Thank you for sharing your opinion on this topic! I greatly appreciate it. Please allow me to share mine with you and everyone else who is interested.
[this topic gets me very hyped up and excited to be honest
Firstly, I'm sorry I was not clear in my previous post. I did in fact open an official Support case about this and forwarded it to the developers to let them know of this. As we speak, the issue is under investigation. Up until now and based on our tests, we can safely say that the software works normally as long as the users creates their own Composites or Complex Profiles, which is the more common workflow. It is however, very weird that it produces those errors with the default composites provided with the template. That is our main focus of the investigation.
Personally, I am a huge advocate of sustainability and a big fan of EcoDesigner. In my honest and humble opinion, EcoDesigner is an amazing tool, which can truly help the architect design better and more sustainable buildings.
What is more impressive is that EcoDesigner was designed exactly 10 years ago. Even though it was never developed with the intention of issuing certifications, (but more of a design-aid tool to help the architect make better decisions), it is still complaint with ASHRAE (which LEED refers to as well). But as DGSketcher mentioned, it is very hard to create a software, which can certify on a global scale. Every region in the world and every country has its own standards and methodologies for issuing certifications. This can even differ within the same country. It's not an easy task to do at all. Yet, if you compare this with its functionalities, the market, and the global interest in that time (10 years ago).. I consider it a state-of-the-art software.
Moreover, even in today's abundant software industry, the trend is that one locally developed software for energy efficiency is approved of and used for/by governmental entities. Even LEED itself, while well renowned in Europe, does not equate to a certification in some European countries. They would still require the certification to be issued according to local standards and methodologies.
Now, the initiative for sustainability at that time (2005-2010) was increasing. That's why GRAPHISOFT planned and developed EcoDesigner, but sadly the interest in efficiency went down. Because of that, EcoDesigner's development halted though if we encounter bugs, we will address them naturally.
Fret not though, because right now we are focused on integrated practices and Open BIM. This means we are working towards being even more open with other engineering disciplines and software. First comes Structural, then MEP, then Energy Efficiency. Once we get there, I hope we will see great improvements to EcoDesigner. It is still some time till we get there as this is a huge-scale project, but it is in the pipeline!
To answer your question about the Zones and Uncovered areas, I will attempt to explain the reason behind these decisions.
We use Zones for 2 main reasons:
1. We use Zones for many things, but the most important one would be the Interactive Scheduling. This is why by nature, the Zone has many parameters which relate to the other tools in ARCHICAD. This is the main functionality which allows us to do Quantity Take Offs for instance. The Zone is what "reads" the Wall for example, and based on this relation between them, it can "read" the number of Windows/Doors in the Wall, it can calculate it's Height, Width, and Length, it can calculate its Gross Surface Area and Net Surface Area and so on...
Since we already have the Zone available, which is capable of establishing these relationships, it makes perfect sense to use its functionalities for "reading" the building's envelope and structural elements for Energy Efficiency. With additional tweaks, it served the purpose for Energy Evaluation.
2. According to the standards, a "Place" or "Space" which is to be studied for Energy Efficiency purposes needs to exist. This space becomes the Zone itself, hence it's classification is "Space" since that is the common term used internationally. In the digital world, we need something, any object, any entity really in order to classify this object as the space being studied. This Space should have an ID and be classified properly, when we exchange the data with Energy Experts through, let's say gbXML file format.
Regarding the Uncovered areas, we understand that sometimes, there are irregular spaces involved within a design naturally, and that is why there are correction features, which allow you to add or deduct certain areas onto/from the area being considered. Also, it is worth mentioning that due to the way Zones work, which is orthogonality-based, the sides of elements, a slab for example - specifically the edges (thicknesses), will not be detected by the Zone since the Slab is a horizontal element and the Zones detects the surface parallel to the horizontal slab. The edges thickness being vertical (or perpendicular in nature) are not detected by the Zone then. However, we can easily fix that with the Correction - Area field of the surface.
I hope I was able to bring some clarity and shed some light on a few things!
I will keep this post updated once I receive news from the development team about this issue.
I wish you all a fantastic day and I offer my season's greetings to everyone!