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Sustainable design; Energy Evaluation, EcoDesigner and EcoDesigner STAR

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

By EcoBoger
#226438
davidbitter wrote:My ArchiCAD rep advised me yesterday that the EcoDesigner Star add-on will be priced at $2,495 (discounted to $2,246 if you purchased the EcoDesigner add-on a few years ago).
OUCH !
Was hoping to be able to jump on it…not sure now. Sure has some nice features but….
:(


I wish aside from having a set of nice features EcoDesigner actually worked. It has so many bugs and inconsistencies in calculations, that I wonder if Graphisoft actually has any quality assurance people on staff.

It takes a lot of effort to make something like ArchiCad or EcoDesigner, but if a company (Graphisoft) has no people to finish this complex work with an extensive quality assurance run - it all goes to waste.

My opinion, that it is simply irresponsible to release EcoDesigner the way it functions right now, much less charge half of ArchiCad's license price for it.
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By gpowless
#226450
Its lack of certification under LEEDS, EnerStar, Ashrae or HRAI kills any potential it might have had in North America. The resulting numbers are so out of whack I can't use any part of the built-in Ecodesigner to help completing simple residential heat loss / gain. It is useless as far as I am concerned.
By EcoBoger
#226478
gpowless wrote:Its lack of certification under LEEDS, EnerStar, Ashrae or HRAI kills any potential it might have had in North America. The resulting numbers are so out of whack I can't use any part of the built-in Ecodesigner to help completing simple residential heat loss / gain. It is useless as far as I am concerned.


You know, the interesting thing is that EcoDesigner, in reality, is an immensely powerful software capable of being truly useful as well as fully standard-compliant. However, lack of attention in regards to actually making it work on the part of Graphisoft is astounding.

I wish I could afford to be this careless with my projects.

As ArchiCAD power user since mid 1990's this saddens me a great deal. I am proficient with just about any BIM application out there, but ArchiCAD has a special place in my heart since I first saw it during a version 4.1 presentation back in 1991.

Yet, I am constantly fixing errors and augmenting Graphisoft's work for the past 20 years to make this software work on my end. EcoDesigner is not an exception ether. :(

Honestly, most fixes are very simple, but there are some that are hardcoded into the executable files and I can't fix those :(.

I wish I knew why Graphisoft actually makes such blatant omissions. They are so easy to avoid if you just have a decent quality assurance personnel on staff capable of comprehending ArchiCAD as a whole. :(
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By gpowless
#226564
"I wish I knew why Graphisoft actually makes such blatant omissions."

It is because they have programmers imitating architecture instead of architects writing programs.

That aside, EcoDesigner isn't that powerful - it is way too complicated to be powerful. I too have been using Archicad since 6.0 and currently use a homemade spreadsheet to complete heat loss / gain for residential (I know not too difficult) However, integrated with that are the duct sizing calculations and ventilation duct sizing as well as shading, solar gains and even latent gains (not needed in residential but useful for evaluation purposes). While EcoDesigner could be useful, I can't even get an accurate industry-standard U-coefficient out of a composite wall. Believe me I have tried, if only for the purposes of doing the measurement portion of the heat loss / gain.

In order to be useful it must meet the requirements of HotCan 2000 in Canada or ASHRAE 90.1. Until it does it will be useless to most in North America.