PHplusCAD, IT-based efficient Passive house- and Plusenergy house-Planning

Elaboration and programming of a software that reduces effort and time consumption of Passive house and Plusenergy house planning. By developing direct interfaces between CAD-applications and PHplusCAD and interfaces between PHplusCAD and Passivhouse planning tools based on MS Excel the system could be improved and the related working processes alleviated.

Short Description




Starting point/Motivation

  • Process of passive house and plus energy house design

    Accompanying the calculation process that is necessary for the planning of passive houses and, subsequently, plus energy houses based on passive housees, the available solutions are excluded from a modern planning process. They are just isolated island solutions. This island solutions are usually as Excel spreadsheets (eg PHPP, PHVP, OIB-calculation tools, etc.) available. The use of these Excel sheets is generally complicated and cumbersome, and often require in the planning agencies the costly construction of special know-how for this use.

  • Up-to-date planning process

    Meanwhile, the complete planning and life cycle of a building is digitally imaged. From the conceptual phase upto to the facility management of an building in use. This includes all the main and auxiliary crafts during the building planning and building construction process.

    To improve this workflow the CAD software industry has invented, for error-free data transmission, the industry standard IFC (Industry foundation classes) which provides the necessary interfaces for data exchange based on XML standards. Thus, the data exchange between different specialiced design and calculation software packages and CAD systems is possible. Duplication of effort in the various trades and disciplines can be avoided.


  • Existing calculation tools as isolated island solutions (PHPP, OIB etc.)

    Hard-to-learn, difficult to compare island solutions without modern, user-friendly interface for easy and quick to learn and above all comprehensible use.

  • Planning process

    The passive house and plus energy house calculation runs from isolated, expensive, and not integrabale tools in parallel to other planning activities. Redundant steps are the norm.

Contents and Goals

The design and development of specifications and their implemen­tation in a market-ready software for efficient calculation of passive houses and plus energy houses.

Methods and treatment

  1. Analysis of the existing and description of the optimized passive house and plus energy house planning process, based on a specification
  2. Definition of the necessary IT technical processes and their integration
  3. Programming of the functional units using the process definitions
  4. Review oft he functional units for their practicality. Test and evaluation - bin case of corrections back to 3.
  5. Conduct market analysis


  • 1. Analysis of existing and description of the optimized passive house and Plusenergiehaus planning process, based on a specification

    To obtain an overview of the different approaches in the passive house and plus energy house planning the project partner Unter­nehmensberatung Mag. Siegfried Wirth developed in cooperation with the IG Passivhaus Ost a questionnaires and sent it to various architectural and planning offices. The elaborated results were put, in combination with the practical experiences of the project partner Schöberl and Pöll, in a comprehensive specification and thus integrated into the requirements definition for the overall solution.

    As part of a common strategy meeting was agreed, as essential definition, to implement as heat demand calculation method, a solution, already used by the project partner Schöberl and Pöll. This solution will most likely be found in the expected new Austrian Passive House standard as well. Thus at this point could be already projected an integration of the future standard in the software package PHplusCAD.

    The overall result of this step was used by the programming to define the required IT technical processes as a basis for programming.

  • 2. Extensive IT technical analysis of the interface technology ifcXML

    The analysis was performed with the aim of structuring the technology for subsequent use in the programming phase. For this reason the entire XML structure and their individual components were analyzed. As an intermediate result has been programmed a little tool that holds the corresponding information for later integration into the overall software solution.

    This intermediate result was used for the definition of the IT technical processes by Prava Poteza and Die Werkbank Medienproduktion und Verlag GmbH. On this basis the Software PHplusCAD was developed.

    In a parallel marketing study it was analyzed over which channels, contact persons and multiplicators the software PHplusCAD could be spread as wide as possible.

Prospects / Suggestions for future research

As main future step the marketing concept, elaborated from the partner Unternehmensberatung Mag. Siegfried Wirth will be realized. As objective, the market-ready software solution PHplusCAD should be spread as wide as possible among passivehouse planners and architects.

Project Partners

Project management

Matthias Uhl - Die Werkbank Medienproduktion und Verlag GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

Contact Address

Die Werkbank Medienproduktion und Verlag GmbH
Matthias Uhl
Josefstädter Strasse 7/16
1080 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 9971643
Fax: +43 (1) 9971643 - 20