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Sustainable design
About EcoDesigner, Energy Evaluation, Life Cycle Assessment, etc.

Zones for energy evaluation

R Muller
Enthusiast
I am experimenting with the energy evaluation tool, but can't seem to create appropriate 3-dimensional zones. Are there better tools to manipulate zones?

Can I see and manipulate them in section? (for example, to stretch the height to meet the floor above)

Can I see the zone heights relative to project zero or to a story level instead of each zone having a height only relative to its base?

Is there a preferred way to crop a zone to match slabs and roofs in my model? Design/ roof extras? SEO operations?

Once a zone is cropped, is there any way to undo the crop?

Help!! I am just about ready to give up on the energy evaluation because the zones seem so difficult. I am working on a 4-story residential building on a hillside.
R Muller
AC 26 USA (20+ years on ArchiCAD)
MBP 64GB Apple M1 Max OS 12.1 Monterey
12 REPLIES 12
Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
R wrote:
I am experimenting with the energy evaluation tool, but can't seem to create appropriate 3-dimensional zones. Are there better tools to manipulate zones?

Can I see and manipulate them in section? (for example, to stretch the height to meet the floor above)
I am afraid this is not possible. Actually, Zones are not even displayed in Sections.
Can I see the zone heights relative to project zero or to a story level instead of each zone having a height only relative to its base?
Unfortunately, no again. This bugs me, too, it is not easy to work with them this way.
Is there a preferred way to crop a zone to match slabs and roofs in my model? Design/ roof extras? SEO operations?
I don't think there is a preferred way. As long as the geometry becomes what you want, there is no preferred way. However, cropping is possible only with single-plane Roofs so if you have a Multi-plane Roof you either have to explode it to single-plane roofs or you have to use SEO.
Once a zone is cropped, is there any way to undo the crop?
In the Model panel of the Zone Settings Dialog, the Uncrop buttons for the Top and Bottom of the Zone become enabled when it is cropped.
Help!! I am just about ready to give up on the energy evaluation because the zones seem so difficult. I am working on a 4-story residential building on a hillside.
Loving Archicad since 1995 - Find Archicad Tips at x.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen9 5900X CPU, 64 GB RAM 3600 MHz, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), Windows 10 PRO ENG, Ac20-Ac27
R Muller
Enthusiast
laszlonagy- thanks for your reply. The user interface for the other features of the energy evaluation (setting materials, U-values, etc.) is so good and impressively user-friendly, it's too bad the zones themselves are so clunky and hard to manipulate.

I re-did my zones with only 2 or 3 zones per floor, rather than one for every room, which made it easier to get them to comply with the exterior elements and gives me many fewer "uncovered" areas.

There is still some problems, for example with the triangular side walls of roof dormers, which are not a whole story high, but only extend up from the main roof to the dormer. Is there a standard way to handle these? Since I am working with an old model started with AC12, all my roofs are single plane.

Also, I can't figure out how to handle the crawl space. The program seems to think the lowest floor is slab on grade, even though is is wood frame over crawl space. I have a mesh, which is cut out for the crawl space, but this is not recognized.

I can't find any documentation of what happens with "uncovered" facets of zones. If I go ahead and run a simulation with some areas "uncovered", does this mean that there is a big energy leak through the uncovered area?
R Muller
AC 26 USA (20+ years on ArchiCAD)
MBP 64GB Apple M1 Max OS 12.1 Monterey
Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Could you post some images about the specific issues you are facing and how it is handled now? Probably a 3D View of zones with uncovered areas shown.
Loving Archicad since 1995 - Find Archicad Tips at x.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen9 5900X CPU, 64 GB RAM 3600 MHz, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), Windows 10 PRO ENG, Ac20-Ac27
R Muller
Enthusiast
Here's the base model file.
R Muller
AC 26 USA (20+ years on ArchiCAD)
MBP 64GB Apple M1 Max OS 12.1 Monterey
R Muller
Enthusiast
Here are uncovered surfaces.
Uncovered surfaces.png
R Muller
AC 26 USA (20+ years on ArchiCAD)
MBP 64GB Apple M1 Max OS 12.1 Monterey
R Muller
Enthusiast
Here are zones and uncovered surfaces.
R Muller
AC 26 USA (20+ years on ArchiCAD)
MBP 64GB Apple M1 Max OS 12.1 Monterey
Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
To tell you the truth, I have not used Energy Evaluation or EcoDesigner before so I don't have experience with how to reslove these uncovered surface issues of the Zone.
However, not that we have the screenshot, hopefully someone with more experience may chime in and give so good advice.
Loving Archicad since 1995 - Find Archicad Tips at x.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen9 5900X CPU, 64 GB RAM 3600 MHz, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), Windows 10 PRO ENG, Ac20-Ac27
Anonymous
Not applicable
Im afraid I canthelp with any answers, I have a question of my own for using the energy evaluation in AC16

How do zones work? When I create them in the project is it acceptable to use the automatic zone creation tool, inner surfaces, reference lines? Reading the reference pdf, its not clear to me if the zones need to include the walls when seen in the energy evaluation model review, or can the zones just fill the internal spaces? Which is what I see when I open the model review at the moment.

Thanks
Anonymous
Not applicable
Ive attached an image showing my model, all the walls are shown as not included in the zones, is this correct? Or do I need to change the zones so that in the model reveiw they extend to include the building envelope?
zones.JPG