Sustainable design
About EcoDesigner, Energy Evaluation, Life Cycle Assessment, etc.

ArchiCAD PHPP output via energy evaluation and/or BIM2PH

JamesLEDA2
Newcomer
firstly, please don't banish this threat to the Sustainable Architecture section to be ignored with the tumbleweeds.

I am trying to get some meaningful output from ArchiCAD 23 (Solo) to PHPP (Passive House Planning Papckage, an energy evaluation spreadsheet for which Graphisoft claims it support and export for).

With ArchiCAD there are 2 claimed methods, using the Energy Evaluation export, or using the BIM2PH software as an intermediate piece of software.

My attempts with each of these approaches results in the following....

Energy Evalaution - the energy evaluation method does populate the PHPP spreadsheet with data from your project quite nicely, however, the data is incorrect for several reasons, the ones I have identified include, I get no area information for the roof or floor, only walls, the walls already have the window areas subtracted which results in a secondary subtraction in the PHPP, the reference planes are internal and the Passive House methodology uses internal measuremnets, making the data completeluy useless.

BIM2PH - this software supports IFC from several BIM packagaes, from my tests, it works fine with Revis IFC files, however, with ArchiCAD IFC files, the software closes when attempting to open the IFC file for conversion.

I've had little to no help from wither Graphisoft and/or the Passive House Institute with either to the software, despite the fact that the methods almost work.

Any information and/or experience on the above would be greatly appreciated,

Kind regards
using ArchiCAD 24 on a Mac usually
Passive House Designer & Architectural Technician
Leeds Environmental Design Associates
https://www.leda.coop/
https://www.facebook.com/leda.coop/
https://twitter.com/leda_coop
30 REPLIES 30
Foti
Enthusiast
Hello Andyro

Thank you for that link to the blog, very detailed, I have not used or even looked the Energy model review in' AC. As you wrote graphisoft and passivhaus should get together, the designPH (in a good direction if you dont use BIM software for your work). They should really just eliminate the designPH and BIM2PH and just have it right in AC or at least an add on, something that we wouldn't have to guess are the numbers correct.
Foti B.

AC25
PC Precison 5760, Xeon 11955, 64GB, Nvidia RTX A3000
JamesLEDA2
Newcomer
andyro wrote:
While I can't speak for Graphisoft, the detailed consideration for vertical (by structure) thermal bridges and lateral (psi) thermal bridge simulation and addition of length parameters (you model every lateral detail, and provide a length multiplier in the structures list view), as well as window installation psi values, appears that EcoDesigner's developers were in fact aiming to align 100% with PHPP. In fact I wrote a blog on this here: https://www.thomsonarchitecture.ca/2020/08/15/archicad-ecodesigner-and-passive-house/

I have yet to complete my PHPP course of study and exam, but it seems GS is 90% of the way towards a completed tool. The PHPP export works (tested to 9.6) but is partial, and Exterior Envelope Area needs to be calculated in 2 ways, for its own calculation methods, but also for PHPP export. This could considerably reduce the PHPP input process if export was consistent and reliable, not to mention well documented.
Andy, I completely agree that it would reduce a lot of input (not 90% however, there is significant input required regarding the shading and heating, I've not checked U-Value and thermal conductivities of elements) however, one of the main reasons that PH is a safer standard is because it uses external dimensions, thus over estimating the heat loss. then, by calculating areas externally, the thermal bridge PSI values tend to be negative, which is essentially a correction factor for overlapping elements.
Due to this methodology not being followed by Graphisoft, it makes the PHPP not valid and requiring complete recalculation manually or by another means.

I REALLY wish Graphisoft would either resolve this, or ever reach out to some PH professionals (THIS IS ME OFFERING MY SERVICES) to make this work as it's so close, better than having to remodel in Sketchup (in designPH) and would make it so much easier for designers to understand how their designs are likely to perform.

EDIT: I'm now reading through your blog post with glee. You've obviously used ED more than myself (being a lowly AC Solo user) and having the frustrating time limits of a very small practice. I'm hoping to get some time in experimenting the ED properly whilst working through your blog post in a hope that it provides some useful insight.
THANK YOU
using ArchiCAD 24 on a Mac usually
Passive House Designer & Architectural Technician
Leeds Environmental Design Associates
https://www.leda.coop/
https://www.facebook.com/leda.coop/
https://twitter.com/leda_coop
JamesLEDA2
Newcomer
I've actually had a thought, if we produce a BEM model, with an external skin marking the boundary of the thermal element and have a way of setting a graphic override or structural view to hide all layers of an element internal of this external skin, the zones could be updated to account for this and represent the building model correctly as per the PHPP. OR you could also just draw the defining line in 2d and use this to define your zones for PHPP purposes however, this would only work for walls and the roof and slab would need to be defined another way.
using ArchiCAD 24 on a Mac usually
Passive House Designer & Architectural Technician
Leeds Environmental Design Associates
https://www.leda.coop/
https://www.facebook.com/leda.coop/
https://twitter.com/leda_coop
JamesLEDA2
Newcomer
A couple of things that seem to be missing from your overview from my very brief tests this afternoon are...
the double counting of openings previously mentioned in this thread. Wall areas are exported with the opening area already removed into phpp, then in phpp, the opening areas are again subtracted.
Also, in my test the exterior door is not calculated correctly, I cannot work this one out, manual measurement gives me 1.89m2 but the exported value to PHPP is 2.11m2
using ArchiCAD 24 on a Mac usually
Passive House Designer & Architectural Technician
Leeds Environmental Design Associates
https://www.leda.coop/
https://www.facebook.com/leda.coop/
https://twitter.com/leda_coop

