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“ARCHITECT FRIENDLY”: A COMPARISON OF TEN DIFFERENT BUILDING - page 4 / 8

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as extensive tools that are used for detailed analysis during the design development and design optimization phase.

Fig. 4. Tools usage in different design phases

What CAD/3D modeling software do you use? As seen in the comparison in Figure 5, the surveyed respondents used more than one program for CAD drawing/drafting and 3D modeling. The most frequently mentioned tools for CAD are shown in Figure 5. Together, AutoCAD and SketchUP outpace the rest. Revit comes in third. Notably absent are ArchiCAD and Vectorworks, which can be used for both 2D and 3D but are evidently not being used much by this group for 2D drawing/drafting. The top- ranked 3D modeling tool used most often for 3D modeling tasks is SketchUP.

Fig. 5. CAD/3D modeling software usage pattern

Part 2: Usability Management of Interface

and

Information

UIM of the interface are two very important attributes of ‘Architect Friendly’ tools. The term usability incorporates better graphical representation of simulation input and output, simple navigation and flexible control. For example, architects would like to see results presented in a concise and straightforward way, with a visual format or 3D spatial analysis preferred to numerical tabulation. Additionally, usability includes the ability to learn easily and quickly and to support the user with training, on-

line help,

look-up

tables

and

error-traps.

Similarly, information management is becoming a growing concern for tool users. There is a need for quality control of simulation input and the ability to evaluate alternatives quickly, accurately, and provide complete analysis for a design. Also, the ability to allow assumptions and to use default values and templates to

facilitate data entry [14].

a.

What

are

your

priorities

concerning

USABILITY and GRAPHICAL VISUALIZATION of the interface? As shown in Figure 6, respondents’ top priorities

concerning

the

usability

and

graphical

  • -

    207 -

visualization of an interface where the graphical representation of output results (22.9%) followed by the flexibility of use and navigation (17.3%). The other three criteria were considered still important but with less agreement and with the

same relative importance how to use the tool easily

(15.5%). Learning and quickly was the

least important feature (13.7%) among the criteria. Except the graphical representation output, the difference between the responses

6 of is

small. In the

This indicates that respondents want it all. comments box, most respondents stressed

the

importance

of

graphical

output

and

input

features.

Also

several

respondents

criticized

the

wizard

approach

and

expressed

their

interest

in

a

more flexible and interesting concept was the ability to

customizable approach. One that came from a respondent build a simulation in a 3D

environment where users different building, HVAC into a space and simulate visualize it in 3D.

can and their

“pick and place” load components performance and

Fig. 6. Criteria concerning usability and graphical visualization usage pattern

Which tool(s) fulfill the following criteria? Next, respondents were asked to compare the tool(s), concerning the usability and graphical visualization of their interfaces. Six sub-criteria, shown in table 1, were used to compare the ten different tools. The raw votes of respondents were normalized and plotted as a percentage in the table. Respondents’ top ranking was for IESVE (87%), followed by ECOTECT, DB, eQuest and GBS (85%). There was less agreement on HEED and E10; but they were still considered as friendly (70%).

Table. 1. Ranking the tools according to usability and graphical visualization

b. What are INFORMATION interface?

your priorities MANAGEMENT

concerning of the

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