Greenbuildingstudio.com, the green-design web-extension for your cad software online service has just announced their third overhaul (i.e. v. 3.0). With more and more architecture and engineering offices embracing parametric building design (catchword: BIM = “Building Information Modeling”), this is a great tool to run a quick industry-standard (DOE-2) energy check on a virtual building and to incorporate green design into the planning process. The service then offers ideas for improvements that can be incorporated into design revisions later.
Since only seeing is believing, they made a video of the features available online here. It shows nicely the revision process and how you can use their tool to tweak your building until it is carbon-neutral (and beyond). I wonder, though, how many architects will accept without a major tantrum anyone turning their building 90 degrees with the click of a mouse. But then again – if that improves energy efficiency, then the original design needed some tweaking in any case… Another nice feature is the “Hummer equivalent”, a handy-dandy somewhat understandable comparative measure for CO2 emissions (although: who drives a Hummer anyways???). For illustrating the range, though, it would be nice to show the “Prius equivalent” as well. According to GBS, these are the new features:
- Carbon Neutral Building Check – Automatically estimates the feasibility for each building to achieve carbon neutral status using local grid emission data.
- US EPA ENERGY STAR Score – Computing each building’s US EPA ENERGY STAR score or Architecture 2030’s targets.
- Water Use Analysis – Estimates the water needs, savings associated with efficiency measures, rain capture potential, and LEED credits for the building.
- Daylighting with Energy Savings – Automatically determines LEED Daylight Credit and room by room glaze factor analysis.
- Natural Ventilation Potential – Automatically determines if the building location and loads are well suited for naturally ventilating the building.
- Local Weather Data – Providing access to over 50,000 weather locations, ensuring the design team uses local hourly weather data within 9 miles (14km) of your building rather than selecting from the typical 230 airport locations.
- Onsite Renewable Energy – Automatically analyze every exterior surface to determine all the best performing photovoltaic surfaces. Discover annual energy generated for your building from a wind turbine.
- Corporate Accounts – Providing firm-wide management of users, building designs, building templates, and review of corporate wide CO2 emission, energy and water use analyses. Leverage key staff on every project no matter which office they are in.
- Passes Industry Standards – ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 140-2004, Qualifed Software for Energy Policy Act of 2005, & Microsoft Platform Test for Hosted Solutions (Platform test was conducted independently by VeriTest).
More information can be found on their site. If you want to try the service out, get their gbXML uploader and send your latest Revit model their way. The first runs are free.