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Sustainable design; Energy Evaluation, EcoDesigner and EcoDesigner STAR

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

By Ian E Brumby

With a focus on PHPP Passive House (PHI Passivhaus) design, I am interested in design for daylighting. As you know there is a clear relationship between cost of glazing ($/sqm), annual solar heat balance, sky brightness and window design and internal daylight levels.
I want to optimize my daylighting while minimising my glazing area to manage heat balance and cost of triple glazed windows & doors,
in Canberra Australia. (PHI Warm Temperate climate zone)

I would like to be able to get a digital numeric calculation handle on daylight levels that is easy to use preferably on Mac OSX.
(If required I could recommission an old Mac as a PC or even go and buy new one).

I am architect, not a lighting designer, and lighting design gets complex rather fast.

Together with a colleague we have been doing a review of the available lighting design softwares based on the list published on the Daylight Site, which is a great resource. ... n-tools-2/
We have also spend a lot of time reviewing the extensive information and demos available on You Tube.

I have tried the Velux Daylight Visualizer VDV. It works really nicely on their Villa Savoy model, but I find VDV is rather flaky in terms of how it handles imports, and file versions from SketchUp 2016 and 2017. And as far as daylighting goes I have so far I have not managed to get it to work on even my simplest models. Perhaps that's just me, but I suspect it needs a solid upgrade.

Posts on this subject seem to date from 2010. So now in July 2017 what has changed ?

We also looked carefully at DIALux EVO. This is an interesting software that extends into supplementary lighting, and reads IFC files. However, our tests so far using DIALux EVO have run in a virtualised environment, Windows 10 inside VMWare on a Mac where it struggles.
No doubt it would be better on a fast muti-core PC.

Also looked at IES VE software briefly. Still waiting for a response from them. Not sure what is going on there.

Also looking at AGI32, which has a license structure that allows for a 30 day period.

Once looked at Ecotect, but not going there since they sold out to AutoDesk.

So please does anyone know if there is a good daylight analysis package that can handle IFC file format (ie read ArchiCAD models without extensive editing) that experienced ArchiCAD users would care to recommend ?

What are Graphisoft's thoughts on this ?

I use ArchiCAD 19 - 21 with Design PH and PHPP on Mac.
While I agree with Miklos 'pushups metaphor' for energy analysis in ED*, I do not have an ED* license for the very simple reason that it is very expensive, has limited training support, and needs a clean simple model. In my experience it needs two models - one simple model with integrity for the energy analysis, and another model for the real project, as the real project models can get messy).

And while I'm on the energy topic, where have you hidden the AC20 output link to PHPP file format ?
Do I now need and ED* license to access it ?

Miklos, while I love the idea of ED* doing energy analysis inside the ArchiCAD model, I found it problematic getting it to work consistently.
And as Enrico Bonilauri, from Emu Architects noted it is best if the energy analysis has a relationship to known standards. This is why I choose to use PHPP. But I would really like to explore a direct path from AC20 and 21 to PHPP without using morphs into Sketch_Up 2016 or 2017 with Design PH extension, then exporting PPP file, then importing PPP file into PHPP which is rather laborious.

Is it not time GSHQ simply scrapped the ED* license fee, and opened up ED* in AC21 for all users ?
One could argue that with White House Administration trashing the EPA and abandoning the Paris Climate Accord this would be an appropriate response from Graphisoft. It would also enormously increase the number of potential users, which would help justify its development costs, and allow it to be better integrated with PHPP.

Enough for now.

I look forward to your responses.


Ian Brumby
User avatar
By philips
Search in Google: Dialux

I have some more-less good expierence in exporting IFC from AC to Dialux