green-building-newsheader image
Helpful? 0

A New Version of Passivhaus Modeling Software

The latest PHPP software is an improved version using inch-pound units rather than metric units

Posted on Jul 24 2014 by Scott Gibson

A new version of the Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. Planning Package (PHPP) energy modeling software that uses inches and pounds instead of metric values is now available.

The conversion is a joint project of the Passivhaus Institut in Germany and The Small Planet Workshop, a Tumwater, Washington, supplier of materials and training for high-performance buildings. It's an updated version of an inch-pound version created in 2009.

According to The Small Planet Workshop, the conversion work was performed by Dylan Lamar, an architect at Green Hammer in Portland, Oregon. Lamar also worked on the earlier conversion.

Lamar and Albert Rooks, president of Small Planet, reached a deal on the conversion with Passivhaus Institut management last year, and work has been underway for the last six months.

This version of PHPP can import designs from SketchUp

The project also includes the development of plug-ins that allow the new version of the PHPP to work with the Passivhaus Institute's new Design PH SketchUp 3D modeling tool. Rooks explained, “You can create a 3D SketchUp model and then import it into PHPP for a quick look at the values and loads. The idea behind this is to make it easier for the project designer to do some quick analysis at the initial project stage and offer quick feedback to the project client in both load values and visuals. Kind of ‘passive house on the fly.’ ”

The Small Planet Workshop says there were few changes from version 8.4 to 8.5. If you want more detail about changes in earlier versions, the company has prepared a summary of the differences between 2007 vs. 2012 versions. There's also a summary of changes between 2012 and 2013 versions in the library section of the company's website.

The Small Planet Workshop has created a new website devoted to the software. The software, called IP-PHPP 2013 V 8.5, is available for $315. It also can be purchased through 475 High Performance Building Supply.


Tags: , , , ,

Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!