe, and North America, with a specialty in building envelope design and analysis. His detailed computer simulations for thermal, hygrometric and economic analyses, are informed by the thousands of hours he has spent on varied construction sites. He is the author of the Emu North American CPHT training textbook, and the lead Trainer for Emu’s CPHT courses since 2017.

Crew Trainer

Ben Leer

Prior to becoming a full-time Emu Trainer and Building Science Geek, Ben has had a diverse career focused on sustainability and the urban environment. He graduated with a MS in Sustainable Architecture from the City University of New York and has since consulted on numerous projects, ranging from ecological infrastructure to Passive House design. Ben specializes in high performance daylighting systems and has given numerous talks and workshops on the topic. He has taught collegiate building science courses at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the City College of New York, and has been a Trainer for The Passive House Network’s Certified Passive House Designer and Tradesperson Courses. He has a passion for creating environmentally friendly buildings, and is deeply committed to the Passive House movement.


What former students say...

Every builder should take this class. Period.

Jed Wolfram

Bozeman Sustainabuild, MT

I just can’t say enough about the class. So much useful information.

Mark Vigil,


I received the best educational experience from Emu Systems. Be sure to take this class, you won’t regret it!

Jared Phifer

Revolve Design build - Denver, CO

I’ve been a green builder for 16 years, and I came in here and it was like trying to drink from a fire hose.

Dave Edwards

Earthbound Homes – San Jose, CA