Page T1.1 . 05 July 2000                     
ArchitectureWeek - Tools Department
  • Energy Software to Link Design and Science
  • Green CAD and 3D Design Survey
  • Turning Today's Research into Tomorrow's Software
  • Computer Visualization as a Tool for Critical Analysis

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    Energy Software to Link Design and Science

    by B.J. Novitski

    For decades, research scientists have been developing extremely sophisticated analysis tools to study the energy performance of buildings. These tools have been effectively unusable among architects, however, because the interface is cumbersome, the output is largely numeric, and the input requires mechanical engineering data normally associated with the end of the architectural design process.

    To make simulation tools useful in schematic design, when important energy-related decisions about building form are made, Konstantinos Papamichael, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, has created the Building Design Advisor (BDA).

    This example of research in service to design practice is the oldest of the four programs described in this series of ArchitectureWeek articles, and the closest to becoming commercially available. The latest version can be downloaded from the LBL Web site.

    The BDA maintains an object-oriented model of the building under design, and links the building data to various simulation tools, such as DOE-2 for energy performance calculation and Delight for daylight and electric lighting analysis.

    In early 2001, they plan to release a version with links to Radiance for lighting calculation and rendering, The input to each of these programs is different, and the BDA makes the necessary translations.



    ArchWeek Photo

    In the Building Design Advisor, three building designs are evaluated on five criteria. At a glance, the architect can visually evaluate each scheme's distribution of daylight and energy consumption.
    Image: Konstantinos Papamichael

    ArchWeek Photo

    The Schematic Graphic Editor (SGE) was developed specifically for the initial phases of building design in conjunction with the Building Design Advisor.
    Image: Konstantinos Papamichael


    Click on thumbnail images
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