What is the Best Energy Design Software for a Green Home or Building?
Opinions of what’s the “Best” software depends upon whom you’re talking to. What’s actually being used typically depends upon the preference of the “Designer” running the software, and there are many kinds of “designers”.
Mechanical Engineers, Architects, Mechanical Contractors, Mechanical Equipment Engineers, Mechanical Controls Software Engineers, Passive House Designers, and more. Typically, however, it’s only the Passive House Designers that have and use programs specifically designed for homes and buildings that are as efficient as are Passive House designed buildings.
In the U.S., there are 2 different Passive House (PH) organizations: the International Passive House Association (iPHA), and the Passive House International, U.S. (Phius) Sweeney Architecture belongs to the iPHA organization as it is the original PH organization that originated in Germany over 30-years ago and is recognized worldwide as the “official standard”.
The Key Software used by iPHA Certified Designers is the PHPP (Passive House Planning Package). With it, a Designer can input the particular climate, site, shading from other buildings and trees, and other design criteria to create a balanced solution that accurately predicts the energy performance that will occur.
With the PHPP, the Designer can help the Owner make informed decisions that are best suited to the Owner’s preferences and budget. With the program, one can “drill down” into the design and construction criteria and make “tuning” adjustments to optimize the building’s performance. You can:
- Select the right kind and amount of insulation, doors, and windows for your climate.
- Balance your mechanical system with your door, window, and insulation choices,
- Select your supplemental heating or cooling source without having to use wasteful furnaces and air conditioning,
- Get the right sized ventilation system without fear of odors, humidity, using too much electricity, or creating noisy or polluting conditions,
- Control your long-term Operating Costs while you are enjoying a comfortable, healthy, quiet, attractive, and safe home, and
- Know that your dollars have been spent in the most appropriate ways.
Clearly, our opinion is that the Passive House Project Planner (PHPP) is the Best Software for highly efficient homes and buildings.
Join the conversation and tell us what you think about PHPP and passive house design in the comments below.