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Sustainable design; Energy Evaluation, EcoDesigner and EcoDesigner STAR

Moderators: ejrolon, Barry Kelly, Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, gkmethy

By Arcadia
#149968
I am using and learning ecodesigner after having just taken delivery of it. My biggest frustration with it is that the materials catalogue does not seem to have much that matches the materials used in Australia or at least the names are different. Therefore its hard to know that what I am picking is the right type. Also allthough with windows I can just overwrite the U-value in the main "openings" tab (which is just as well as there is no option for single glazed windows in the materials catalogue) I don't have this option with the structures tab - ie I have to select the R-value calculator then assign materials to each of the skins in my walls. Lastly as far as I can tell I can't add in my own custom materials to the catalogue for materials that are not available in the list.

I can see the benefits of this software if only I can figure out how to get the accurate R or U values for the materials I am using.

Any help/tips/comments?
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By Karl Ottenstein
#149974
Hi,

I started to respond here, and realize that the answer is a big one, so wrote a Wiki article explaining how to customize EcoDesigner:

http://www.archicadwiki.com/EcoDesigner ... tomization

You're correct about the lack of single-glazed windows. I imagine they assumed that nobody would use single-glazing in an energy efficient building. The article that I wrote above shows you how to add new windows to the database if you know the properties for them.

Hope that helps,
Karl
By Arcadia
#149982
Thanks karl, I will have a good look at this. You're right that single glazed windows shouldn't be used but unfortunately in Australia (which is very backward when it comes to energy efficient buildings) the standard glazing used for most homes is single glazed - either clear or low-e. I am hoping to be able to use eco-designer so that I can give a client a report showing their home with single glazing and also with double glazing so that they can see a comparison. In other words I don't want to use Ecodesigner just for clients who want energy efficiency from the get-go but as a promotional tool to encourage energy efficiency.
By Arcadia
#149983
That article is great karl. Now all I have to do is track down the thermal values for a range of materials.

One thing that puzzles me about the software is the very general descriptions of shading. Why is it not more specific or why doesn't it take into account the modelled roof for the overhang/shading component?
By GeNOS
#149986
is eco designer at all accredited to be used as a way to come up with an australian star rating that will be accepted by councils etc... for approvals???

(ie like BERS and the other couple of programs you need to use)????

if not is graphisoft looking to get it accredited?
By Arcadia
#149987
No it is not accredited energy rating software. I would think this would be impossible for what is an international piece of software. ED does not give the house an energy rating it just gives an estimate on what the running costs per annum are and what the carbon footprint would be (based on the thermal performacne of the building shell the cost per unit of the power sources and the source of the power (ie coal or solar).
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By Karl Ottenstein
#149989
Arcadia wrote:That article is great karl. Now all I have to do is track down the thermal values for a range of materials.

One thing that puzzles me about the software is the very general descriptions of shading. Why is it not more specific or why doesn't it take into account the modelled roof for the overhang/shading component?


Thanks.

If you track down some good numbers for single glazing, maybe you could post your XML entries here in case others might like to user them.

As I mentioned in another thread, the lack of model-based shade calculation is my biggest wish / frustration with ED. I can't say why it is not included, unless the VIP calculation engine from Strusoft which does the actual work is not built to compute accurate shade profiles.

Cheers,
Karl
By GeNOS
#149991
Arcadia wrote:No it is not accredited energy rating software. I would think this would be impossible for what is an international piece of software. ED does not give the house an energy rating it just gives an estimate on what the running costs per annum are and what the carbon footprint would be (based on the thermal performacne of the building shell the cost per unit of the power sources and the source of the power (ie coal or solar).


if it can give you all the info that it claims it can.. it wouldnt take much to make it accredited for AU energy rating use. its a bummer tho.. cos having to remodle something you already have molded into another program just to get a start rating is so frustrating...
By Arcadia
#150010
its a bummer tho.. cos having to remodle something you already have molded into another program just to get a start rating is so frustrating...


It doesn't bother me particularly as I don't do the ratings myself. I just pay an assessor to do them and pass the cost onto the client :)