PHPP Illustrated, 2nd ed.
By Tad Everhart

PHPP is a powerful design tool for creating high-performance buildings because it calculates the energy balance transparently and accurately.  

And PHPP Illustrated is an essential companion.

This resource helps anyone learning to use PHPP or mastering it.  Even expert users will want a copy to confirm their understanding---and to help them quickly guide less-experienced users with clear textual explanations and beautiful illustrations.

Like the popular first edition (2014), Lewis’ 2nd edition begins with a succinct explanation of the design principles for Passive House buildings.  As with all topics, this is richly illustrated.  My favorite section in the introduction is Lewis’ explanation of the form factor and illustrations of varying shapes where the envelope surface varies substantially even with the same usable floor area.

Chapter 2 covers PHPP basics, and here is substantial new material including a clear and complete explanation of the Primary Energy Renewable (PER) metric and PHI’s new standards incorporating higher levels of efficiency and renewable energy production.  Additionally, Lewis carefully delineates the thermal performance and component pathways for EnerPHit certifications.

Chapter 3 follows the first edition in covering the heating demand basics, what I call the “architectural sheets” of PHPP (as opposed to the energetic equipment, appliance, and lighting sheets).  For readers who already own the first edition, you’ll be happy to know that the 2nd edition uses a new case study home to illustrate PHPP.  

Chapter 6 is a brand new introduction to designPH by David Edwards, one of its creators at PHI.  This chapter includes not only clear, well-organized descriptions, but illustrations of the same case study building in the other chapters as well as frequent tips to users.

Chapter 8 is another brand new chapter, introducing the additional functions incorporated in PHPP v9 to compare multiple assemblies in the same building as well as comparing multiple buildings which are slightly different, e.g. rowhouses.  These tools even offer cost, payback, and value comparisons, and are especially useful when planning a retrofit.

As a person who learns best by example, I find the screen shots of PHPP showing exactly how the details of the example building are entered to be the most valuable feature of both editions.  Having two sample PHPPs is easily worth the cost of these books.  In addition, Lewis covers new features of PHPP v9 including the new Check sheet, an extremely helpful set of cautions and error detectors for each sheet.

When working in PHPP, Lewis’ books are always at my elbow.  And when a consultant or designer calls with a question about PHPP, I usually refer them directly to a page which will answer their questions.