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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2009
    From http://communities.bentley.com/forums/thread/42970.aspx - the fruits of Bentley (Microstation)'s acquisition of Tas and Hevacomp last year:

    "I am very pleased to announce the immediate availability in the United States and Canada of Bentley's Energy Performance Series, the first robust software for building energy design, analysis, and simulation. Bentley's Energy Performance Series, which includes Bentley Tas Simulator V8i, Hevacomp Simulator V8i, and Hevacomp Mechanical Designer V8i, has been proven in the very demanding U.K. market for the design and construction of high performance "green" buildings. Now engineers, architects, and energy assessors in the United States and Canada can use this software to accomplish the additional and complex work that successful "green" building projects require - to assure they perform as predicted. This release of the Energy Performance Series highlights Bentley's building performance strategy dedicated to the design, construction, and operation of better-performing, more sustainable buildings.

    "In today's economy, you must be certain you are providing your clients the highest quality work for their dollars," said David J. Cusano, BIM/CAD Technology - Mechanical and Plant, SSOE, Inc. "This means working both harder and smarter to stretch that investment and assure the building meets expected performance goals. We feel Bentley's Energy Performance Series will help us do just that."

    Bentley's Energy Performance Series fills the void left by existing tools in this arena, which typically are incomplete, outside of a streamlined data re-use workflow, imprecise, and slow. It provides the fastest, most powerful, and most accurate dynamic simulation and analysis available for building load, plant energy, passive design, and thermal simulations. And, because all of the products interoperate, the Energy Performance Series ensures a collaborative process that increases reuse of information. In addition, its support of industry standards, including ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004, LEED Energy & Atmosphere Credit 1, U.K. Building Regulations Part L2, ISO, ANSI/ASME, CIBSE, and others, facilitates required compliance checking and documentation."

    Bentley's Energy Performance Series uses two differently purposed simulation engines to provide building energy design and analysis: the EnergyPlus engine, the standard developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the independently developed and highly regarded Tas high-speed engine. The Hevacomp simulation engine is optimized for typical project configurations and to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and industry best practices. The Tas simulation engine is ideally suited for fast evaluation of multiple options, quick testing of concepts, and comprehensive analysis of large and complex buildings. Hevacomp and Tas simulations can be used in tandem for additional insight and complementary in-depth studies to further optimize building performance.

    Users of Bentley's Energy Performance Series can not only quickly create, from 2D floor plans, 3D analysis models with detailed thermal properties, but can also predict - with unrivaled detail and accuracy - annual energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and operating costs. Moreover, users can accomplish all of this in a seamless workflow for design, analysis, and simulation. The high-speed simulation engine allows users to perform analyses more frequently, in sync with the design process. The results of the analyses are timely and actionable, supporting iterative design refinement. Real-time decisions from near-real-time analysis make for a more effective design process and better-performing buildings - setting the bar for the contributions of "green-building" professionals.

    Shaun Ackerly, director, Parsec Consulting Engineers, said, "Parsec Consulting Engineers has used Hevacomp on many projects, and we find that it gives us an edge over the competition to provide support in our scheme designs. Our commitment to work beyond building regulations would not be achievable without the use of this software; it provides a valuable working platform for all our projects."

    With the Energy Performance Series, users can study the energy dynamics of a building in conjunction with detailed models of the building's mechanical systems. These models are created using Hevacomp Mechanical Designer V8i, an indispensable, quick and easy design and analysis tool long and widely used across the U.K. to make engineering-quality building load and energy calculations, lay out systems, select equipment, and resize duct and pipe systems. All of the energy analysis and building system engineering data can then be used to develop integrated strategies that maximize efficiencies. Additionally, designers can see the effects of their decisions room by room, zone to zone, as well as on the building as a whole, and accurately predict a building's performance over any specified time. This holistic design approach improves building quality, and reduces the risk of unacceptable building performance associated with systems that only offer static snapshots - by increasing design options.

