guidance focus on
to BPS tool developers, with particular existing challenges and the criteria of
‘Architect Friendly’ BPS tools. This paper reports a survey that
tools users such as architects, designers and fresh graduate students who want to become sustainability oriented architects and designers in the USA. The survey probes the users’ perception of the most important criteria of the usability of ten major USA market tools and how
with their investigated
design (1) the
decisions. The survey usability and information
of intelligent design knowledge-base. objectives of the study are as follows:
To identify the basic criteria for BPS tools that
can support architects and designers making sustainable design more efficient, and cost effective.
To compare the potential challenges and
opportunities of using existing BPS tools
To understand the architects’ perceptions about
existing tools and the during design phases
METHODOLOGY The research has been carried out in two parts. The first part consisted of a literature review on BPS tools, necessary to understand the tools’ usefulness. Also the review assisted in defining a set of criteria for ‘Architect Friendly’ tools that are used in daily architecture design practice. The second part is based on an online survey.
Part 1:“Architects Friendly” tools and criteria
The architecture and large have identified
of criteria for
‘Architects them, the reiterated:
Friendly’ BPS tools [10-12]. Among
following criteria are the most (1) Usability and information
interoperability of building modeling (IBM), and finally (4) the accuracy of the tool and its ability to simulate complex and detailed building components (AASDC). But, some recent publications claim that point (3) and (4) seem to be fading and getting less important . Probably as a result of researchers publishing real-world validation studies and recent announcement of direct links between BIM or non-BIM modeling tools, such as the plug-in of IES and Energy PLUS for Google SketchUp. Similar to the Revit Architecture plug-in IES and
ECOTECT in addition to enables AutoCAD to create
EnergyPlugged that and edit EnergyPlus
input files. However, in plausible and persuasive
order to guarantee research, this paper
focused only on criteria (1) UIM and (2) IIKB. As future work, a second survey will include criteria (3) IBM and (4) AASDC.
Fig. 1. Criteria for ‘Architect Friendly’ tools
Part 2: Survey The online survey aimed to compare different BPS tools. Prior to launching the survey the authors conducted a literature review of other recent surveys [5, 11-17]. Comments and suggestions were requested from peers at X. The peers were asked to:
Screen and list their top-ten BPS tools, from the
S. DOE Directory. The selection had to
represent an overview of state of the art BPS tools used by architects in the USA .
Revise the questionnaire and provide critical
feedback in order to optimize the structure, clarity and relevance of the questionnaire before posting the final version online.
As a resul
eight tools, ECOTECT,
eQUEST, Green Building Studio (GBS), IES VE and EnergyPlus SketchUp (EPSU) plug-in were selected plus ‘raw’ DOE-2 and Energy Plus (EP). The reviewers suggested adding DOE-2 and Energy PLUS to broaden the range of examined tools. First, to allow comparing tools that are capable of making overall energy analysis in the early design phase, versus tools capable of making detailed analysis in later design phases. Secondly, to allow comparing the sensible use of tools versus the amount of knowledge requested for each tool. Most significantly, to compare tools with developed graphical user interface (GUI) versus tools with text based user interface. The questionnaire targeted beginner simulation tools users such as architects, designers, architecture educators and fresh graduate students who want to become sustainable architects or designers in the USA. Participants were recruited through email invitations to the mailing lists and forums of the ten above
mentioned tools, in Committee on the USGBC and the
addition to the AIA Environment (COTE), building performance
simulation mailing lists (Bldg-SIM, Bldg-RATE,