To reduce emissions in the built environment to demanding levels requires both conversation measures and low carbon heating/cooling sources.
This requires deep renovation of buildings and higher rates of renovation.
For high performance buildings an early exercise with Building Performance Simulation by Energy Modelling enables the evaluation of numerous solutions to explore some example parameters:
- Low embodied energy with environmental appropriate materials
- Lower costs with selection of new materials and technologies
- Hybrid solutions
- On-site generation and energy storage systems
- Level of disruption to occupants
These are just some of the factors and this process starts with simple modelling.
Building professionals including Architects will generally require a visual 3D model at an early stage.
The GreenspaceLive gModeller based on Trimble Sketchup enables an early exercise in Energy Modelling. The energy analysis engine gEnergy enables full dynamic simulation.
Circular London is running a six-month accelerator programme to drive circular economy innovation in the built environment.
The accelerator, which is powered by LWARB and Carbon Trust is located in LWARB’s circular office in Shoreditch. The programme is currently offering bespoke support to seven start-ups working to create innovative solutions for challenges in the built environment.
Rapiere Software Ltd (with GreenspaceLive as a partner) created ECCOlab, a web application, to aid building design for the circular economy including lifecycle carbon and cost. ECCOlab is both an integrated BIM (Building Information Modelling) and carbon modelling tool for lifecycle carbon.
As a cloud-based tool, accessed through a web application, and using the IFC file format (the standard BIM interoperable file format) it is OS and BIM-tool agnostic, allowing access to all parts of the construction value chain. By allowing multiple users to access the model (like Google Docs) it is also a collaboration tool, as well as a modelling/simulation tool.
gModeller 2.2.6 is now released, with new features.
We’ve added some construction and window type placeholders to the custom rename dialog. This is accessible from the extensions menu and allows renaming of spaces, surfaces, and openings to match a custom pattern.
Enter the names for each space, surface, and opening. Then any placeholders will be replaced with each value for that item. This allows the identifiers to match different conventions and gives some organization to them, helping to improve your workflow.
Download now at: gModeller-2.2.6.rbz
We have released a new version of gModeller. This includes some performance improvements for when models have a large number of surfaces or spaces.
Download now at:
Our software provides a user interface for the EnergyPlus simulation engine. gModeller facilitates easy entry of building geometry and fabric constructions using Sketchup and gEnergy allows the full scope of EnergyPlus objects to be edited.
For detailed information on the actual energy simulation you are best to refer to the Energy plus Input/Output and Engineering Reference manuals:
Input Output Reference (PDF)
Engineering Reference (PDF)
Also, Big Ladder Software provide training on EnergyPlus and have some very good reference material on their website that is easier to navigate.
EnergyPlus Web-Based Documentation
Weather data is available for over 2000 global locations. Data is in a standard, well documented, EPW format so it is also possible to construct your own weather files if you have localised data available of if you wish to push your model through some extreme weather events. The following link provides a map of locations:
The link below is to a guide on using EnergyPlus for producing compliance reports:
Using EnergyPlus for Compliance (PDF)
Lesosai is a software for the certification and thermal balance calculation of buildings containing one or more heated or cooled zones. Simple and effective, the monitors adapt the required information to the needs of the chosen standard or label. It is designed primarily for building engineers, HVAC engineers and architects.
The software can be used in the following languages: French, German, Italian and English. It can use many calculation methods, which can be selected one after another.
Lesosai allows the calculation of environmental impacts of the energy consumption, considering the energy used in the building, but also the building’s construction materials (Life Cycle Impacts Analysis / Environmental Assessment). This calculation is based on a building life cycle approach and uses the list of impacts maintained by KBOB (extracted from the Eco Invent database), and the methodology conforming to Swiss Standard SIA2032 (Life Cycle Impacts Analysis complete with ECO+® module).
