Passive Design Assistant software tool

Lead Participant: Ove Arup & Partners Limited


Passive Design Assistant (PDA) is a software tool that demonstrates the principles of “passive” (non-mechanical) thermal design. This includes factors such as: insulation, solar gain, thermal mass, ventilation and climate.
PDA enables an assessment to be made of temperatures within a building operating in ‘free running’ (non-mechanical) mode or the demand for heating and cooling when the building is being operated in a mechanical mode.
PDA has a simple and intuitive user interface that enables the user to understand the influence of key parameters in a quick and easily accessible way. The software models a single space and uses an industry-standard calculation method. Results are displayed clearly and respond to parameter changes instantly. The user can construct material build ups from a library of material types and input site-specific climate data.
It is intended that the software is simple enough to be used by all those involved with or interested in the design of buildings. It can be used either for educative purposes or to inform early-stage design.
PDA is available as a free download from:

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Ove Arup & Partners Limited £48,092 £ 24,046


Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Limited, LONDON £8,139 £ 4,069
Mineral Products Association Limited, LONDON £20,904 £ 10,452


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