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Building systems limited choices

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hi!

So i played around a bit with star, but noticed, that some choices and portions of the building systems are grayed out. Is that a limitation of the beta or am i doing something wrong?
5 REPLIES 5

Laci Neda
Graphisoft Alumni
Graphisoft Alumni
Yes, this is a limitation of the Beta.
In EcoDesigner STAR Beta you can only specify whether a thermal block is temperature controlled or not and hence you can calculate the energy demand of the building and not the consumption.
In the final product you will be able to input detailed HVAC systems and you'll be able to calculate the fuel consumption as well.
László Néda
Architect
Business Development Manager
GRAPHISOFT SE

F_ Beister
Newcomer
Yes, this is a limitation of the Beta.
What kind of a beta this should be? I have prepared the data of an existing building to compare the results of "Hottgenroth Energieberater Professional", "ArchiCAD 16 Energy Evaluation" and the "Eco Designer Star" and now this limitations. Public viewing no beta.

Miklos Sved
Graphisoft Alumni
Graphisoft Alumni
Hi Guys,

Our idea behind the functionality of the beta software is the following:
EcoDesigner* is a tool for the architect. Most architects don't like to bother with any system settings, in fact MEP system parameters only scare them away from the topic of energy efficiency.

With the beta release, we wanted to see how far we can stretch the level of calculation accuracy and depth of output information, without prompting users to define systems. The result: energy demand can be calculated very precisely with the EcoDesigner* Public Beta, without MEP settings. The resultant performance metrics enable architects to optimize the performance of the architectural design, without ever having to think twice about MEP. According to our vision, sustainable design starts with the minimum demand architectural concept, then comes the system design as a next phase, to offset these minimized demands.

Fuel consumption, CO2 emission, Primary Energy, Fuel Cost and Performance Rating calculations all require system-related input. They are mandatory part of the compliance documentation, but can be dealt with at a later design phase, when documentation is in the focus.

We want to educate our users to follow this workflow. This is why we made the cut between the Design and Documentation software functionality.

I think the result comparison between Hottgenroth and EcoDesigner* is a great idea. Just compare the demands, not the fuel consumptions.

Best Regards,

Miklós Svéd
Miklos Sved
Graphisoft Product Manager

Anonymous
Not applicable
As an Architect I can say that I DEFINITELY WANT TO - AND NEED TO - BOTHER with system settings and MEP parameters.

Let me clarify why I take this position - I hope this comes across as a plea rather than a rant - and I know that the development team has a ways to go before completing all that it wants to - and needs to - with EcoDesigner Star

Not all architects are scared away by math, physics, engineering or IT systems. Design has everything to do with these subjects. To think of design as a pencil-sketching occupation in which other people (engineers, sociologists, quantity surveyors etc.) have to make the sketches buildable is - to put it mildly - nuts. Having deep knowledge and capabilities in those areas is critical for the credibility of Architects. Imagine Jonathan Ive at Apple being afraid of metallurgy, CAD, CNC machine tooling or electronics? What kind of monster iPhones, Macs and iPads might we have today, I wonder?

Our firm operates in a multi-disciplinary mode where ArchiCAD is one of the core technology platforms that enables us to do a more thorough, credible job for clients. Our clients (informed members of the public as well as corporate clients) engage us directly in very comprehensive discussions about energy usage and the vast array of different mechanical, electrical and natural systems, materials and approaches for creating far more efficient structures and environments.

So, please don't oversimplify MEP or the EcoDesigner tool to the point where it offers insufficient granularity of, or visibility to, the underlying parameters and data that drive the performance of a building's design.

Our clients in particular are highly skeptical of software "black boxes" - and for very good reason; they've been burned before. Increasingly they want to know the details that underpin energy consumption estimates and comparisons. More and more we find that the senior managers of facilities for corporations are working hand-in-glove with their senior executive counterparts in charge of sustainability initiatives. Both of these groups of professionals are demanding more and more information from architects about energy usage, MEP systems, carbon footprints and so on. The credible architects are the ones who know these systems intimately, how they work and why the calculations come out the way they do. This is why I believe that over simplifying or worse, dumbing down, ArchiCAD Apps, especially Ecodesigner star and MEP, is the wrong path to take.

I hope these comments are a help as an alternative perspective on what architects are interested in and the demands being placed on them these days.

F_ Beister
Newcomer
I think the result comparison between Hottgenroth and EcoDesigner* is a great idea. Just compare the demands, not the fuel consumptions.
"Compare an Audi, BMW and a mercedes. Not by engine, only by design."

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