Designing Sustainable Buildings Made Fun: Enhanced Planning Tool Released

English version of PHPP 9 to be presented at NAPHN Conference in Vancouver

(Press Release, Passive House Institute, 16 September 2015)


Photo Credit: Passive House Institute / Cyrill Rückner, Oliver Rückner, Andreas Gäde

Darmstadt, Germany. The tried and tested PHPP tool for designing energy efficient buildings is available in a brand-new version. This upgrade not only allows reliable calculation of the energy demand in accordance with internationally applicable criteria, it also takes into account energy generation on or near the building. Over the past few months, a German edition of the PHPP 9 has already been successfully used in practice; the English version will be presented for the first time at the NAPHN North American Passive House conference, to be held from 1 – 2 October 2015 in Vancouver.

“With this upgrade, PHPP can be applied on an even larger scale; it allows the designer to compare numerous design or retrofit situations in a comprehensible manner”, says Jan Steiger, who coordinates the development of the tool at the international Passive House Institute. In addition, certification according to the new Passive House classes will also begin with the launch of PHPP 9. In addition to the established Passive House Classic, there are now also the Passive House Plus and the Passive House Premium classes, where energy generation is taken into account based on clearly defined criteria. The building’s energy demand is determined according to a system based on Primary Energy Renewable (PER). The first Passive House Plus buildings have already been certified in Europe. How this combination of Passive House technology and renewable energy sources can function in North America as well, is demonstrated in a new brochure by the North American Passive House Network, which will also be presented in Vancouver.

The NAPHN conference brings together key stakeholders of the Passive House sector in North America as well as from other parts of the world. Top-class speakers will present the latest projects and concepts in their lectures. In the run up to the conference, Adrian Muskatewitz of the international Passive House Institute will offer workshops on the topic of Passive House windows – on 22 September in Madison, Wisconsin, on 28 September in Toronto and finally on 30 September in Vancouver. Other special courses will also be offered within the framework of the NAPHN conference, on subjects which include the PHPP 9 and the supplementary 3D tool designPH. Dr Witta Ebel will report on the future priorities of the Institute in her lecture.

The new features in the PHPP also include innovative options, for example for heat recovery from shower water or for profitability calculations. The practical use of the tool is facilitated by means of automatic verification and plausibility checks. Different options for a particular measure can now be entered in one PHPP file and tested with reference to their respective effects. In this way it is possible to depict improvement in efficiency due to individual refurbishment steps. In addition, the EnerPHit criteria for retrofits can now be applied internationally without restriction, with building component requirements suiting relevant climate zones.

For many years, the PHPP (Passive House Planning Package) which is continuously developed by the Passive House Institute has provided architects, designers and energy consultants the possibility of optimising a building design on the basis of clear figures. The Excel-based calculation tool serves not only as a reliable planning aid but also as verification of compliance with the internationally applicable criteria of the Passive House Standard and the EnerPHit Standard for retrofits. Due to its high accuracy in energy balance calculation, the PHPP is perfectly suitable for planning nearly zero- or net zero-energy buildings. The user handbook not only offers a description on how to use the tool, but also acts as a guide to successfully design working Passive House buildings.

In Europe, the English version of the PHPP 9 will be presented in London on 20 October at the UK Passivhaus Conference. Workshops, in which Jessica Grove-Smith of the Passive House Institute will introduce the design tool and the new certification categories, will be held on 19 October in London and on21 October in Glasgow. On 24 – 25 November, a workshop in Spanish will take place within the framework of the Conferencia Española Passivhaus in Barcelona. The PHPP is available in 20 languages in total. The latest version will also now be translated into other languages. Both PHPP and designPH can be purchased all over the world from accredited partners of the Passive House Institute.