Compatible BEM (Building Energy Modelling) via the gbxml format.
gModeller by GSL enables the export and import of gbxml models.
gModeller v2.2.4 now has greatly improved performance particularly on MacOS.
To achieve significant and deep interventions required to meet the challenging targets necessitates a decision-making process that evaluates fabric and technology solutions at an early stage in the design process. The interaction between all the different elements can only be evaluated by dynamic simulation which utilises the laws of physics to simulate how an asset should perform.
Projects using energy modelling generally exceed the energy reduction targets and tend to encourage good sustainable design where passive design strategies make bigger impact to curb energy use are evaluated and incorporated to achieve demanding targets. Energy modelling from easily obtained data also helps design teams consider all the elements and their likely impact on carbon use where targets can be set and regularly checked against progress.
To encourage widespread use of dynamic simulation an on-line web and cloud-based approach is offered by GSL which is affordable and much more accessible to the construction industry. With the need for significant investment to achieve energy efficiency targets new initiatives such as Energy Performance Contracting will require the detailed evaluation of the most cost-effective solutions so that these contacts are well prepared, and risks minimised.
Rapid dynamic simulation would benefit a range of building professionals including designers, technologists, fabric specialists/manufactures, energy engineers, contractors and developers.
All investment decisions require good planning and risk informed decision making which in turn requires evaluation of fabric/technology solutions long before and capital expenditure takes place. Optimising the impact of solutions can be evaluated to maximise the rate of return on investment.
Dynamic simulation tools that are accessible and affordable will enable the construction industry to face the challenge of deep interventions and support this `new` business opportunity where 98% of the problem has already been built. In the next ten years a large proportion of existing buildings will require some form of intervention and support with decision making tools of this nature will enable the industry to take technical and investment decisions that will support this intervention opportunity.
A web-based approach allows for on line collaboration where all professionals involved in the projects can communicate and share data virtually which has a resulting productivity gain.
We have now enabled the latest version of gModeller V2.2.4 to import IFC models with geometrical data via Sketchup Pro.
IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is about sharing information across software applications and interoperability is a key enabler.
IFC is a data model that is used to describe building data and geometry across building disciplines and across phases of the building life cycle. IFC is both a de-facto standard and an ISO standard. The format is open and has wide industry support. It is a common requirement for BIM interoperability and most of the tools in use in your design and construction projects already support exporting/ importing the format.
The integrated BIM approach also enables the ability to access numerous global software tools.
gModeller gives the ability to produce an idf file format for full dynamic simulation with gEnergy analysis.
Other file formats such as nct for SBEM certification is also available from gModeller.
Download gModeller: gModeller-2.2.4.rbz
At the early building design stage energy modelling can assist with the process of evaluating all the options which can contribute to a high-performance building.
It is now recognised that integrating energy modelling into the building professional’s workflow will result in buildings that can meet high performance expectations.
Early concepts that introduce passive design options and methods to reduce energy requirements can form part of an exercise to determine energy targets achieved by an iterative design process where the model can be modified and tested to maximise performance.
The first Sketchup model can be transformed to gModeller and ready for either deep dynamic simulation gEnergy or energy code compliance assessment programmes.
gModeller enables the export and import of gbxml models.
The new version of gModeller V2.2.2 is now available on line with improved performance!
Early results allow for design refinements where decisions are based on sound technical analysis and good risk informed decision making
Bringing DEEP DYNAMIC SIMULATION to the early stage design process allows the building professional to evaluate numerous design options with the web enabled gEnergy giving the full power of EnergyPlus – the global standard.
Take the early opportunities to improve value!
Out now and online, the newest gModeller V2.1 to start your Building Performance Simulation!
V2.1 has greatly improved performance particulary on MacOS.
Easy to use based on Sketchup. Go straight to other CAD software with these file formats:
- gbXML – global energy analysis tools
- idf – for the global standard EnergyPlus.
- nct – for UK SBEM and Energy Performance Certificates.