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EcoDesigner PLEASE help.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Quick question when using EcoDesigner.

When I run it, it loads and does its thing, but I am unable to click on 'Start Evaluation'.

Does anyone know why? Or what settings need to be adjusted in order to be able to do an evaluation?

For the record, I am proficient in ArchiCAD, but have never used EcoDesigner yet. Thanks so much in advance!
12 REPLIES 12

Anonymous
Not applicable
Quick answer
ED cannot perform a calculation when there are:
-no elements
-no enclosed spaces ( I believe 4 walls, a floor and roof)
-no properties of those enclosing elements (thermal properties) given

FYI:
ArchiCAD/Help/Eco Designer
Advanced User Guide

Anonymous
Not applicable
Master wrote:
Quick answer
ED cannot perform a calculation when there are:
-no elements
-no enclosed spaces ( I believe 4 walls, a floor and roof)
-no properties of those enclosing elements (thermal properties) given

FYI:
ArchiCAD/Help/Eco Designer
Advanced User Guide
Thanks a ton this helped me get to the point of the button becoming active! I actually don't know how to give thermal properties.. where is this done? Attached is the error I keep receiving. Thanks again!!

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
This is all in the user manual AFAIK...

Click on the Structures tab, as shown in the screeenshot attached. Any undefined properties will have the yellow "!" warning triangle.

Click the "..." button for U-Value to define.

You'll then get to the U-value Calculator showing the skins for the selected element. Click the "..." button there to look up all of the cut fills in the project.

Having clicked on that, you can now see all of the Thermal Property Assignments for cut fills - many of which probably read as "0.00". At the end of the line, is another "..." button. Click it.

Now you're looking at the Material Catalog. Find the material that corresponds to the fill, select it, and click OK to copy its values back.

Etc.

I cannot say that I like this interface, but that's how it works. Define everything, and you can then do the analysis.

Cheers,
Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.2, iMac Pro

Anonymous
Not applicable
The thing about Ecodesigner is that it is supposed to be 'push-button' easy to use.
So I have to say that I felt pretty stupid that I couldn't get it to work initially.
Karl's reply is what you need to know (especially the user manual part 😉) ... but I had read the user manual too (although a little impatiently) and still couldn't get it to work.

So to share my very simple tutorial after solving it - two words - CUT FILLS

Make sure your elements are not set to something 'abstract' like 'Background Fill' (which my AC13 defaults to) - and give them something 'real' like 'Block Concrete' etc. There are many other reasons you should do this anyway, but if you do then Ecodesigner is REALLY easy to use. You can really push the button and go, without having to deal with customising U-values and the like.

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
amonle wrote:
So to share my very simple tutorial after solving it - two words - CUT FILLS

Make sure your elements are not set to something 'abstract' like 'Background Fill' (which my AC13 defaults to) - and give them something 'real' like 'Block Concrete' etc.
I'll second John's comment. I have tended to pick fills purely for presentation appearance - using 25%, 35%, 50% and 75% more than I care to admit. But, unique, named fills-per-material-type are essential for ED - and down the road for cost estimation/etc.

You can merely duplicate existing fills and give them new names. All AC/ED cares about is that the (cut) fill is a unique fill name/index - with no concern over the appearance.

It is unfortunate that ED is not "smarter" about the thicknesses of skins in order to use look-up tables to retrieve values dynamically. For example, you might have 1", 2" and 4" rigid insulation skins. You cannot have a single rigid insulation fill and satisfy all of those skins. You have to create copies of the fill for each thickness = U value.

This lack of "linkage" to the virtual model breaks the concept of BIM a bit, because you can obviously assign anything to anything in a very meaningless way: all has to be checked carefully.

Cheers,
Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.2, iMac Pro

Anonymous
Not applicable
Ah, ok ok. Amonle's comment definitely cleared it up in a simplistic form.. makes sense about the cut fills. And setting my fills to a % background was definitely the problem I was having. Like Karl said, a lot of my choosing of fills simply has to do with making sure materials and such are different for representational aspects. Thanks a ton guys.

On a similar note, has anyone used ED for LEED?

I am actually in the midst of design involving a LEED project.. one of the most important categories of LEED has to do with using a Energy Model program to generate calculation basically for proof of your energy savings.

Anyways, anyone ever used ED for anything like this?

Anonymous
Not applicable
About LEED - have a look at this post
It hasn't got very far yet but who knows. Of course there may be others

Anonymous
Not applicable
amonle wrote:
About LEED - have a look at this post
It hasn't got very far yet but who knows. Of course there may be others
Looks promising, thanks for the info! I'll keep an eye on it.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Karl wrote:
This is all in the user manual AFAIK...

Click on the Structures tab, as shown in the screeenshot attached. Any undefined properties will have the yellow "!" warning triangle.

Click the "..." button for U-Value to define.

You'll then get to the U-value Calculator showing the skins for the selected element. Click the "..." button there to look up all of the cut fills in the project.

Having clicked on that, you can now see all of the Thermal Property Assignments for cut fills - many of which probably read as "0.00". At the end of the line, is another "..." button. Click it.

Now you're looking at the Material Catalog. Find the material that corresponds to the fill, select it, and click OK to copy its values back.

Etc.

I cannot say that I like this interface, but that's how it works. Define everything, and you can then do the analysis.

Cheers,
Karl
This is great thanks for the info! For some reason when I get to the specific materials when I want to define it to one of the fills that is set at 0.00.. and I click ok.. it won't actually set it to it.

So basically when I get back to the first structures tab, the material I changes still reads with the yellow triangle "!". Any idea why it won't save it?

Anonymous
Not applicable
Nevermind I think I got it. I was trying to change the material through the structures tab as well, but I guess that can only be changed through the cut fill.

So you can only change the thermal and such of the cut fill you are currently using.

Anonymous
Not applicable
BTW I recommend to switch to AC14 (as student this is easy), because it has been developed further. There is a really handy option to overrule the thermal calculation. This bypasses the need to input each fill.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Master wrote:
BTW I recommend to switch to AC14 (as student this is easy), because it has been developed further. There is a really handy option to overrule the thermal calculation. This bypasses the need to input each fill.
By overrule do you mean type it in manually? Or you can input a material without changing the cut fill? If thats the case .. thats far superior then dealing with changing fills. Sounds good. Thanks for the info. Been meaning to download 14 anyways.

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