The Passive House Institute has released a 3D model interface that includes the graphic input of energy-related design data, simplifying the process of entering data into the Passive Housing Planning Package (PHPP) planning tool.
The new software, titled DesignPH, allows users to input details about the thermal building envelope and shading into the software, which can be optimized if necessary. Treated floor areas in the software can be refined, simplifying the design process.
This software can be used with the modeling software SketchUp. It contains climate data as well as a database of suitable building components within specific parameters. Transparent building components can have u-values assigned to them, which allows the user to evaluate the thermal performance of various combinations of window frames and glazing.
“The new DesignPH will completely change the way we work with the PHPP,” says Harald Konrad Malzer, member of the DesignPH development team at the Passive House Institute. “The need for a 3D tool — not only for the young generation of designers — became increasingly evident through the feedback from PHPP users.”
The eighth version of PHPP was released in 2013. The new DesignPH tool is an add-on for the latest version of PHPP. The current version of the package includes advanced options for the calculation of renewables, enhanced compatibility, new components and new climate data sets.