Revit and Passive House Energy Modeling with PHPP – Updated Workflow

I’ve updated my technique for using Revit with PHPP. The previous workflow used walls to create a schedule that could be exported to PHPP. The obvious limitation is that it doesn’t work for roofs and floor slabs. The new technique uses curtain panels hosted on a mass object.

Step One:

Create an in-place mass representing the thermal envelope. Do not include elements that are outside the thermal envelope, like a rainscreen or a parapet. A mass is useful to give you the gross volume and surface-to-volume ratio. And if you start modeling the building with the conceptual mass, then there is little extra work involved.

Step Two:

Host a curtain system on the mass using a simple curtain panel style. If you make changes to the mass, you will have to update the curtain system by selecting it and clicking on “Update to Face”. Assign the mass and curtain system to a future phase called “Energy Modeling” so that they don’t interfere with scheduling other building components.


Step Three:

Set up instance parameters for the curtain panels that match the required PHPP inputs. Create a schedule for the PHPP areas.

Step Four:

Export the schedule as a delimited text file with the default options.

R > Export > Reports > Schedule

Step Five:

Open PHPP and the text file in Excel. Accept the default options when opening the text file in Excel. Link the PHPP cells to the exported schedule. You can delete the text file. Excel will maintain the values when the linked file is deleted.

What’s missing is an automatic way to determine the orientation of the walls and windows. You can create a curtain panel that knows its orientation via a reporting parameter. See this video. However, this only works, as far as I know, with pattern-based curtain panels, so it isn’t as useful as having a curtain system hosted to a mass object.

Email for more information about Revit and PHPP.

Passive House consulting

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. :)

Open Revit Standards

A new project to develop free open standards for Revit building information modeling (BIM) software:

A lot of time is spent reinventing the wheel to set up templates, lineweights, etc., in Revit, so join Open Revit Standards, contribute to the wiki, and post on Twitter using #OpenRevStds.