I have some information that can explain these area discrepancies. But there are parties interested in updating the PHPP export, mapping to the new PHPP. Feel free to write me at thomsonarch@icloud.com

Andy Thomson, M.Arch, OAA, MRAIC
Director
Thomson Architecture, Inc.
Instructor/Lecturer, Toronto Metropolitan University Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science
AC26/iMacPro/MPB Silicon M2Pro

Afaik Minh the exterior faces are considered, but the interior surfaces are projected, so the corners are missed, that is the difference between the Evaluation Report's 'Gross Floor Area' and 'Treated Floor Area'. The portions of Window footprints are also subtracted.  This is not really a matter of right and wrong, what is needed is a fresh approach to EcoDesigner surface mapping design and export tools. Filling in the gaps is not a Herculean effort. Many more people are trying to do this and failing - those human-hours could be better spent refining the tools at GSHQ 🙂

Andy Thomson, M.Arch, OAA, MRAIC
Director
Thomson Architecture, Inc.
Instructor/Lecturer, Toronto Metropolitan University Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science
AC26/iMacPro/MPB Silicon M2Pro
Andy Thomson
Expert

PS - both PHI and GS are 'wrong'. Heatloss actually starts at the interior surface air film, and ends at the exterior surface air film, if a 'building' is considered as the system boundary. The heatflow calculations should consider the interior area, but the corner conditions should be mapped in a radial manner - neither GS or PHI have bothered to do that so the PH answer is apply heatloss from the exterior surface using an aggregated U value with all psi and chi values applied. Please correct me if I'm wrong, which is 50% of the time easily. 

Andy Thomson, M.Arch, OAA, MRAIC
Director
Thomson Architecture, Inc.
Instructor/Lecturer, Toronto Metropolitan University Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science
AC26/iMacPro/MPB Silicon M2Pro

I had a detailed meeting with GS UK to try and understand what they are doing to update and align the Eco Designer Star with PHPP, and there is insufficient interest with their users for this event to make it on the long-term roadmap. 

We are currently refining ours but given the lack of interest within GS (from 2013-2023 to align the tool with PHPP), the increased cost of AC (now comparable to Revit) and the prevalence of better tools for automation of PHPP input in it, I am wondering whether it is time to cut and run. 

I don't buy the argument that there isn't enough interest: It is a global imperative to design more sustainably, and providing the tools before they are demanded is, seemingly a business-savvy approach. 

 

I would love to hear more about your AC to PHPP workflow. if any of you are open to chatting about strategies. 

I don't buy it either. One can assess demand and one can create it. I doubt either has been attempted apart from casual/anecdotal remarks. The thing is, this is ripe for a user-base intervention. With AI now, you could probably pretty handily map parameters between the ED/EE output and the latest version of PHPP via the xml file that resides in the add on/energy evaluation/localization country folder. Agility is required to develop solutions. There is a global demand for this, I've seen it in almost every country I've visited or have colleague/friends in. 

Andy Thomson, M.Arch, OAA, MRAIC
Director
Thomson Architecture, Inc.
Instructor/Lecturer, Toronto Metropolitan University Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science
AC26/iMacPro/MPB Silicon M2Pro
furtonb
Advisor

Interesting to see this section of the forum resurrected from time to time, whereas the built environment still contributes to global warming with each passing hour, so I don't really get that there is no demand. It would be a moral imperative to develop tools to assess embodied impact (AFAIK a tool is in progress to link bMats to Ökobaudat and have a reliable life cycle assessment available within Archicad for earlier life cycle stages), but Archicad is still cut off from the existing thriving ecosystems and bleeding heavily.

 

If you haven't checked, there is a tool being developed by Ed May (company: bldgtyp.com, Honeybee2PH, which lets you export HB models to PHPP:

https://ph-tools.github.io/honeybee_grasshopper_ph/

 

The interesting stuff, that Honeybee models can be generated with Pollination directly from Revit (enabling rapid AND VALID model export not only to PHPP, but EnergyPlus, IESVE, IDA ICE, you name it).

 

With costs being increasing noticably on an annual basis, I would expect Archicad to open up and integrate into the BEM world as tightly as Revit does, but at the moment the current gbXML-based workflow is so time consuming and erroneous, that my choice is to remodel because it is way faster than the endless troubleshooting.

 

I get, that there seems to be low demand, but there seems no point trying (I am happy to be proven otherwise).

 

If Psi values were taken into the conversation: does anyone know, how they are calculated? Is ISO 10211 or another, similarly applicable standard taken into consideration? How accurate is the calculation of Ecodesigner STAR's thermal bridge module? Maybe this should be its own thread...

odv.hu | actively using: AC25-27 INT | Rhino6-8 | macOS @ apple silicon / win10 x64

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