Salovich Zero+ Campus Design Project
Salovich Zero Plus Campus Design Project

Tools

Tool Matrix of Top Four Tools                              

The Salovich Zero+ Team conducted an extensive inventory of existing design tools and online calculators that could potentially bridge energy and water at the building and landscape scales. From this inventory, four tools were chosen for further analysis based on the software ability to evaluate energy and water design strategies and performance goals. Four design tools were determined to have the greatest potential to support the integration of energy and water in the early phases of design.  The tools include: Integrated Environmental Solutions Virtual Environment (IES VE); i-Tree Suite; Open Studio; and Green Values Stormwater Toolbox. The “Tool Matrix” below was developed to compare tool capacities.

 

IES VE Suite: Whether working on a new build or renovation project, IES VE software allows designers to test different design options, identify best passive solutions, compare low-carbon technologies, and draw conclusions on energy use, CO2 emissions, occupant comfort, light levels, airflow, Part L, BREEAM, LEED, EPC ratings, and much more.....

http://www.iesve.com/

iTree Suite: Urban and community forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. iTree tools help communities of all sizes to quantify the environmental services that trees provide at all scales ranging from individual trees to entire cities.

http://www.itreetools.org/index.php

OpenStudio: OpenStudio is a cross-platform collection of software tools to support whole building energy modeling using EnergyPlus and advanced daylight analysis using Radiance. OpenStudio adds building energy simulation capabilities of EnergyPlus to the SketchUp environment.

http://openstudio.nrel.gov/ 

Green Values: Green Values includes a web-based tool for quickly comparing the performance, costs, and benefits of Green Infrastructure, or Low Impact Development (LID), to conventional stormwater practices.

http://greenvalues.cnt.org/

 

Rating Key

excellent
Excellent
fair
Fair
poor
Poor

 

Mouseover any rating to learn more about each software's functionality.

 

IES VE

Suite

iTree Suite

Open Studio

Green Values

Who should use it        

Architects

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L. Architects

 
check Choosing types and locations of trees for use in stormwater.
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check Selecting strategies and sizing of strategies in landscape applications.

Planners

 
check Calculate costs and lifecycle values of adding trees in areas; track trees throughout a city, understand benefits of various types and quantities of trees
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check Ability to find aggregate effects for a full development given site and plot sizes.

Engineers

check
     
When it should be used        

Pre-Design

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check Good in intial stages of design development; lacks specificity in calculations to be truly useful in making final calculations.
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check Well suited for conceptual and initial design phases especially for comparing relative effects and synergies between water handling options.

Schematic Design

check
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Design Development

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Where it works best        

Building

check
 
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check Able to work at all scales, considering a single building up to a full development.

Building & Site

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check Landscape scale and city scale to see effects of trees on individual buidlings and city stormwater/energy as a whole.
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check Able to work at all scales, considering a single building up to a full development.

Planning

 
check Landscape scale and city scale to see effects of trees on individual buidlings and city stormwater/energy as a whole.
 
check Able to work at all scales, considering a single building up to a full development.
Cost
varies- see website
free All - free to download and use
free
free
 

IES VE

Suite

iTree Suite

Open Studio

Green Values

File Formats

       

text INPUT

ok IES VE Pro Only - option to export user-selected data sets as CSV file In IES VE Pro only, option to export user-selected data sets as CSV (Comma Separated Values) file In IES VE Pro only, option to export user-selected data sets as CSV (Comma Separated Values) file excellent Eco, Streets, and Hydro ONLY - CSV based input available for some aspects of data entry excellent poor

text OUTPUT

ok APACHE HVAC can accept CSV input files for parameters excellent Eco, Streets, and Hydro ONLY - CSV and Excle based output available excellent poor

Ease of Use

       
  excellent Easy to get started. More complex operations require technical knowledge and tutorials. ok Design: Simple to use web-based interface. Eco, Streets, Hydro: Require some technical knowledge; User interface is not completely self-explanatory (requires use of Manual) ok Hard to get started, requires tutorials from the outset. excellent Simple to use - requires very little technical knowledge - helpful prompts

Applications

       

Wind Energy

excellent Able to predict wind energy potential for an area; CFD package could be used to future understand wind capacity for an area poor poor poor