    Bentley's Energy Performance Series easily integrates with existing 2D workflows and brings detailed building analysis and simulation to Building Information Modeling (BIM). All of the products work with MicroStation, AutoCAD, and Google SketchUp, and interoperate with Bentley Architecture, Revit, and other BIM programs, facilitating collaborative streamlined workflows.

    Please take the time to have a closer look at these products. You can find information on these and all other Bentley Building applications at:


    I would like to thank all members of the Building Performance Group and Bentley Building for all the efforts they've put in to make this landmark release of products to aid architects and engineers to design and develop more efficient designs for buildings in today's environment of energy conservation and increasing requirements.

    To view the presentation given 3-17-09 please go to www.bentley.com/eps

    Press release is available at http://www.bentley.com/en-US/Corporate/News/Quarter+1/Energy+Performance.htm?BI=homepage&V=news+energyperf

    John Crosby- LEED AP

    Product Manager

    Building Performance Group
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2009 edited
    Nice one Tom,

    Just to add EDSL website which has been much improved, seemingly by Bentley http://www.edsl.net/main/Default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
    Closer integration between IES and ArchiCAD - http://www.iesve.com/NewsEventsUK/Display-Story/?newsid=5783
    And if there is anyone out there who wants some funding to do some hard work and move the tools on for everyone, here's the web address for the flyer for the imminent funding competition from the Technology Strategy Board:

    Design and Decision-making Tools for Low Impact Buildings

    Is anyone thinking of applying?
    Nice one jools.
    • CommentAuthorJCHM13
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2009
    A word of warning about Ecotect:
    We have been trying to use this for about two years now and while it can be useful for assessing daylighting and shading etc. we have abandoned it for any kind of thermal modelling. It is extremely prone to random anomalies. The same model will give different results at different times for no apparent reason, the solar gain readings do not appear to vary with orientation and increased U values can give worse energy performance. Taking results from any software at face value is questionable but the complete lack of support or formal tuition with Ecotect has forced us to call its' worth into question. Yes, it generates impressive visuals but that doesn't mean it's correct.
    • CommentTimeJul 24th 2009
    http://www.mcadonline.com//content/view/919/89/ - wait for Bentley to follow suit.
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2012
    See posts of 27.05.2012 in http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=8675&page=1#Item_22- they should be moved or copied to here - will do my bit tomorrow.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2012 edited
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2012 edited
    Copied to here from http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=8675&page=1#Comment_147209
    Posted By: bot de pailleArchicad 16 coming out this month and very interestingly now integrates energy study capabilities. Looks very promising, cant wait to start using it.
    http://www.graphisoft.com/products/archicad/green.html" >http://www.graphisoft.com/products/archicad/green.html
    Posted By: fostertomIs Archicad's energy study capability new? haven't they been offering that for some time? or is this a full IES or Tas equivalent (if so, it, like them, still has a way to go, severe deficiencies!)
    Posted By: bot de pailleHave a read of this Tom, should answer your questions.
    Posted By: fostertomWhat a brilliant review. It shows great potential, and improvement over previous, as stated - but it points up the still very important omissions.

    It doesn't spell it out, but looks like Archicad has no way of modelling shading of low-elevation sunpath by obstructions near (trees, other buildings) and far (horizon) - which are absolutely critical to assessing solar power actually available to given building on given site, from late autumn to early spring - throughout most of the heating season, in fact.

    If PVGIS can do it, by different means, then so should the supposedly more sophisticated likes of Tas, IES, and Archicad's Ecodesigner.

    Failing that, all the latter 3 are really only good for assessment of solar input as a summer overheating issue, but incompetent on solar input as useful heat through the heating season. Not just incompetent - seriously misleading, because these 3 do provide 'results' about solar-as-heat that look authoritative, but are seriously over optimistic.

    This has actually disappointed me, providing an apparent 'no' answer to my wondering about whether Archicad is up to this or not, just as I am looking to upgrade my software from 2D Acad2006 to something more exciting. Archicad was in the running, esp because of its cheap Solo version, which hopefully will also have Ecodesigner.
    Posted By: bot de pailleHow does PHPP software deal with this?
    Posted By: fostertomI don't think it does (djh will prob accuse me of disrespecting RH). PH, like most of the eco/energy software, has no real interest in solar collection for space heating.

