Apr 12

Project 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!