Friday, May 1, 2009
Presented by: Drury Crawley of the Department of Energy (DOE) and Dan Brown.
What people want to learn: “I’m interested in getting into some energy modeling activities, and this seemed like an accessible way for an architect to do it.” Anne Roderer, AIA, of Abelow Sherman Architects in Brooklyn, New York.
Google technicians walked a dozen or so architects through the drag-and-drop simplicity of SketchUp. A big advantage of SketchUp is it’s compatibility with Google Earth, which allows designers to instantly contextualize their work in Google’s open-sourced, 3D mapping software. For even finer-grained details, Google allows users to download building product models from product databases like Sweets into their building models.
The second part of this session looked at EnergyPlus (www.energyplus.gov), an energy modeling program developed by the DOE which is compatible with Google SketchUp via the OpenStudio plug-in. This program measures energy and water consumption, as well as emissions. It also gives uses weather pattern data for their building sites. SketchUp is used primarily for early conceptual designs that don’t go far beyond basic geometry, and OpenStudio is meant to provide similar first-glance energy performance feedback. Its simulation capabilities take into account the time of day and year and report interior and exterior surface temperatures. This simulation data is reported as an HTML file, though it requires EnergyPlus input to include actual energy performance data. This step allows users to specify the glazing percentages, daylighting amounts, photovoltaic panel performance, and HVAC systems performance of building models.
What people thought: “I didn’t even know this existed as an overlay to SketchUp, which is great. Starting off from zero it’s terrific. I learned a tremendous thing. I called the office this morning and said, ‘Hey—this is a possibility.’” Jeffery Bianco, AIA, of Bianco Giolitto Weston Architects in Middletown, Conn.