[Sbse] Alternative to Safaira

Smita Chandra Thomas bluroc at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 12:06:29 PDT 2020


Most welcome. Also, as a student of Murra Milne (in the 90s), I'm happy to
hear you are using HEED, which is his baby.


On Fri, Oct 2, 2020 at 2:52 PM James Erickson <jperick1 at asu.edu> wrote:

> Stefano --
>
> For a class with minimal 3D modeling skills, I have often used BeOpt (
> beopt.nrel.gov/home) and/or HEED (
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.energy-design-tools.aud.ucla.edu/heed/__;!!JYXjzlvb!xkBUWPD1S7Sq_2_mQfeAkgwQp7fw5aXzO1vQPhbBVRPd_NFQPMx4VMIs_fby7Q$ ) for simple, preliminary
> energy analysis and introducing the concept to students and novice
> architects.
>
> Unlike other options, these tools do not have any monetary obstacles to
> their use (both are free) and are from reputable institutions.  Modeling in
> these programs is simplistic, best for providing analysis of preliminary
> residential forms however, there are abundant options for testing different
> environmental, construction assemblies, orientation, and equipment
> scenarios.  Enough to keep a class occupied and complete a range of
> introductory assignments.  BeOpt can provide a means to test all of the
> subjects you list for your class.
>
> For an instructor and TAs, there is little time to set up files and
> demonstrate the tools to a class.  Students can quickly start simulating
> results and testing hypotheses within minutes of installing.  EnergyPlus is
> used by BeOpt (not sure about HEED) as the simulation engine making the
> program well suited for energy and resource usage analysis but limited on
> daylighting.   Data visualization is limited to simplistic graphics
> however, you can export an IDF file to be run in other software such as a
> grasshopper HB/LB script or even EnergyPlus(!) and display output data in
> your prefered data viewer.
>
> BeOpt provides the means to run individual, parametric, and
> optimization scenarios with little set up time.
>
> Smita -- I was unaware of the EDGE software by the IFC.  Thank you for
> bringing this tool to our attention.
>
>
> Cheers -- James
>
>
>
>
>
> On Fri, Oct 2, 2020 at 11:15 AM Smita Chandra Thomas <
> thomas at energy-shrink.com> wrote:
>
>> 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.
>> edgebuildings.com
>> 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.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Smita
>>>> Smita Chandra Thomas
>> Energy Shrink, LLC
>> 202-556-3369
>>
>>
>> On Oct 2, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Collins, Tom <tdcollins at bsu.edu> wrote:
>>
>> 
>>
>> Stefano,
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> -Tom
>>
>>
>>
>> *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?
>>
>>
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Stefano
>>
>>
>>
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