Passivhaus Affiliate

Getting to Net Zero: Online course

Date: On-demand Time: N/A
Location: Online Cost: PHT member: £100+VAT, Non-member: £150+VAT

Online course: Getting to Net Zero

New on-demand format •

Programme         I           Tutors           I            Booking

The increased focus on the Climate Emergency has led to a stream of declarations to achieve Net Zero. But what does that actually mean to the built environment? Do we really know how to design and deliver a true net-zero building?

Back due to unprecedented demand - the popular online course has been formatted into 8 pre-recorded modules that can be completed at your leisure, plus a live interactive workshop to discuss and answer any questions. 

Explore issues surrounding net-zero, and gain practical illustrations of what it takes to get to net-zero in both operational and embodied carbon. What can be done at the design stage to achieve the biggest impact?

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Who is the course aimed at?

This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to understand why many low-energy buildings are far from net-zero. Architects, designers, and consultants who need to explain to clients how to achieve a zero-carbon building in practice will benefit. 

PHI Credit Renewal Points available:  Delegates will earn PHI credit points towards renewal of their Certified Passivhaus Designer / Consultant qualification once the full course is complete. See here.

Getting to Net Zero Tutorials Quote Getting to Net Zero Tutorials Quote

Course Programme







How buildings produce carbon and where are we now?

Module 1 looks at the way in which energy is delivered and used in buildings and therefore how and where carbon emissions occur.  It looks at the current emissions of UK buildings and how these have changed over recent years.  The module then explains how our current regulatory system works and what level of performance we are currently building to.


John Palmer, Passivhaus Trust









Block booking available.




Passivhaus as a component of Net Zero

Module 2 provides an introduction to the Passivhaus standard, explaining the key criteria, what this means for net zero design and construction before looking at some common myths around Passivhaus and low energy buildings.


John Palmer, Passivhaus Trust




What is net zero and what are the issues?

Module 3 looks in more detail at the definition of a net zero building and sets out the challenges in achieving this in the UK over the next 30 years.


John Palmer, Passivhaus Trust




Achieving Net Zero – new build and retrofit.  

Module 4, the final module in the Operational Emissions series, follows on from the challenges by exploring how we might achieve a net zero future looking at the problem from both the new-build and retrofit perspective.


John Palmer, Passivhaus Trust




Introduction to definitions and methodology

Module 5 gives a brief overview of what is included in embodied carbon analysis, methodology and datasets. This session also discusses key watch points when pulling materials data from BIM models and offers a brief discussion on the inclusion of MEP in the embodied carbon model.


Kirsten Henson, KLH Sustainability

Block booking available




Materials: concrete and steel

Module 6 starts to examine materials – what should we be using and in what way? Based on global consumption, embodied impact, and contribution to life-cycle carbon, what are the justifications for using three key materials: timber, concrete and steel? This session includes a more detailed look at the carbon profile of concrete and steel and key technical considerations in use, specification and procurement.


Kirsten Henson, KLH Sustainability




Materials: timber and other materials 

Module 7 follows on from the previous session to include a detailed look at the carbon profile of timber and the key technical considerations in use, specification and procurement. The session also looks at other materials, including external wall finishes, insulation and refrigerants.


Kirsten Henson, KLH Sustainability



Top tips for designing low-embodied buildings  

Module 8 concludes the series with a summary of top tips for designing low carbon buildings, using real projects to highlight key considerations and potential impact.


Kirsten Henson, KLH Sustainability


Final live interactive workshop

Review and interactive workshop

This 3 hour session includes a review of previous sessions, a demonstration of the integrated PH Ribbon which allows instant embodied energy calculations for a building modelled in the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP), and a final case study workshop. Delegates will be asked to take part, contribute design ideas and review options for improvement before being presented with what actually happened on the ground.

Live online. Date TBC subject to demand.

Sarah Lewis, Kirsten Henson & Tim Martel


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  • The course includes pre-recorded modules that can be watched on-demand at your leisure.

  • The duration of modules 1-8 are approximately 30 minutes.

  • The final interactive workshop session is delivered live online via zoom and limited to a maximum of 30 people.

  • The duration of the final workshop session is approximately 3 hours, including a demo of PHRibbon, a review of previous modules & Q&A. 

  • Purchasing all modules is a pre-requisite to attend the interactive workshop. To get the best out of the interactive workshop we recommend completing the on-demand modules prior to attending.

  • Access to on-demand modules is valid for 12 months.


This course needs to be part of every architect, engineer and planner's training - and possibly also of all parliamentarians' induction.

Previous Masterclass attendee - Bernard Tulkens, Tectonics Architects



John Palmer

Kirsten Henson

Tim Martel

John Palmer, Research and Policy Director, Passivhaus Trust

John is a certified Passivhaus consultant, SAP Assessor, systems engineer and experienced project manager. Authored Passivhaus: the route to Zero Carbon?

Kirsten Henson, Director, KLH Sustainability

Kirsten provides specialist sustainability input to the International Olympic Committee & prominent Independent Design Reviews. Her research includes the sustainable use of aggregates considering aspects such as regional availability, social impacts of transportation and carbon footprint.

Tim Martel, Architectural Technologist

Tim is a Passivhaus Designer and Retrofit Coordinator with a background in calculations through commercial R&D. He is an expert of PHPP and has written the PH Ribbon tool.

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The knowledge given by the presenters here is really high quality and well pitched; their capacity to provide valuable responses to wide ranging questions and commentary from the audience is impressive and reassuringly informed.

Previous Masterclass attendee - Joanne Murray, Gleeds




 Full course   

(8 on-demand modules + live interactive workshop)*  

 Block of Operational modules  

Block of Embodied modules  

Live interactive Workshop**

PHT member











*The interactive workshop is time-sensitive and and therefore must be booked separately.

**Booking a block of modules is a pre-requisite. Only those who have purchased modules will be eligible to attend.


Please use the online booking form to secure your place.

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Further Information

Passivhaus: the route to Zero Carbon?

Research Report: Passivhaus the route to zero carbon

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