Passive House Energy Modeling

 

 

 

Comparison of measured consumption (statistical data) with the PHPP calculation.  It is only possible to compare average measured results from sufficiently large statistical samples  because individual consumption values fluctuate too much on account of the different user behaviours.  The average values match the PHPP results exactly.

Comparison of measured consumption (statistical data) with the PHPP calculation.
It is only possible to compare average measured results from sufficiently large statistical samples
because individual consumption values fluctuate too much on account of the different user behaviours.
The average values match the PHPP results exactly.

How accurate is building energy modeling software?  There are a lot of assumptions that go into any model.  We assume that the weather will conform to historical climate data, that occupants will use the building in a typical manner, that the building is actually constructed as designed, that mechanical equipment will perform as advertised, etc.  The chart above shows measured data—blue bars—plotted against the simulation results for Passive House and low-energy buildings in Germany.  This shows how well the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) software can predict average energy use.  PHPP has been validated with dynamic energy simulation tools as well as with measured data. You can read the US Department of Energy evaluation of PHPP here.

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PHPP version 9, which is slated for release towards the middle or end of 2014, will feature two additional worksheets entitled Variants and Comparison along with other innovations. The Variants sheet gives users the option of inputting different designs and displaying the results in parallel. The Compare sheet allows two of these variants to be selected to compare their energy demand and affordability in depth.  [Passipedia]

Another tool, the PHeco external calculation tool (not integrated into the PHPP) has been developed by the working group for cost-efficient Passive Houses [AKKP42 2012]. This worksheet uses the PHPP’s findings to calculate affordability. It does so by comparing different building designs’ heating energy demand and the costs of their respective energy-saving measures. The PHI can provide this tool on request. [Passipedia]

Duncan Architect consults with architects, engineers, and contractors to provide energy modeling services, among others. As a Certified Passive House Designer, Gregory Duncan is well qualified to create accurate energy models using PHPP software.

Email greg@duncanarchitectpllc.com for more information.

 

Passive House Sustainable Design

Passive House is a standard for ultra-energy-efficient, healthy, and comfortable buildings. Over 20,000 Passive House buildings, including offices, single-family houses, apartment buildings, and schools, have been constructed around the world. The standard offers a scientific approach to green building that is backed up by real-world data. Compared to typical buildings in the US, a Passive House building uses about 90% less heating and cooling energy. This dramatic reduction in energy use makes it feasible to add photovoltaics to create a net-zero or positive energy building.

Power Tower photo from Wikimedia

The Power Tower in Linz, Austria, is a 74-meter tall office building built to Passive House standards.

Urban Green Expo in New York will feature an educational program titled “The Active State of Passive House: European Perspectives on Implementation in North America” in September, 2010.

Building Green has an excellent article on Passive House buildings.

Some presentations from a Passive House conference in October, 2009 give more information about the details of construction.

See also:

New York Passive House

International Passive House Association

Passive House Institute US

Passive House Institute Germany

Passive House BKLYN