After the 2012 release of version 7, this upgrade is going to allow further improvements for better design in warm humid climates with Passivhaus standard.
The previous version 7 of PHPP added new functions to the package, allowing for better and easier design in warm and humid conditions, as well as better building system options with multiple heat pumps and compact aggregates.
The new version 8, as announced on the iPHa website, is going to allow higher precision in the design of cooling and dehumidification system. It is also going to integrate better PV systems and heat pumps.
The development strategy of the Passivhaus Institut shows the will to expand the scientific research beyond the continental climate conditions. The new frontier of the Passivhaus is the Mediterranean basin and, more in general, the warm humid climates. From a technical point of view, the PHPP is not a multi-zone dynamic simulation software, therefore it is not capable of estimating comfort conditions for individual rooms of a building. While designing small buildings though, you can go around this problem with an accurate, climate responsive design approach.
Compared to version 7, PHPP rel. 8 doesn't seem to bring ground-breaking changes. We can only hope that the PHI is not implementing a new commercial strategy, releasing a yearly software upgrade as it happens with other professional softwares.
Are we going to see a PHPP 9 in 2014?