Posts Tagged: building


4
Feb 14

Cloud Collaboration Through gWorkspace

gWorkspace is a cloud-based storage system we developed here at greenspaceLive. It allows multi-disciplined users to work collaboratively on building projects. We see gWorkspace as the central hub for a project, with users sharing images, floor plans, survey reports, simulation analysis and more.

We recently partnered with Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) as part of a study looking at energy efficient housing and the reduction of fuel poverty in the Western Isles. gWorkspace was the perfect tool for this, it held all the project data and provided a shared area for the participants to upload files and ensure that all parties were made aware of additions as the project progressed. Storing this data on the cloud means it can be accessed at any time, from anywhere in the world. Once the study is completed it allows for future analysis to be undertaken by HHP on different house types as technologies improve and become more cost effective.

gWorkspace comes integrated with all of our products, your workspace can be viewed from your desktop, tablet or smartphone and it even allows you to share through social media applications like Facebook and LinkedIn. We want to connect all participants of a project and make the whole process that little bit easier. Sign up for a free 30-day trial today and see for yourself!

“[Cloud computing is] the best thing for small business since the creation of the stapler. Cloud computing is a playing field leveler; it gives small businesses access to technologies that previously were out of their reach and lets small businesses compete with both other small businesses and larger ones.

And to make the deal even sweeter, cloud computing can save your small business money, too.”

 

– Susan Ward, “Why Cloud Computing Is Ideal for Small Businesses”

 


19
Apr 12

Introducing gModeller V1.6 – With Energy+ Support

Today, we released version 1.6 of gModeller!

gModeller V1.6

gModeller V1.6 contains a number of bug fixes, and user interface tweaks, and we have also included Energy+ support!

Energy+ Support

With the Energy+ extension to SketchUp you can now model your building in Google SketchUp, add building properties using gModeller and then perform an energy analysis of the model using Energy+, directly from within SketchUp. You can also export an Energy+ IDF file in order to carry out more advanced Energy+ analyses on your model, and this can be used in a number of Energy+ focused downstream tools. This is in addition to being able to export your SketchUp model as gbXML which can be used in a large variety of downstream analysis tools!

Energy+ in gModeller

Energy+ Options in gModeller

The Energy+ extension to gModeller is still at a Beta level of development, and is not quite complete yet. This means that the functionality is not fully complete, and at the moment provides support for model geometry and constructions, we are still working on implementing system handling and other functionality required to carry out a full Energy+ analysis. Because the Energy+ extension is still in beta, it may contain some bugs and other small glitches when analysing models. However, we are really excited about this functionality in gModeller and thought we would share it with you. We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions on this, and we will be updating gModeller with more fully featured Energy+ features soon.

Other Updates

gModeller V1.6 also contains a number of other usability and bug fixes as listed below:

  • Improved Mac OS X Support – gModeller should work much better on Mac OS X. Installing on Mac OS X is now much easier and does not require your Flash Player Security settings to be modified.
  • Improved gbXML import – importing gbXML in gModeller is now faster, and more reliable on both Windows and Mac OS X.
  • Improved surface attribution materials – we’ve updated the building surface attribution materials in gModeller and fixed some issues with these in Mac OS X.
  • Slight user interface changes.
  • Fixed some issues with logging in and out of gModeller.
  • Added more constructions and materials to the Construction library section – this is important for Energy+ support!
  • More…
To begin using the latest versions of gModeller, you’ll need to download and install gModeller for Windows or gModeller for Mac OS X from our website. You will then be able to log into gModeller using your GreenspaceLive account and begin modelling. If you don’t have a GreenspaceLive account, please visit our website to register for a free trial!
We hope you enjoy this latest version of gModeller and would love to hear your feedback!

– Malcolm Murray, Product Manager

 


6
Apr 12

Project RAPIER

rapier

During Ecobuild we unveiled a project that we’ve been working on for the last 18 months called RAPIER.

RAPIER at Ecobuid

Presenting RAPIER at Ecobuild

RAPIER is a Web Application that allows for early stage analysis of Cost, Embodied Carbon, and Energy usage of building ideas. Users can set up building options with various designs and parameters, run them through the RAPIER engine and then compare results across all options.

RAPIER has been been put together by a consortium of four partners: GreenspaceLive, Architype, BDSP, and Sweett Group – each partner bringing their own expertise to be encapsulated into the engines that run behind the scenes, and into the design of the front-end interface. RAPIER is a Web application that has been built by its users for its users!

