[Sbse] Alternative to Safaira

Stefano Schiavon schiavon at berkeley.edu
Fri Oct 2 16:04:51 PDT 2020


Dear All,

thank you very much for the valuable feedback and suggestions. I was also
unaware of EDGE and Design Explorer.
Since I wrote this morning, I learned that if your university has a
SketchUp license in your department or another one, then you can still get
Safaira for free.

Have a nice weekend,

Stefano



On Fri, Oct 2, 2020 at 12:07 PM Smita Chandra Thomas <bluroc at gmail.com>
wrote:

> 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
>> <https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://beopt.nrel.gov/home__;!!JYXjzlvb!xkBUWPD1S7Sq_2_mQfeAkgwQp7fw5aXzO1vQPhbBVRPd_NFQPMx4VMKEOER0Bg$>)
>> and/or HEED (https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.energy-design-tools.aud.ucla.edu/heed/__;!!JYXjzlvb!2ar8L2u9hpcw9SvuQ6LrMA-l2mCybhUIZ7FNrZnM0wQ_9NM_ShhPVcTjWF3h1w$ 
>> <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
>>> <https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://edgebuildings.com__;!!JYXjzlvb!xkBUWPD1S7Sq_2_mQfeAkgwQp7fw5aXzO1vQPhbBVRPd_NFQPMx4VMJxlOG7TQ$>
>>> app. edgebuildings.com
>>> <https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://edgebuildings.com__;!!JYXjzlvb!xkBUWPD1S7Sq_2_mQfeAkgwQp7fw5aXzO1vQPhbBVRPd_NFQPMx4VMJxlOG7TQ$>
>>>
>>> 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
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> [image: Image removed by sender.]
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>>>
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