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By jfk
#77415
Albert,

Green Building Studio's add-on allows users in the US and soon the UK and China to get full whole building (DOE-2.2) energy results from within ArchiCAD. The service provides five free runs for every new project, and a scaled fee for runs thereafter.

All the DOE-2 files the GBS web service creates can be directly opened in eQuest for additional analysis, and the service also provides an EnergyPlus idf file and gbXML file for every run. The gbXML file can be used by a variety of load programs listed at www.gbxml.org's member page.

John



Adalbert Albu wrote:back to BIM
I want GS to write the software that creates analytical models for:

Energy analyses including the envelope and gain from lighting and equipment
Lighting to control the light from natural and artificial

For me and the industry this is BIM without addressing these aspects the software is dumb
#141036
A harbinger of a thread here... They concluded in 2006 that energy modeling was going to be critical, with Green Building Studio and Ecotect. Now both are owned by Autodesk! Lord have mercy!
#141390
Da3dalus wrote:A harbinger of a thread here... They concluded in 2006 that energy modeling was going to be critical, with Green Building Studio and Ecotect. Now both are owned by Autodesk! Lord have mercy!

Don't dispair! ArchiCAD could do most of the energy modeling that building designers need. Specialist analysis software will always be essential for complex buildings but for my area of interest, housing, I have been using ArchiCAD to develop code compliance solutions for several years, which, to get back to the original thread, has helped to get new work.
I am working on an Addon for ArchiCAD that should be available in the UK in the next few months to automatically estimate SAP and CSH energy ratings, which includes fabric and ventilation heatosses, energy generated by PV and solar thermal, solar gain and CO2 emissions.

There are problems with using solutions like Green Building Studio and Ecotect in conjunction with ArchiCAD and Revit:

The main issue globally is that there are no international standards for assesment, so although a test run in GBS can provide interesting information, it will not provide code compliance testing even in the US:

GBS website states: "The web service is useful for assessing goal viability for the first LEED charrette; however, it is not a compliance tool and does not produce the required LEED submittal documentation. It is intended for use early in the process when design changes are conceptually easy to make.

The other main problem is that although GBS and Ecotect claim to make it easy to test the design at an early stage, the process of creating and exporting gbXML files to another piece of software ( requiring further software knowledge) and repeating the process is far from immediate and intuitive, just when critical decisions about window sizes and positions, wall constructions etc are made.

Surely the best solution is to have immediate feedback throughout the design process so the effect of every design decision is understood. That is why BIM should have energy analysis built in and what we are working to deliver with the HEATA Addon.
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By Rob
#141396
Specialist analysis software will always be essential for complex buildings ...


Yep, that is actually a common practice in AU and EU...

The main issue globally is that there are no international standards for assesment, so although a test run in GBS can provide interesting information, it will not provide code compliance testing even in the US

I absolutely agree here, so I can't really see the reason for panicking like... ADESK has all answers and there is no alternative... rubbish.

As an example the AU model for housing energy rating is based on a free service run by the government over the web. Anyone can log in and use assessment tools there. The final report then is compulsory for any planning approval. It is really easy to use and assessments can be repeated infinitely until the criteria is met. Usually you design a house and run the first test. If you are not complying the assessment tool gives you hints or trade-offs (like double glazing on northern side with shading device etc..). So you can redesign a house and come back to re-run the test. All test are logged so you can compare them. The advantage is that you know you're using an accredited tool (by default as it is designed by the government) and it is easy to compare assessment across the board as everyone has to use this tool.

Anyway this is AU specific however the point is that GBS or Ecotec are completely pointless solutions over here.
#141509
I was just lamenting that we have fewer options. Simple software solutions are an effective tool for quick-and-dirty design comparisons, which is about half of our energy analysis services. They don't give accurate results, in terms of how many dollars (or BTUs, therms, watts, etc.) you save in a year, but they do offer a decent analysis of relative savings. So, if you're comparing glazing products, you can run these solutions against each other.

In an example case of a high-rise refit, we found that upgrading to low-e gas-filled fenestration with specialized reflective glazing had little more effect than applying a good tinting film and better gasketing, which was vastly cheaper than the new windows. It's those type of order-of-magnitude analyses that simple software can help with. Ecotect is also excellent for preparing graphics for presentations to an owner, and many of their diagrams are easy to follow. You just have to avoid the "greenwashing" effect that the pretty pictures can have. You need to back it up with reliable data.

I agree, to get solid results that can be applied to LEED or energy code compliance, you need a dedicated solution. We typically use eQuest (DOE2) which is the standard from the US Dept. of Energy. One thing I would like to see (other than dedicated energy modeling in ArchiCAD, hello Cigraph and CadImage?) is an accurate gbXML exporter for this and other programs. We used Green Building Studio (before Autodesk) to convert a couple of ArchiCAD models for eQuest, but the results were shakey and difficult to edit. Wall corners didn't close, windows couldn't be edited, and complex roofs were a mess; remodeling the buildings from scratch was faster than fixing them. I know this often comes up, the the interchange process is a critical step in implementation of BIM technology.
#141515
Ooh, thank you... we'll give it a try. I've been wanting to try Objective, too, but our software budget is pretty lean.
#141550
As you would expect from Encina, the gbXML Add-on is really cool for exporting geometric data. It gets round the problems caused by 'quick and dirty' modelling in ArchiCAD. For example, Zones bridge gaps between unconnected walls.
BUT it is dependant on the analysis software to carry forward intelligence about materials, otherwise defiinitions have to be reapplied.
The same presumably goes for 'acredited software' in the US & AU that requires time-consuming inputting of data from the model.
In the UK submission of energy assessment for Code compliance can only be done by an 'acredited assessor'. Building designers generally are not acredited so a whole new industry has emerged using compliance software that has no connection with any design software. Assessors get drawings and then get their scale rules out...
I am working with Ralph Wessel of Encina to produce an Add-on that can output all the information needed but as it is not acredited yet it all has to be inputed by hand again by a paid-for 'Assessor'.
Because this all costs money, many Architects in the UK tend to wait until the design is complete before submitting the plans for acreditation, then cross their fingers and toes, hoping their guesses about energy efficiency are correct.
Experience suggests that, as with Da3dalus's example of changing the glazing, often unexpected possibilities provide surprising results. This is not intuitive stuff because there are too many variables for designers to get their heads around.
IMHO we need an indicator within the BIM to show how the design is working.
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