Revit and PHPP: Getting BIM and Energy Modeling Software to Work Together

PHPP—the energy modeling software for the Passive House energy-efficiency standard—requires users to input wall areas calculated to the exterior of the thermal boundary. By default Revit does not calculate wall areas this way. Gregory Duncan Architect created a workaround to create a wall schedule that can export meaningful information to PHPP.

UPDATE: Please see this update for a new method involving curtain panels instead of walls.

The following screenshot shows an exterior wall corner plan detail where a rainscreen wall assembly joins a brick cavity wall assembly. The green dashed reference lines indicate the extent of the exterior thermal insulation. This is the outside of the wall as far as PHPP is concerned.

In order to schedule the exterior wall areas with respect to the thermal boundary, create a wall type called PHPP Thermal Envelope and constrain it to the outer edge of the insulation. A green diagonal crosshatch makes it is visible when displayed with the “real” walls. This wall is in a future phase called Energy Modeling so that it doesn’t interfere with the New Construction walls and so that the New Construction walls can be used as an underlay.

Finally, I created custom wall parameters for Orientation Degrees, U-Value, PHPP Area #, PHPP Wall Group Number, and Temperature Zone and a wall schedule that can be exported to Excel and linked to PHPP.

This method is far from an ideal BIM solution, but it has been useful for keeping track of wall areas, even on a small consulting project for an architect who provided only hand-drafted drawings in PDF.

If you have any questions or suggestions for improvement, please email

Revit Content Online

A great list of Revit family content from the LinkedIn Revit Users group:

Parveen S. • Our team have been using all these website whenever required.
I hope you’ll find this information useful. (requires registration) (Requires registration) (for a fee)
MEP objects(some of the links might be outdated): from AUGI:
Acuity Brands Lighting
American Standard
A.O. Smith
Applied Air

Focal Point
Kohler (Revit families @ bottom of page)

LJ Wing | Heating & Makeup Air Equipment
Sierra | Fresh Air Systems
Temprite Industries
Loren Cook
Visa Lighting
Watts Regulator | Watts Water Technologies Inc
RPC Content
USG Wall Systems
Kawneer Curtain Wall Systems
Woodwork Institute – Casework
Lochinvar Boilers/Water Heaters:
Taco pumps & accessories:
TurboSquid (fee-based)
Reed Construction | SmartBIM Library (fee-based)
Yellowbryk (fee-based)
the list can have few more website.
though this is good enough. If you don’t find required content, create it. :)

Maryland wins 2011 Solar Decathlon

The University of Maryland’s entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Sept. 30, 2011. (Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The University of Maryland won the 2011 Solar Decathlon, held at the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

College students built the houses offsite and competed in ten equally-weighted contests:

  1. Architecture
  2. Market Appeal
  3. Engineering
  4. Communications
  5. Affordability
  6. Comfort Zone
  7. Hot Water
  8. Appliances
  9. Home Entertainment
  10. Energy Balance
University of Maryland’s Watershed House via Inhabitat

I toured the Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology entry called the Empowerhouse when it was finishing construction in Hoboken, NJ. The Empowerhouse won the Affordability and Hot Water contests. It was designed to be a Passive House and will be extended and joined with another house to form a duplex. Habitat for Humanity DC partnered with the colleges and will make the houses available to low-income Washington residents.

Lakiya Culley, homeowner candidate through Habitat for Humanity, stands outside of her future residence and the Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology’s entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 in Washington, D.C., Wed., Sept. 28, 2011. (Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)