Graphisoft EcoDesigner STAR is a built-in Archicad toolset that places standard-compliant energy analysis at the heart of the BIM work environment, enabling architects to create the most energy-efficient designs. It is the fully functional version of the free Energy Evaluation toolset already accessible to every Archicad user.
This solution is available out-of-the-box as a complementary benefit for Forward subscribers. To access it, among other premium features, upgrade your license to Forward by contacting our local partners in your region.
In Archicad 25 and previous versions, an EcoDesigner STAR license was required to enable the EcoDesigner STAR feature set in Archicad. As of version 26, the entire toolset is available out-of-the-box for Forward subscribers. No separate download is necessary.
With any questions regarding the availability of EcoDesigner STAR, reach out to our local partners in your region.
From BIM (Building Information Model) to BEM (Building Energy Model) directly
EcoDesigner STAR is built to serve highly energy-efficient building design by turning Archicad Building Information Models (BIM) into multiple thermal zone Building Energy Models (BEM).
Architects can now enjoy the benefits of high-end building energy performance simulation and reporting without leaving Archicad.
Low and net-zero energy building design is made easy for architects worldwide with EcoDesigner STAR's standard compliant energy simulation engine, advanced energy model visualization and documentation. In addition to the integrated energy simulation functionality, EcoDesigner STAR's advanced BEM export interfaces (such as gbXML and PHPP) allow full collaboration workflow with building energy consultants and enable data export from Archicad to local building energy code compliance calculation applications.
EcoDesigner STAR workflow
EcoDesigner STAR offers a workflow that fulfills the most rigorous building energy efficiency rating standards, delivering accurate energy analysis for any design stage. Watch these workflow clips to find out more about
EcoDesigner STAR can be used to evaluate building energy performance under any kind of circumstances and locations around the world.
EcoDesigner STAR utilizes a custom dynamic building simulation method that is valid worldwide. This allows users to precisely evaluate building energy performance in any climate or location.
EcoDesigner STAR feature highlights
The combination of the 3D-model based BIM and the hourly energy simulation based on climate data and operation profiles creates a virtual reality design environment that adds another dimension to the Building Information Modeling experience.
Multiple Thermal Blocks
EcoDesigner STAR handles multiple thermal blocks for the energy balance calculations. Archicad zones are grouped according to orientation, occupancy and used building systems into thermal blocks, which are necessary to perform high-accuracy energy simulations.
Thermal Bridge simulation
EcoDesigner STAR enables architects to perform thermal bridge analysis on any detail of their project in seconds. This 2D heat-flow simulation can be run on any Archicad project details to identify those parts of the building that are responsible for heat-loss and might cause vapor condensation as well as other unwanted effects. The Thermal Bridge Simulation results can be placed on layouts and displayed as part of the project documentation set. Watch this video clip to learn more about Thermal Bridge Simulation
The EcoDesigner STAR building energy model can incorporate environmentally friendly local renewable energy solutions such as photovoltaic systems and wind turbines. Generating electricity on-site enables excellent building energy efficiency or even net-zero energy building design.
Expert Building Systems
Architects can toggle between basic and expert Building Systems modes independently for each building system, so only the relevant parameters are displayed at all times. The system settings can be gradually fine-tuned using the expert mode, as the project progresses.
BIM geometry and thermal property data export
EcoDesigner STAR ensures streamlined communication with other building energy calculation applications. The geometry and material properties of the building energy model can be shared with third party energy analysis software via a rich variety of data export formats including
Direct export to PHPP
Direct export to iSBEM
Direct export to VIP-Energy
Export via gbXML
Dedicated "Green" IFC translator
Standard compliant simulation engine
EcoDesigner STAR's analysis uses StruSoft's VIPcore calculation engine that complies with ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 140-2007 Standard Method of Test for the Evaluation of Building Energy Analysis Computer Programs. This test method represents the industry standard for the quality assurance of simulation accuracy.
It is referenced by most major sustainable building design regulations worldwide, including LEED, Green STAR, BREEAM, DGNB and CASBEE, as well as most national standards that endorse dynamic simulation (e.g. ASNRAE 90.1, NatHERS, BCA Section J).
Standard compliant performance rating calculation
EcoDesigner STAR's performance rating function helps architects compare the energy efficiency of design alternatives. In addition to being compliant with the ASHRAE 90.1 2007 (Appendix G: Performance Rating Method) standard specifications as referenced by USGBC LEED Energy 2007, the program's baseline building reference file generation method offers a large degree of freedom to suit other performance rating regulations, as well.
In addition to the Performance Rating calculations, EcoDesigner STAR also executes Fuel Consumption, Primary Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emission calculations that can be used in documentations such as AIA Sustainable Practice in Architecture 2030 Goal or Energy STAR.
Detailed energy performance evaluation report
Monitor the entire project's energy performance.
Control and optimize the behavior of spaces independently.
EcoDesigner STAR displays fully customizable, detailed reports about various, energy-related characteristics of the individual thermal blocks, including HVAC Design Data for Building System sizing (in demand calculation mode), Thermal Block Key Values and Energy Balance, as well as Daily Temperature profiles. This detailed report enables designers to not only monitor the entire project's energy performance but also to control the behavior of spaces (or groups of spaces) independently, in order to truly optimize them for their specific purpose within the building.