GRAPHISOFT New Zealand : EcoDesigner

By: Graphisoft  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Architects, Archicad

The truth of sustainable design is that approximately 80% of the design decisions that influence a building's energy performance are made by the architect in the early design phase; the remaining 20% are made by engineers at the later phases of design. Therefore it is crucially important for architects to be able to utilise a quick and reliable energy performance evaluation at the very early stage of the building design process.

Using Graphisoft EcoDesigner architects can easily analyze, at an early stage, their design for energy efficiency. Providing invaluable feedback on the building's energy performance means the architect can make better decisions on how to conform to regulations and satisfy the interests of the client and the operator of the building. Ultimately, with energy efficiency we all win!

"Energy efficiency is becoming a key factor. ArchiCAD allows the Architect to positively affect the design at the earliest and most convenient phase."
Teemu Kurkela, CEO, JKMM Architects, Finland

"Sustainable architecture" is the practice of designing, constructing and maintaining buildings in a way that their environmental impact is minimized. One of the most important aspects of sustainable design is energy efficiency - a drive to reduce the amount of energy a building consumes over its life-span.

Graphisoft EcoDesigner enables architects to quickly and efficiently evaluate design alternatives based on energy consumption, carbon footprint and monthly energy balance.

"Henry Deane Place was one of the first "green" buildings in Sydney and embodies many environmentally sustainable solutions. It is multi award winning and has been used as a benchmark for other government buildings."
Graeme Smith, Principal of Rice Daubney, AUS

The relationship between building volumes, proposed area and orientation of glazed surfaces, as well as the properties of the external shading options, all greatly influence the future energy consumption and also determine the overall look of the design. Selecting the right design alternative, that delivers better energy performance, is becoming vital for client presentations.

Now architects can evaluate energy performance from within ArchiCAD. Graphisoft EcoDesigner is available from ArchiCAD and the best news is that all architects can use it right away!

With EcoDesigner the ArchiCAD Virtual Building becomes an even more intelligent "BIM" model, right from the very first concept design.

"As environmentally conscious architects, the ability to quickly and effectively perform energy analyses on our building models is beneficial to us and it adds tremendous value to our clients."
Russ Sanders, AIA, Orcutt | Winslow, US

Sustainable Design with ArchiCAD

Green design has been embraced openly by many architectural firms worldwide. They appreciate the value and financial sense of developing a truly green design and architects who actively take 'green' decisions early on are saving their clients real money, now and in the future. EcoDesigner coupled with ArchiCAD's open standards place the Virtual BuildingT at the heart of energy analysis.

Graphisoft EcoDesigner uses a simple 3 step workflow to determine the energy characteristics of the project: Analyze > Calculate > Results.

"The Green Buildings concept is no longer earth-berm houses and grass roofs, but an intelligent business decision."
Brian Malarkey, AIA, LEED-accredited, Kirksey, U.S.

1. Analyze

Model analysis

  • Automated structure markup helps to define thestructure groups as the basis of energy calculations.
  • The selected structures are displayed with colors on the floor plans and also in 3D for easier identification.
  • The Model Review Palette helps designers to alter,in a user friendly way, the results by fine-tuning the automatedstructure markup.

Calculation data input

  • Location &Function : using the geographical coordinatesprovided, EcoDesigner obtains relevant weather data (air temperature,relative humidity, wind speed and solar radiance) from an online weatherdatabase or from the built-in database if internet connection isunavailable.
  • Project orientation, wind protection, and solarreflection can be defined
  • Building type: such as: heavy, medium, light weightalso can be set
  • Internal heat gains and required internaltemperatures: predefined day by day thermal profiles are attached toeach selectable activity (offices, residential buildings, hospitals,schools, various industries etc).
  • Shading properties of the building (shadow cast byother external objects and parts of the building itself) can be defined.
  • Structure & Openings : The U-valueCalculator calculates the average heat transmission coefficient valuebased on a simplified algorithm. EcoDesigner uses an accurate dynamiccalculation algorithm that evaluates heat transmission of the buildingenvelope structures at every hour throughout one year.
  • The final energy evaluation carried out by EcoDesigner uses a more accurate dynamic calculation algorithm that evaluatesheat transmission of the building envelope structures at everyhour throughout one year.
  • The thermal properties of external openings may beattached from the built in opening catalogs or can be entered manuallywhere specific product properties are available.

2. Calculate

3. Results

Energy Balance Evaluation Report

  • Key Values display basic information, such asProject Name, Location and Activity Type, as specified by the user onthe first tab page of the EcoDesigner dialog box.
  • Summarized Energy Consumption results are availableas pie-charts and in numeric tables. Energy consumption is calculatedaccording to consumption type (heating, cooling,lighting, usage) and prime energy usage  (gas,oil, coal, nuclear energy, electricity). Average Uvalue of the entire building is identified.

  • Carbon Footprint: the Carbon Footprint indexprovides information on the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the building's operation over the course of a year. Thearea of the tropical forest that absorbs this carbondioxide quantity is also included for comparison.

  • Monthly Energy Balance: this bar chart is agraphical display of the amount of energy the building emits (top partof chart), as well as the building's Supplied energy: the amount ofenergy it absorbs from the environment and its own internal heat sources(bottom part of chart), by month.

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Keywords: Archicad, Architects

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