    All of them AFAIK focus on solar gain as a summer overheating problem, to be kept within limits. PHPP to its credit does then assess the heating season useful solar gain that then happens to remain, after window openings, shading, orientation etc have been determined by the summer overheating imperative.

    Because it's all about summer overheating, when the sun is high in the sky, lower obstructions whether near (trees, other buildings) or far (horizon) are relatively unimportant to the sunpath, and so are ignored, or rudimentary rule of thumb can be input - 'minimal, medium or full'. But if solar collection (whether through windows etc, falling on massive floors/walls; or by separate collectors) is intended for heating-season space heating, then those obstructions to the low-elevation sunpaths are absolutely critical, determining just how much of the potential solar power that particular building in that particular surroundings, will actually 'see'.

    PVGIS can take full account of such obstructions, but operates in a kinda reverse way (looking out to the sun), to 3D modelling packages (where the sun looks in, over the horizons). PVGIS's way is laborious and clunky, with repeated manual inputs needed. The modelling packages have it in their power to do it elegantly and automatically, but don't attempt it.

    When I found a way to do it in Tas, parent EDSL's tech guys were unhelpful, and warnings were issued about the unverified accuracy of constructing models of such large volume - 800m to the (relatively close) horizon. Incredible that a mainstream eco/energy software co like Tas/EDSL has no interest in, indeed no awareness of, the possibility of heating-season solar collection for space heating. The same is I think true for IES, Ecodesigner and the rest - please tell me I'm wrong.
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2012 edited
    Tom, I'm out of touch with developments in both ArchiCAD and Tas now but having used both for several years I think you are right. Tas does allow for the effects of solar in the ground, and thermal mass is modelled, but there is a limit.

    1. Tas calculates heat loss and storage to/in the ground on the basis that at a depth of 1m, the 'external temperature' is the annual average as empirically measured at the nearest weather station [typically 10 -11deg]. It also only runs simulations of a maximum of 1 year so cumulative storage over several years simply cannot be assessed.

    2. As far as I'm aware, you can only output data for zoned areas [which must contain an air void - so rooms, not blocks of soil for example] This limits the modelled results to that inboard of a buildings external envelope. Ideally, one would create many [zoned] cubes of soil inboard and outboard of the envelope. the more cubes, the more accurate the evaluation.

    Some years ago Dr John Littlewood attained his PhD for work in this area using a similar methodology, where he evaluated the heat loss in Earth Sheltered Housing. Though this was with a much earlier [cruder] version of Tas. I was never able to replicate his methodology with the evolved versions of Tas - maybe they removed this function of the software.

    3. Heat loss is calculated via losses from [for examlple] a cubes surfaces. The edge effects are ignored. This meaning that dynamic losses of repeating and non-repeating thermal bridges are only modelled where they are physically 'drawn' in the models geometry. This brings us to

    4. Scale. Tas has a limit of 200mm below which walls and other elements cannot be drawn in close proximity - this making the modelling of thermal bridges [such as lintols] for example even more complicated.

    This is an area where I can imagine ArchiCAD will score highly, though the interface was allready very complex and difficult to learn. Very un - CAD like. Though I've not used ArchiCAD now for some years.

    Hope this helps
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2012
    Have you all seen that Trimble has taken over Sketchup from Google?

    I know Trimble as a navigation company, making GPS units etc. Do they do modelling/CAD/architectural software at all?
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2012 edited
    Very interesting. http://www.trimblesketchup.com/ shows that they have great interests in construction already, incl Tekla BIM and Strucad (both stuctural engineering).

    There's a lot wrong with SketchUp for any kind of precision modelling, once the model grows beyond the simplistic - extremely frustrating. So this cd be gd, esp with cross fertilisation with Tekla.
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2012
    Posted By: bot de pailleHow does PHPP software deal with this?

