Jan 14

The European Project

In April 2012, we were confirmed as the UK’s official consortium in The Affirmative Integrated Energy Design Action (AIDA) project. AIDA is a project funded by Intelligent Energy Europe with a view to supporting building professionals and local authorities in the designing and implementation of nZEB’s (nearly Zero Energy Buildings). Through a series of study tours, sustainable policies and web-based BIM (Building Information Modelling) software; the AIDA project aims to increase the number of nZEB buildings throughout Europe, the number of building professionals trained on integrated energy design and the number of municipalities starting to build/refurbish buildings to nZEB levels.

We have already completed one study tour of a primary school in Wolverhampton, which was the UK’s first Passivhaus certified primary school. The tour proved to be a success and the full document can be read here (OakMeadow_successStory_2012_02_15). In addition, our gEnergy tool is now ready to be presented in workshops during the study tours. gEnergy is being offered for use to project partners and participating municipalities, architects and engineers. It will be used to identify where improvements are needed in existing buildings and to demonstrate that proposed new designs meet nZEB requirements.

On the 22nd of January we will be presenting our second study tour, a local island building; The Galson Trust Business Centre:




This will feature a design presentation and tour of the building, followed by a Q&A and a demonstration of our Energy Design Tools. Finally we will be stopping at the Galson Wind Turbine where our AIDA Project Manager will be giving a brief technical lecture. If you would like to be present at the study tour please follow the link and register:


AIDA’s core objective is the eventual widespread adoption of nZEB throughout Europe and to help the EU’s 2020 objectives for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. We at GreenspaceLive are excited to be part of this collaboration project, and we hope it’s the beginning of a sustainable future.




Vienna University of Technology – Energy Economics Group

AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies

CIMNE BEEGROUP, – Building Energy and Environment

Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving – Energy Policy Analysis Department

EURAC research – Institute for Renewable Energy

Geonardo Environmental Technologies Ltd.

HESPUL – énergies renouvelables & efficacité énergétique

IREC – Catalonia Institute for Energy Research

Greenspace Live Ltd.

Energy Cities (sub-contractor)

Oct 11

SketchUp your way to low carbon building design

With all the hype being about low carbon building design these days and with an array of tools to choose from, Google SketchUp continues to grow in popularity.  Gone are the outdated conceptions’ that architects manipulate primitive, simple shapes like virtual putty in 3D space, and now in, are new methods involving intelligent wall assemblies that “know” their own material make-up and that can be used to generate an information rich building model.

You could be forgiven if  at first glance, you perceived this as a trend towards increasing complexity, and that future architects will need to be specialists in BIM methodology in order to contribute to architectural practice. Think again. Google SketchUp, is perhaps the easiest 3D CAD based software to learn on the market at the moment and is rapidly becoming the number one choice for architects in early phases of building design.

Building created with Google SketchUp

Although SketchUp does not provide the BIM functionality that is present in other far more expensive solutions, I believe the future is very promising. SketchUp has a short learning curve, competitive price (free), 3D-based focus (a prerequisite for BIM programs), pleasing visualization capabilities make SketchUp a strong contender to begin with. Now add the fact that it is part of the “Google Empire,” directly connected to Google Earth and its repository of 3D buildings, terrain, and street views—as well as the 3D Warehouse—and you have a contender with enviable if not inevitable odds for success.

Google SketchUp gModeller

Of course, SketchUp does not currently possess all of the functionality of more expensive programs—far from it. Nevertheless, now in its 8th Version, SketchUp has already become a far more sophisticated program than version 1.0.  greenspaceLive plans to  harness the capabilities of SketchUp, by offering gModeller an energy analysis plug-in, which allows Architects to make informed decisions on building design.

– Derek