Users of the PHPP energy software will know it is a leader in accurate calculations for Passivhauses and low energy buildings including retrofits. AECB PHribbon makes using PHPP quicker, easier and it uses the existing information beyond just energy. It’s written by Tim Martel, an AECB expert who is also a course tutor for the Carbonlite Retrofit course.

  • Data entry. Helps with the trickier parts of data entry for any PHPP, e.g. windows and lambda values
  • Daylight Factor. Since windows are modelled in PHPP, over half the information is already there for daylight factor, which ensures windows are large enough without over-provision
  • Embodied CO2 is increasingly important, PHribbon makes this relatively quick to calculate for retrofits using the material quantities in PHPP.
  • Costs. Also for retrofits, early indication of the cost of the design is critical in ensuring the project is affordable, this can be done in the retrofit costing module.

AECB PHribbon makes the same changes to your PHPP that you could have made by hand. It works from an extra ribbon tab in Excel, just like ‘Insert’ or ‘Page Layout’ and uses macros (macros are already part of all PHPP v9 products). It includes a manual and support, training is through videos. The appearance varies according to the version of Excel you have. Office 2019 looks like this, the videos show how it looks with Office 2010.

Build PHPP
1. Select Climate – using a standard map or one with county boundaries
2. Site – enter orientation and ventilation exposure
3. U-values – 30 standard U-value construction build-ups you can use and edit
4. λ-values – choose build ups of λ-values from a library, with links to BBAs in Chrome or Internet Explorer
5. Window Tool – enters the dimensions, ‘1’s and ‘0’s, and enters dreveal and other shading figures as formulas

6. Daylight Factor – writes a daylight factor spreadsheet by Mark Siddall of (LEAP)
7. Energy of Variants – adds a “Graphs” tab and graphs variants broken down by walls, roof, etc
8. Embodied CO2 – calculates the Embodied CO2 for any building based through a series of dialogues

9. Simple – adds retrofit costs of just the current PHPP
10. Variants – find retrofit costs for a series of variants all at once
11. Step By Step – retrofit in incremental stages, using variants

12. U-values – view/edit the U-values library
13. k-values – view/edit k-value library
14. Costs – view/edit retrofit costs library
15. TBs – view the Thermal Bridges library
16. Embodied CO2 – view/edit embodied CO2 library

k values (Button 4)

Choose build ups of k-values from a library, with links to BBAs to download. The categories on the left are used to filter the list you see, the top 3 categories are fixed, the next 3 have useful common situations which you can customise yourself and the last 3 are entirely blank allowing you to create your own lists.

Window Tool (Button 5)

The window tool helps you add windows by entering much of the data for you. On the windows tab it enters the dimensions, ‘1’s and ‘0’s and name. On the Shading tab it enters the d reveal, o reveal, d over and o over. It uses frame dimensions from the components tab to enter the d reveal as a formula so it will update if you change the window or frame dimensions.

Daylight Factor (Button 6)

This is a spreadsheet by Mark Siddall of LEAP. It helps you plan window sizes which give enough daylight without over-provision. Good windows have 5x the heat loss of a good wall. It writes a separate spreadsheet and fills out the information that is known from the PHPP.

Embodied CO2 and Retrofit Costing

Button 8 gives Embodied CO2, the CO2 used to manufacture the materials used, suitable for new build and retrofit and also works for variants as well.
Buttons 9-11 give AECB REALcosting software in 3 buttons that work directly in your PHPP: (9) without variants, (10) using Variants and (11) where each variants is a step of a retrofit. For each a costs tab is added to your PHPP and is custom written in front of you.

Minimum Requirements:

Suitable for PC’s only, using Microsoft Office 2010 or later with PHPP v9.6. The Passivhaus institute provides a free upgrade from 9.1 to 9.3 to version 9.6. Please phone their main enquiries number.


The basic new build version (£45) has tools 1 to 5, 7 and the associated libraries 12 and 13.
You can watch training videos from our Buyers Info Pack page. Additional module options are:

  • Indicative costs for retrofits: Simple, Variants and Step by Step (£30)
  • International version (no extra charge, user to provide local costs)
  • NEW! Daylight factor (£75)
  • NEW! Embodied CO2 (£20)