    PHPP is most certainly interested in solar gains during winter. It has a pretty simple-minded but general approach. It deals with three specific cases:
    (1) shading by a row of houses (which also allows you to estimate the effect of rising ground or vegetation)
    (2) shading by the vertical reveals of windows
    (3) shading by overhead balconies or brise soleils etc

    It then adds another box where you can enter whatever adjustment factor you like for results derived from other models. It also cautions that "the influence on the total result does normally not justify the use of special tools". Remember, it is just trying to produce a conservative estimate of heat demand.

    That worksheet is used for winter heating demand. There is then another similar worksheet for the summer overheating calculation, so vegetation can grow leaves, or you can apply moveable shading etc.

    If you want to do case-specific modelling for interseasonal storage, you'll be better off with purpose designed software IMHO. I'm sure ESP-r could be persuaded to do it, perhaps with some scripts automating the PVGIS facilities.
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2012 edited
    As well as achieving the longest link ever
    http://www.iesve.com/software/ve-pro/analysis-tools/solar/suncast?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Integrated+Environmental+solutions&utm_campaign=1381946_IESVE+2012+Launch+-+Global+Leads&utm_content=SunCast&dm_i=WN3,TMBE,4PQMOL,2F9BE,1 (blimey, it works!)
    IES seem to have fulfilled my desire for plotting of solar shading by surrounding topography etc, and consequential solar power receivable.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2012
    Awaiting info from IES on just how the wide-area topographic data is input - a daunting task, when you may be creating a 3D model of dimensions in kms. The tech guy I spoke to didn't know, will I hope find out. If it's just another mickey mouse rule-of-thumb cardboard-cutout approximation, then we're still not there - back to doing it the hard way with PVGIS.

    This might be inetersting for you Tom, Im going to download the demo and see what its like.

    "The dynamic simulation program with 3D visualisation and detailed shade analysis for PV systems.

    With the new PV*SOL Expert, you can position and size 3D objects to accurately determine the effects of shading from nearby objects on photovoltaic performance."
    OK so the BIM thing looks like it might well land soon, big public sector clients now demanding it, Housing associations might be next....

    ...so anyone any thoughts...?

    ...also can BIM do environmental modelling...?

    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2012
    Not as such - it's not part of BIM - but env modelling apps can increasingly be plugged into/take direct input from/seamlessly integrate with mainstream BIM apps, instead of the model having to be clunkily created in the env app.

    Any tips on the "BIM revolution..." ( :wink: ) for the small practice not made out of money... ( :devil: )

    bim stands for building information modeling, so by its very nature bim can do energy evaluation. and is the future of energy modeling for buildings. wether a software package based on bim incorporates an energy Ă©valuation solution depends on the software. most bim software can at the minimum export the building model to a 3rd part software that can do the energy study.

    for me there are 3 elements to consider with bim and energy studies. firstly, the person doing the designing needs a minimum of knowledge, no software will give you the answers, except to confirm if you are on the right track. secondly, how close to reality will the software match? this probably depends on the complexity of the design. and thirdly, why do you want an energy study? is it just to confirm that the designers basic knowledge is on the right track for that particular project? or because you need a bit of paper to pass regs?

    i was pleasantly suprised when reading the french governements guidelines for implementing sustainable design policies that they recognise that bim will be required eventualy across the board.
    Thing is Bot, we're gonna need to get specific... actual software package we can actually afford, buy get training, then use...

    Seemed to me that a package that made some attempt at integrating some energy data, even if only PHPP / SAP envelop data might at least get a point in the yes column...

    • CommentAuthorrhamdu
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2012
    As someone who knows f* all about building physics or architectural software, I have to say most of this discussion flew by me.

    Long ago, however, I did take a physical science degree, and I find myself wondering whether any of this software models entropy or the (related) free energy variables. The overall entropy budget would be an indicator of how close your building is to the limit of thermodynamic efficiency - otherwise known as 'reversibility'.

    Building elements or processes in which large entropy increases occur, are candidates for improvement. A simple example would be if you drew hot water from a solar panel at 60C and then mixed it with cold water before pumping it into UFH at 40C. Wasteful - for good physical reasons.

