2. July 2018 – admin

Facilitate the design process!

Energy efficient buildings need to be planned properly in order to function at their best and consume as little energy as possible. Planning tools are helping designers to reach this goal. One of these planning tools is the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP), which users especially appreciate for its transparency and accuracy. In the Built2Spec project, Passive House Institute is connecting PHPP to BIM. Jan Steiger from Passive House Institute tells us more about the advantages and the implementation of this connection.


What is the advantage of connecting the planning tool PHPP to BIM?

In short: it facilitates the evaluation and design process!

The data entry of a building model for complex or bigger projects into an energy efficiency evaluation tool like PHPP can be extensive and tedious. If the building model has already been set up in a BIM authoring tool, such as Revit or ArchiCAD, you can now extract the geometry and efficiency data provided by the 3D-model and import it to PHPP, this can even include the thermal properties of the building envelope. This connection facilitates the efficiency evaluation and design process.


How do you implement this connection technically?

IFC is the exchange format for BIM authoring tools. Built2Spec is using the IFC format as a platform-independent source for building information modelling for an online quality assurance process. Passive House Institute developed a methodology to extract relevant project data from an IFC file and convert it so that the information on the building´s geometry and its efficiency properties can be imported into PHPP. The process currently works for 3 of the biggest providers of BIM authoring tools, Revit, ArchiCAD and Vectorworks, others are currentlybeing evaluated and tested.


Another interesting feature is the connection of the Virtual Construction Management Platform to the Passive House Certification Platform. What is it for?

Building certification is an important step to assure the quality of energy efficient buildings. Once certified, this approval raises the value of your building and helps you to promote your building project and expertise across an international network.

In order to facilitate the certification process and the communication between designer and certifier, Passive House Institute developed a certifier platform where you can upload relevant documents, follow the process, communicate with each other and find helpful advice.

In the case of Passive House or EnerPHit (special certification for retrofits) certification projects, the Virtual Construction Management Platform can be linked to the Passive House Certification Platform in order to enable the transfer of relevant building data to the Passive House certification process. By entering a unique ID into the Virtual Construction Management Platform, the project is identified. Thus, construction site pictures, component datasheets or test reports will be automatically transferred to the Passive House Certification Platform via an API and then be evaluated by the certifier. The process facilitates the communication of evidence to the certifier and increases the transparency of the construction project within the certification process.


Jan Steiger pursued a career as a traditional architect through his studies at the University of Stuttgart. He became inspired by the Passive House Standard in 2004 working for Michael Tribus Architecture in South Tyrol as internal project manager on energy efficiency and Passive House projects. As of 2011, Jan has worked as a researcher at the Passive House Institute where he leads the development of the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) and thereby is involved in the coordination of projects such as the DEEVi and the EU-funded project EuroPHit. Always seeking to provide a simple understanding of cost-effective and energy-efficient construction, Jan is also an experienced speaker and certifier of buildings, doors and building systems.

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