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ECODESIGNER STAR

chrrev
Newcomer
Could GS advise on the current status of ECODESIGNER STAR.
One gets the distinct impression that it is a dead end project since there are no serious answers from GS to real problems.
I am involved with clients who request zero energy buildings and I have been under the illusion perhaps that EDS could deliver...
Please advise , then we could summarize the outstanding problems if the project isn’t dead...
Either way , we need to know please.
This isn’t a field where we can rely on vague approximations and contradictory results.
17 REPLIES 17

Anonymous
Not applicable
I could not agree more. The stagnation of Ecodesigner Star is a missed opportunity. We have lost faith in Ecodesigner Star as we often have inaccuracies during the calculation phase and some of the assumptions built into the analysis are flawed.

We are now purchasing Sketchup to enable a relatively quick 3D model PHPP Passivhaus assessment using the Passivhaus designPH add on. Such a shame that Ecodesigner Star can't export successfully to PHPP. We have tried and it is just too unreliable. I would much rather use ArchiCAD for all our BEM modelling but PHPP has overtaken us!

Any chance of getting a refund on a perpetual licence, so we can subsidise our purchase of Sketchup?!

DGSketcher
Virtuoso
Given NEMETSCHEK / GS are trying to take on the whole of the construction design industry I share the view that EcoDesigner is a missed opportunity. From an Architectural perspective an industry standard (PHPP) working energy analysis tool would be a real benefit to promoting AC to Architects, especially if it was useable.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Aaron Bourgoin
Advocate
PassiveHaus notwithstanding, there are plenty of other reasons to want to have access to a tool like this that works. Integrated design depends on it and local codes mandate the use of Energy models.
Think Like a Spec Writer
AC23-3003 USA / AC24-4018 USA
Rhino 7 Mac
OSX 10.14.6 & 11.3.1

Minh Nguyen
Graphisoft Moderator
Graphisoft Moderator
Dear All,

Thank you very much for sharing your opinions, and I can totally understand your frustration toward EcoDesigner!

For the next major release, EcoDesigner is not being updated, but we constantly fix bugs when reported to us. As of now, we are still collecting clients' requests in order to have a clear vision of how we can improve its function and how we can adapt better to the market.

Thank you for your understanding! I truly hope that, EcoDesigner can and will become a tool that will enhance architects' workflow around the world for a better future!

Have a great day!

Best regards,
Minh

Minh Nguyen
Technical Support Engineer
GRAPHISOFT

Anonymous
Not applicable
A do also have impression of:
- Ecodesigner being way to much not reliable. Last test I've made gave me results more than 4x lower of energy demand than should be
- Ecodesigner cant export gbXML which would be compatibile with other BEM software - (interior walls as seperate is the main problem)
- no new recent updates of Ecodesigner gives a impression it's dieing
- lack of valuable information on how to use it to get fast and reliable results ( sample projects, tutorials, webinars etc) makes it difficult to find the proper workflow.

On the other hand it seems to be sooooo close to be a really outstanding tool allowing architects to design better buildings due to its integration with AC and some sort ot easyness of use. It seems to be a tool that needs just a few improvements and a better documentation to rock.

Please update the gbXML export without waiting for any AC updates (do it as a hotfix).
Or remove this export option and stop saying that AC can export gbXML since those files in fact cant be used to make a real energy evaluation in other BEM software (like OpenStudio), or prove they can be used.

Jp1138
Expert
philips wrote:
A do also have impression of:
- Ecodesigner being way to much not reliable. Last test I've made gave me results more than 4x lower of energy demand than should be
- Ecodesigner cant export gbXML which would be compatibile with other BEM software - (interior walls as seperate is the main problem)
- no new recent updates of Ecodesigner gives a impression it's dieing
- lack of valuable information on how to use it to get fast and reliable results ( sample projects, tutorials, webinars etc) makes it difficult to find the proper workflow.
....