Rapier Screenshot

RAPIER has a pretty awesome user interface – its completely built using HTML and Javascript, which means that RAPIER works in almost any browsers – from your mobile phone, to iPad, to Laptop or Desktop computer. All the heavy processing takes place on the cloud, so the application is extremely portable, all you need is a wifi or mobile internet connection!

RAPIER uses a card based interface which allows you to easily compare different building options, or focus in on one and drill down into the details. We’ve taken a smart default approach to data population – you can setup a building in seconds using our default templates, or you can drill down into a more complex level of detail and setup your options just the way you want them to be. You can also duplicate and change options, to try out and compare different parameters – e.g., what difference would using a steel structure make as opposed to a concrete structure? Or, what is the cost and carbon difference if I ship my materials from Scotland instead of China?

The engines running behind the scenes in RAPIER are based on years of industry expertise and best practice. The RAPIER cost model provides estimated capital and operational costs based on real building portfolios. The RAPIER embodied carbon engine provides detailed carbon estimates including comprehensive travel carbon – from component source to building location. The RAPIER thermal model is built on existing research work carried out by BDSP, and carries out a dynamic thermal and energy simulaiton of your model.

On top of this, RAPIER uses gbXML as a way of making its building options portable – you can export your options as gbXML and import them into Google SketchUp using GreenspaceLive’s gModeller and gEnergy EPC, DesignBuilder, IES, Ecotect, TAS, and a bunch of others as well – this will allow you to carry out further downstream analysis of your options.

RAPIER isn’t quite finished yet, and has just been unveiled. We are hoping to run an alpha testing programme quite soon, and are inviting people to register interest in taking part by visiting projectrapier.com and signing up. We will provide test users with accounts when we are ready to being testing. Also, please use this form to contact us for more information regarding RAPIER.

The slides we presented at Ecobuild are available for viewing below on slide share. You can also click the link to download the presentation.

Keep an eye on this blog, and on the Project RAPIER website for more further developments!


8
Sep 11

gModeller for Google SketchUp Overview

My name is Alexander Nicolson and I have been working at Greenspace Live for just over 2 years now and in that time my main responsibilities have been to create gbXML models using the Greenspace Live gModeller plug in for Google SketchUp and to help develop the tool.

There are other energy analysis plug ins for SketchUp on the market such VE-Ware from IES and Open Studio from Energy Plus but what makes us unique is the fact that the gModeller plug in is still the only way to export gbXML from SketchUp. What this means is that unlike other plug ins, you are able to use gModeller as the first step in the energy analysis of your building to take into popular analysis tools such as GBS (Green Building Studio), Ecotect, IES, Design Builder and any other software that supports gbXML.

The tool has come a long way in the time that I have been at Greenspace Live. The speed, performance and reliability are constantly being improved and you can now use gModeller to generate gbXML’s of very large buildings.

The first task is to model your building in SketchUp using single surfaces for each building element i.e. walls, floors, roofs etc. An x-ray view of a building model which is suitable for gModeller is shown below.

Still the most common problem new users of the plug in seem to have is the generating your building model in SketchUp in a way that allows you to use gModeller to generate a gbXML file of the building. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to read the gModeller user guide prior to downloading and installing gModeller.

Once you have modelled you building you then populate your model using the SketchUp paint tool by simply selecting the element from the gbXML palette and clicking on the desired surface, basically select exterior wall from the paint gbXML folder and click on all the exterior walls of your building and follow the same process for your floors ceilings roofs, windows and doors. Once you have done this you then have to identify all the spaces in your building and this is done using gModellers select space and create space tools. Using SketchUp’s section plane tool allows you to view the inside of the building, using select space you click on part of the floor of a zone and gModeller will automatically identify all the surfaces which make up that space and you simply name appropriately and continue this process until you have identified all the zones in your building. Once that is done you are then ready to export your gbXML and use it for energy analysis purposes.

We are constantly looking for ways to develop and improve gModeller. The next release of gModeller, coming this month, will see the biggest developments in the tool in my time at Greenspace Live. The main new features we are currently developing are an auto-apply surfaces button option and an auto-apply spaces option. These new features will dramatically reduce the time taken to generate a gbXML by eliminating the task of manually assigning the gbXML surfaces and spaces in your building model. Other improvements include a gbXML data sheet; giving you detailed information about your gbXML which will highlight any errors that may be present in your building model.

– Alex