updated 05:35 pm EDT, Fri June 5, 2009
EcoDesigner software ships
Graphisoft has announced that its environmental evaluation software, EcoDesigner, is now shipping. The program, used from within ArchiCAD, enables architects to assess the potential energy consumption of a building. Data is available early in the design phase, allowing users to quickly adapt building configurations to improve efficiency.
EcoDesigner calculates energy performance based on a number of factors such as materials, building volumes, area and orientation of glazed surfaces, or the properties of external shading options. Automated structure markup helps to establish the structure groups for the basis of the calculations, with different structures represented by specific colors on the floor plans and 3D views.
The software uses geographical coordinates to find relevant climate data including air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and solar radiance. Users can define other factors such as wind protection, project orientation and solar reflection.
A U-value calculator establishes the average heat transmission coefficient, while the dynamic algorithm evaluates heat transmission of each structure at every hour throughout one year. Users must input information regarding proposed MEP systems, ventilation, hot water generation and cooling type. The software also establishes the carbon footprint of the project, based on local prices for the types of energy used.
Results of the analysis are presented in XML format, including the summarized energy consumption, consumption type, prime energy usage and average U value of the entire building. Along with the carbon footprint, the calculations also estimate the area of tropical forest that absorbs the carbon dioxide. Users can view the monthly energy balance for the entire year, or save the evaluation report as a PDF file for clients.
EcoDesigner requires ArchiCAD and is now available. Potential customers can contact the company for additional information.