That´s the impression I got too. I haven´t even tried to learn Ecodesigner as it seems to me is unreliable and mostly dead - only from what I have read around, because as I say I haven´t used it If this isn´t the case it a very serious communication problem on part of Graphisoft.
ARCHICAD 25 SPA
Windows 10

Minh Nguyen
Graphisoft Moderator
Graphisoft Moderator
philips wrote:
A do also have impression of:
- Ecodesigner being way to much not reliable. Last test I've made gave me results more than 4x lower of energy demand than should be
- Ecodesigner cant export gbXML which would be compatibile with other BEM software - (interior walls as seperate is the main problem)
- no new recent updates of Ecodesigner gives a impression it's dieing
- lack of valuable information on how to use it to get fast and reliable results ( sample projects, tutorials, webinars etc) makes it difficult to find the proper workflow.

On the other hand it seems to be sooooo close to be a really outstanding tool allowing architects to design better buildings due to its integration with AC and some sort ot easyness of use. It seems to be a tool that needs just a few improvements and a better documentation to rock.

Please update the gbXML export without waiting for any AC updates (do it as a hotfix).
Or remove this export option and stop saying that AC can export gbXML since those files in fact cant be used to make a real energy evaluation in other BEM software (like OpenStudio), or prove they can be used.
Hi Philips,

Thank you for sharing your opinion regarding this topic!

I must admit, EcoDesigner is a sophisticated tool requiring accurate handling in order to achieve good results. We made some articles and instruction videos can be found in our Help Center from the links below:
https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/knowledgebase/127368/
https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/user-guide/77214/

But, it is indeed a difficult tool to master, therefore more tutorials are absolutely needed!

Regarding the gbXML export, unfortunately I'm not an expert on this topic. But I would like to address that EcoDesigner can export the model to gbXML. Here is the article about gbXML with Energy Evaluation: https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/user-guide/89250/

If you find any issues arise from using EcoDesigner, feel free to report it here or via the local partner!

Thank you very much for your enthusiasm and attention to the tool!

Have a great day!

Best regards,
Minh

Minh Nguyen
Technical Support Engineer
GRAPHISOFT

andyro
Contributor
Minh, there are no videos that I can see, as you suggest. I have had good results, after 22 successive model runs, and can attest that this is not a 'pushbutton' solution for BIM/BEM - it does requires some pretty deep BEM knowledge to understand what needs to be tweaked to give accurate results. That said, it would be EASY for GS to pre-program a few templates with standardized results for small and larger buildings to facilitate the workflow. I am working on this right now with our reseller for Canada - with a few simple tweaks I think we can use this for OBC/SB12 code compliance 'performance path' modelling and I have already received clarification from our provincial ministry that this will be accepted as the VIP modelling core provides hourly analysis. I will be posting a blog on this soon.
Andy Thomson
Andy Thomson | Architect
Research site
Company site

AC24 / Twinmotion / iMacPro

Aaron Bourgoin
Advocate
Yes!! Thanks Andy, I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
Think Like a Spec Writer
AC23-3003 USA / AC24-4018 USA
Rhino 7 Mac
OSX 10.14.6 & 11.3.1

andyro
Contributor
Aaron, shoot me an email at art@andythomson.ca and I can send you what I plan to submit for permit soon from ED/AC24.
Andy Thomson
Andy Thomson | Architect
Research site
Company site

AC24 / Twinmotion / iMacPro

Minh Nguyen
Graphisoft Moderator
Graphisoft Moderator
andyro wrote:
Minh, there are no videos that I can see, as you suggest. I have had good results, after 22 successive model runs, and can attest that this is not a 'pushbutton' solution for BIM/BEM - it does requires some pretty deep BEM knowledge to understand what needs to be tweaked to give accurate results. That said, it would be EASY for GS to pre-program a few templates with standardized results for small and larger buildings to facilitate the workflow. I am working on this right now with our reseller for Canada - with a few simple tweaks I think we can use this for OBC/SB12 code compliance 'performance path' modelling and I have already received clarification from our provincial ministry that this will be accepted as the VIP modelling core provides hourly analysis. I will be posting a blog on this soon.
Hi Andy,

Thank you very much for your enthusiasm and generosity! I agree that we need a bit more guidance on this topic in order to fully master the tool, as it is quite tricky to adjust BEM properly. The videos I mentioned in the link are in the section, but these are just some basic/starter videos. I will forward your question to the responsible people.

