[Sbse] Alternative to Safaira

Smita Chandra Thomas thomas at energy-shrink.com
Fri Oct 2 10:15:23 PDT 2020

The IFC (World Bank) software EDGE might work well for your purposes. It calculates Energy, Water and Materials efficiency. It is FREE, and will always be, available online, and cloud-based — no need to download.
app. edgebuildings.com

I use it to illustrate passive design concepts and such in my seminars. It does live calculations using quasi steady-state calcs at the back-end based on ISO standards.

I work with the team as a consultant. We are working on version 3 which will include an ASHRAE 2016 baseline and US locations. We will release a Beta in one or two weeks, and the full version in December. In the meantime, I use Beijing to model DC, for example.

Hope that helps.

Smita Chandra Thomas
Energy Shrink, LLC

On Oct 2, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Collins, Tom <tdcollins at bsu.edu> wrote:

Bob Koester and I at Ball State encountered the same issue this semester. It appears that the educational licenses are not being renewed and that students will now need to buy an annual license for $55. This is disappointing because I agree with you that Sefaira was a great way to get students with limited modeling skills to explore simple energy use estimates. I would be curious to hear from the SBSE cohort about other software being used for simple energy modeling. I like Sefaira for its user interface. Some suggestions I’ve received from colleagues and students are Open Studio, Insight in Revit, and Grasshopper with Ladybug and Honeybee. All seem less user friendly or useful for beginners.

From: SBSE <sbse-bounces at uidaho.edu> on behalf of Stefano Schiavon <schiavon at berkeley.edu>
Date: Friday, October 2, 2020 at 12:27 PM
To: "sbse at uidaho.edu" <sbse at uidaho.edu>
Subject: [Sbse] Alternative to Safaira

Hi All,

Gail and I teach an introduction to energy and environment for undergraduate students. It is not a professional architectural program, and ~1/3 of the students do not have 3D software skills. Topics include climate analysis, energy flows in buildings, thermal properties of building materials, thermal comfort, solar shading, daylighting, passive heating and cooling, indoor air quality, acoustics, and mechanical systems.

In the past, we used Safaira during lab time and for the final design project to perform some simple energy estimations. We explored the effects of building rotation, changes in the wall assembly, shading devices, windows property, and infiltration rate). It seems that Safaira is not free anymore. Do you know when this change happened and if exceptions are allowed?

Do you have any suggestions for alternative software?


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