    I truly don't know whether the answer is going to be "that's basic, it's in all the packages", or "modelling is complex enough as it is! That's not a feature people are crying out for. Ask again in 20 years time."
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2012
    That is a really good point, and quite important when looking at overall energy budgets when using land area as the base.

    But who took the fizz out of physics I want to know :wink:
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2012
    Yes, rhamdu is touching on something that holds untold potential for energy frugality worldwide, but is v little understood. It's about conserving not just energy, but energy-grade.

    I.e. if it's hi-grade - hot or electrical - don't squander it on lo-grade uses like space heating, but
    use it first for hi-grade uses like hi-temp chemical processes,
    the waste heat from that, being a bit lower-grade, fed to some other process,
    and so on, a cascade of energy-grade,
    down to space heating at the bottom,
    the waste heat from which is no good to anybody and finally dissipates into the environment and eventually radiates out into space.

    With such practice adopted widespread, global energy demand could be reduced to 20% of present profligate levels, at which level renewables could happily cope. Without that, all the windmills and PVs are a drop in the ocean and new coal and nuke will continue to accelerate away.

    I'd like to see this as a separate thread, so we can explore with examples and try to understand what it means in practice.
    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2012
    I think what you are talking about there Tom, is what we used to call "Pinch Analysis" or "Pinch technology" - it has its origins in chemical industry process energy (specifically I think ICI initially). Basically you are looking for the point where you see all your hot streams and all the cold streams start to converge - that's the pinch point. Starting there allows you to engineer back up the hot stream and down the cold stream to optimise energy flows

    Try looking for a bit of free software called PinchLENI as an example

    I used to work in an office that had space and water heating provided by a condense stream from first a high temp and then a lower temp steam process - horribly inefficient to the point where we used to dump about a MW or more of heat via roof top fans in the summer - and the building was never considered for any fabric improvements (because there was no point) - the showers were lush though. We did use energy to heat the building in winter and HWS all year round that would have cost something to further remove from the process - so the ideas weren't all bad - just the implementation


    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2012 edited
    In the game of spending public dollars, the keyword for this sort of stuff is "exergy". If you search with it, you can find lots of well-intentioned stuff like


    edit: I see that the Pinchleni site has "exergetic" scattered all over it. Must be good stuff!
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2012 edited
    Posted By: James NortonOK so the BIM thing looks like it might well land soon, big public sector clients now demanding it, Housing associations might be next....

    ...so anyone any thoughts...?

    ...also can BIM do environmental modelling...?
    Just received videos from a IES seminar I attended recently. especially interesting is first 20mins of the part 2 video
    with BRE guy talking about automated BIM-linked LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) software they've been developing. That is, about Embodied Impacts, which is the other wing we greenie builders are interested in, as well as In-use Impact (as in Environmental Modelling). That's made clear at about the 3:10 mark of the video. Being BRE, it's linked to the Green Guide and at the 11:45 mark he makes the point that impact is not just Carbon, that we've been focused on so far, but 10 other kinds of impact, that are being sadly ignored.

    I asked him the difference between BRE Green Guide, and for example the Bath Univ ICE database. He said that the BRE numbers all come from their own research, to their standards; whereas the Bath data is an assemblage gathered from all sorts of varied sources - meta data. We frequently question certain Green Guide scores, which sometimes seem unreal - so I wonder what the missing factor is, at BRE? For example recently we've been amazed to learn that BRE scores for timber take no account of whether it's FSC or illegal timber!

    BTW the IES Part 1 video is
    in case anyone's interested.
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2012
    Posted By: fostertomI asked him the difference between BRE Green Guide, and for example the Bath Univ ICE database. He said that the BRE numbers all come from their own research, to their standards; whereas the Bath data is an assemblage gathered from all sorts of varied sources - meta data.

    Right but the point is that BRE don't reveal their own sources or methodology whereas all the data and method of analysis that underpins ICE is published. In other words, your BRE chap dodged the question - it sounds like a politician's answer.
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2012
    Posted By: djhall the data and method of analysis that underpins ICE
    What if the ICE methods of analysis vary so much, from source to source, as to be not inter-comparable?
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