Thank you once again for your suggestion!

Have a great day!

Best regards,
Minh

Minh Nguyen
Technical Support Engineer
GRAPHISOFT

Anonymous
Not applicable
@andyro
Thank you very much for your insights on your recent post: ArchiCad, EcoDesigner and Passive House.
It seems a very complete, straight forward and valuable piece of information.
A very good help to those that are giving its first steps on Archicad 24 EcoDesigner.
Also good to know that GS has considerably improved its EcoDesigner performance on AC24.
Cheers,

DGSketcher
Virtuoso
Braza wrote:
@andyro
Thank you very much for your insights on your recent post: ArchiCad, EcoDesigner and Passive House.
It seems a very complete, straight forward and valuable piece of information.
A very good help to those that are giving its first steps on Archicad 24 EcoDesigner.
Also good to know that GS has considerably improved its EcoDesigner performance on AC24.
Cheers,
+1 Watching with interest! Thank you for your contribution andyro.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

andyro
Contributor
Right @Braza, @DGSketcher - you're welcome! I failed to circle back and post the link to the blog, thanks for noting it. Again: https://www.thomsonarchitecture.ca/2020/08/15/archicad-ecodesigner-and-passive-house/

It works well, you just need to know what you are looking at, and defaults will be different in every country, so it is up to the user to check them and set them up correctly in a template file.
Andy Thomson
Andy Thomson | Architect
Research site
Company site

AC24 / Twinmotion / iMacPro

chrrev
Newcomer
Hello Minh,

We are nearing one year down the track from these observations on Ecodesigner, prompting me to get back to you to have a clearer picture of the current situation. Is Ecodesigner still part of Graphisoft long term plan, and if it is when are we likely to see an improved version? Note for instance that the most recent User manual AFAIK is for Archicad 17... Seriously, where are we at?

Chris

mnguyen wrote:
Dear All,

Thank you very much for sharing your opinions, and I can totally understand your frustration toward EcoDesigner!

For the next major release, EcoDesigner is not being updated, but we constantly fix bugs when reported to us. As of now, we are still collecting clients' requests in order to have a clear vision of how we can improve its function and how we can adapt better to the market.

Thank you for your understanding! I truly hope that, EcoDesigner can and will become a tool that will enhance architects' workflow around the world for a better future!

Have a great day!

Best regards,
Minh

Mjules
Enthusiast
While doing that, please take a look at the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) to make sure that EcoDesigner Star meets its requirements: https://shop.iccsafe.org/2019-california-green-building-standards-code-title-24-part-11-calgreen.htm...


mnguyen wrote:
Dear All,

Thank you very much for sharing your opinions, and I can totally understand your frustration toward EcoDesigner!

For the next major release, EcoDesigner is not being updated, but we constantly fix bugs when reported to us. As of now, we are still collecting clients' requests in order to have a clear vision of how we can improve its function and how we can adapt better to the market.

Thank you for your understanding! I truly hope that, EcoDesigner can and will become a tool that will enhance architects' workflow around the world for a better future!

Have a great day!

Best regards,
Minh
Martin Luther Jules
AC 10-25 (Full)
Alienware | 64 GB RAM | Windows 10

Mjules wrote:
While doing that, please take a look at the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) to make sure that EcoDesigner Star meets its requirements:
What requirements are you talking about meeting? CALGreen addresses things like water usage, electrical energy usage, and air quality. Not much there regarding thermal performance. (Which is handled by the California Energy Code.)
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

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