Solar Thermal/PV

excellent Gaia - Can add solar arrays to buildings, energy offset taken into account in subsequent modeling poor excellent poor

Daylighting

excellent Package includes daylighting simulation and evaluation for user comfort and energy for natural daylighting and artificial light; has native support for timed lighting schemes based on building occupancy poor excellent poor

Natural Ventilation

excellent CFD package can be used for design and evaluation of natural ventilation schemes poor excellent poor

Green Roof

ok Green roof materials can be created and implemented by the user, but there is no native support; does not model effects of evapotranspiration poor excellent excellent Effects of a green roof on water runoff can be modeled

Stormwater Devices

Poor Limited support for landscape stormwater devices. Gaia has some functionality for on-site water capture. poor poor excellent Includes effects of groundcover, rainwater gardens, soil type, trees, swales, street width, pavement type, etc.
 

IES VE

Suite

iTree Suite

Open Studio

Green Values

Outputs

       

Building Energy

excellent Models building energy use based on user-input time scale, time frame, and part of year. poor excellent poor

Landscape Energy Effects

ok Tree shading can be modeled by adding shading devices surrounding buildings. Model can accept effects of shading and reflection from surrounding buildings as well. ok Eco, Streets, Design ONLY have the capacity to predict energy savings from tree shading. Eco: Takes into account multiple trees and their locations around buildings. Streets: Takes into account multiple trees and assumes they are all street trees. Design: Allows a single tree located with respect to a single building. ok Tree shading can be modeled by adding shading devices surrounding buildings. Model can accept effects of shading and reflection from surrounding buildings as well. poor

Building Water

ok Gaia - Water use can be predicted based on fixture types and occupancy. poor excellent poor

Runoff

poor No/limited support for calculating surface runoff ok Streets, Hydro, and Design ONLY - will evaluate changes in runoff as a result of tree cover. poor excellent Predicts runoff from groundcover type, total build areas, and building material covers

Water Quality

poor No support for predicting water quality leaving the building site excellent Hydro ONLY - can predict changes in water quality as a result of landscape cover in a watershed poor poor

CO2 Emissions

excellent Calculates building Carbon Footpring based on energy use, type of energy being used/generated, etc. Has the ability to perform lifecycle calculations for the building and translate to CO2 emissions. poor excellent Calculates building Carbon Footpring based on energy use, type of energy being used/generated, etc. poor

CO2 Sequestration

poor Model cannot predict building or landcsape CO2 sequestration excellent Eco, Streets, and Design ONLY - can predict volumes of CO2 (and some other pollutants) sequestration based on tree types, sizes, and locations poor poor

Human Comfort

excellent Human comfort is predicted through a number of factors in the simulation (light, temperature, etc.) poor poor poor

Outdoor Air Quality

poor Model does not predict effects of building or landscape on surrounding air quality excellent Eco and Streets ONLY - capacity to predict air quality in an area based on tree cover poor poor
 

IES VE

Suite

iTree Suite

Open Studio

Green Values

Modeling

       

Predictive

excellent Algorithms used in software are predictive based on user inputs; accuracy can be high. ok Eco, Streets, and Design - Algorithms based on emperical study results (not analytical equations) regarding contribution of tree canopy to water capture and energy savings; models should be used for comparitive purposes only. Hydro - uses watershed information (DEM required) to make predictions about water quality and flow in a watershed based on standard hydrological equations excellent Algorithms used in software are predictive (OpenStudio is a User Interface for EnergyPlus) based on user inputs; accuracy can be high. excellent Algorithms are predictive in nature, using well-known stormwater calculations based on local rainfall patterns and amounts

3-D Modeling

excellent Support for 3-D modeling in Google SketchUp, Autodesk Revit, or IES VE ModelIt poor excellent Support for 3-D modeling in Google SketchUp poor

Software Relationship

       

AudoDesk

excellent Native support for Autodesk Revit poor poor poor

SketchUp

excellent Plugin support for Google SketchUp poor excellent Plug-in for Google SketchUp poor

ArcGIS

poor No connections with GIS applications ok Hydro - requires DEM input for calculations. Eco - has an option to use GIS devices for recording locations and inputing orthophoto imagery. poor poor

Macintosh

poor No native support - requires PC emulator poor No native support. Requires PC emulator. excellent excellent

PC

excellent excellent excellent excellent