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Passive House Planning Package (PHPP 8) + designPH Tool

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The Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) is a design tool which enables architects and designers to professionally plan and optimise their Passive House design. PHPP, based for the large part on European norms, makes use of tested and approved calculations to yield a building’s heating, cooling and primary energy demand, as well as its tendency to overheat in the warmer months.


While the PHPP was developed specifically for Passive Houses, it is a design tool that may also be used for other buildings, including retrofits of historical buildings. This tool forms the basis for quality assurance and certification of a building as a Passive House or an EnerPHit retrofit.


The PHPP consists of a software programme and a printed manual. Among other things, it deals with the following aspects:


  • Dimensioning of individual components (building component assemblies including U-value calculation, quality of windows, shading, ventilation etc.) and their influence on the energy balance of the building in winter as well as in summer
  • Dimensioning of the heating load and cooling load
  • Dimensioning of the mechanical systems for the entire building: heating, cooling, hot water provision
  • Verification of the energy efficiency of the building concept in its entirety



The main results provided by the PHPP include:


  • The annual heating demand [kWh/(m²a)] and maximum heating load [W/m²]
  • Summer thermal comfort with active cooling: annual cooling demand [kWh/(m²a)] and maximum cooling load [W/m²]
  • Summer thermal comfort with passive cooling: frequency of overheating events [%]
  • Annual primary energy demand for the whole building [kWh/(m²a)]



The latest version of the tool, PHPP 8, was released in 2013 with the following additional features:


  • Validated calculation algorithms for cooling and dehumidification in both hot and hot and humid climates
  • Additional climate data sets for a wide range of new locations across the globe
  • Additional PV, heat pump and ground heat exchange calculation sheets, as well as the estimation of the solar contribution to space heating demand – supplements that increase the PHPP’s suitability for building sustainability assessments
  • A new components sheet containing the Certified Passive House Components of the Passive House Institute (PHI), along with their performance data, facilitating data entry for certified products
  • Revised data selection menus and improved compatibility with MAC and OpenOffice
  • Improved connectivity and accessibility via PHI's external import and export macro



In addition to PHPP 8, PHI has developed the designPH tool, a Trimble Sketchup plugin tool to input building geometry into PHPP. This tool allows users to model their Passive House projects in 3D. It also simplifies the process of entering data into PHPP and provides preliminary feedback on the performance of the design within Sketchup.



The PHPP can be used all over the world and is now available in several languages.

For further information on features, available languages, price etc., please visit the relevant PHI website.