I am searching for a thermal analysis and/or performance modeling solution which will work in Australia with ArchiCAD. It seems that the solutions on the Graphisoft website are localised for Europe, USA or have become part of Autodesk.
Anyhow I would like to hear from anyone with practical experience who could point me in the right direction.
that depends on a type of your project you are working on. All is pretty much locked to BCA. Class 1 and 10 buildings require BASIX however check for all specifics in regards to states and territories. Class 2 to 9 requires Section J (in BCA) that needs to be addressed.
First one (BASIX) you just go to the website and follow the guidelines... it is a pretty much straightforward procedure.
Second one (Section J) is more difficult because it is really hard to meet deem-to-satisfy requirements. In other words all parts of the structure must meet BCA requirements but that practically means you would be able to build a wool shed or similar simple structure at most. However it allows for a compliance based on ESD modelling.
My experience is to get ESD fellas on board and liaise with them (in regards to AC data in/out) because the tricky part is they all use bespoke software to do their mambo-jumbo.
Personally I would not do those calculations by my self (as an architect) to simply avoid any PI issues as they can be great.
Anyway as far as I know ESD needs a greatly simplified model. The most recent project proved that ESD consultant was quicker to actually model his own model than importing and cleaning down our model exported from AC.
Unfortunately I cannot remember any of software names used for ESD thing at all but any of ESD consultants would give you some software options.
Rather than looking for a "full blown" assessment package I was looking for something that could give us more generalised feedback. A design tool that could be used from the inception of a project, not as much a solution for the problems at the end.
PI issues and all, we don't want to certify anything (have to keep the consutants fed) but it would be nice to study thermal efficiency the way we can, as an example, study shadows.
yes I was really keen on this too and then I went through whole BCA-section J thing on a real project. I've learnt a lesson that it is absolutely pointless to go DIY way because:
1. the whole evaluation is very complex, so any simplified tool would give you meaningless results,
2. it is not applicable for any of the BCA assessments therefore it is an overhead that your client would not appreciate.
3. because all of this is so tediously anchored and conditioned in BCA any generic tool would be useless.
Not a really happy story but if you are after proper result go for a consultant (at least that's what I do). I just do not believe that such simplified tool could give us answers that our client could benefit from.