Advanced Thermal Bridging Course

21 November 2023 by Jason Quinn

Avoiding or minimising thermal bridging is a key pillar of Passive House design and a vital skill for a Passive House designer or architect. Not all thermal bridges need to be modelled. The High-Performance Construction Details Handbook contains dozens of proven details with the values already calculated; there are even CAD drawings available for download. 

It’s not hard to draw a novel thermal bridge using software like THERM or Flixo. The important bit is understanding what to draw and when it’s necessary. The team at Sustainable Engineering, New Zealand’s Passive House certifiers, created this very tailored course in order to address this specific knowledge gap.

This course is designed for newly qualified Passive House designers who want to start modelling non-standard thermal bridges for their projects. This gives more scope for bespoke architectural details or non-standard materials.

Overall course outcome

After successfully completing this course, participants will have a more thorough understanding of the concept of thermal bridges and will be able to confidently model moderately complex non-standard thermal bridges details for the purpose of Passive House certification.

Course structure

The course is designed to make it as accessible as possible for busy professionals and to remove the costs and logistics associated with travel, accommodation and a block of time off work. It is taught solely on-line and can be accessed via Sustainable Engineering Ltd’s learning platform, which uses Moodle.

The course involves more than 40 sessions. The course can be undertaken at any time that suits the individual and completed at their pace (although there is a maximum six-month time frame to keep students focused). The course also includes quizzes and homework to reinforce student learning. Additional coaching, should it be necessary, can be booked at standard consulting rates.

Essential prerequisites

This course is for certified Passive House designers or consultants, for example the CEPH course taught by PHANZ. This qualification is an essential prerequisite for enrolling in this Advanced Thermal Bridging course. Those designers who have gained their qualification via the certification of a successful Passive House project will need to demonstrate sufficient theoretical understanding of thermal bridges before their enrollment is approved. This course is ideally suited to those who already have some experience in modelling basic thermal bridges in THERM or Flixo. Certified Passive House designers or consultants without any modelling experience may find that some additional coaching is needed. 

Detailed outline 

There are over 40 videos, offering a total of one hour and 20 minutes of material. The video was recorded when the course was delivered live to a previous cohort of students. It has since been edited to suit self-paced online delivery. The course also includes access to reference materials, including THERM and Flixo files, and homework/practice materials.


The following learning outcomes are expected, under two broad headings.

What to draw

  • Understand the thermal bridge concept and the outputs available from a heat flow calculation.
  • Set up a thermal bridge calculation for specific connection details; understand the PHI and PHPP fundamental concepts necessary for calculating window connections and ground connection details.
  • Understand the standards used to set-up thermal bridge calculations and why it’s necessary to read the official standards.
  • Know the correct boundary conditions to be used in Psi-values and fRsi values.
  • Familiar with fRsi limits and changes in PHPP 10.
  • Able to use worksheets to calculate Psi-values and fRsi values from details with known dimensions, component qualities and heat flow results

When it’s necessary to draw thermal bridges

  • Confidently determine whether a connection detail requires a thermal bridge calculation or not.
  • Knowledge of how to reduce heat losses by thermal bridge connections (linear and punctual).
  • Confidently use an atlas to develop an understanding of the typical ranges of thermal bridge coefficients for assemblies.
  • Know where on a building to look for and count thermal bridges.

Note that a number of example details modelled in thermal bridge software will be provided to students.

A certificate of completion (and an optional listing on the upcoming Sustainable Engineering course graduates webpage) will be provided to graduates.


The course fee of $552 (ex GST) is due seven days prior to the course starting. We recommend participants allocate one hour for additional study per hour of video. Participants will get the most benefit by undertaking the study when they have sufficient time to study in a focused, consistent way. All up, we expect it would take a typical student six to eight hours to complete all the course requirements. 

There will be no refunds once the course has been accessed so it is important that students understand the prerequisites and what is expected of them. This course assumes participants have basic computer skills and an understanding of thermal bridge theory, such as is taught during the CEPH course. 


The course materials including videos represent a significant investment in intellectual property. All materials are copyright and may not be accessed by any one other than the course participant.

Your instructor

Jason Quinn is the founding director of Sustainable Engineering Ltd and one of the pioneers of Passive House in Aotearoa New Zealand. He has degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from American universities, knowledge he applied to building physics when he relocated to New Zealand. He leads a handpicked team of building scientists and Passive House certifiers who have unique insight into the progress of high-performance building in New Zealand. 

Jason has authored several books, including the highly significant technical volume, High-Performance Construction Details Handbook. He likely understands more about the intricacies of thermal bridges—how to identify them, mitigate them, remove them and calculate them—than anyone else in the country. The video material in this course is delivered in his trademark candid and engaging style.

How to apply

Enrollment Form

Limitations, liability and copyright 

The course materials including videos represent a significant investment in intellectual property. They are copyright and may not be shared with anyone.

In general, this course material is provided under our website terms and conditions, and we wish to highlight two points in particular:

The authors of the information in this course have used their best efforts to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. While reasonable care has been taken to provide accurate information, the author(s) and Sustainable Engineering Ltd make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to the information provided being suitable for any particular purpose. The information presented must be used with care by professionals who understand the implications of what they are doing. The author(s) and Sustainable Engineering Ltd shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising from, the use of the information contained in this course.

This online course(s) are delivered to you under a limited, non-transferable, single-user licence to access such course(s) for your own use only in accordance with our Terms and Conditions as posted on our website. You are permitted to display, download, and print the files provided under the condition that such activity is for your personal or internal business purposes. You may not modify or prepare derivative works or otherwise re-distribute or publicly display the content.