calculation of energy, water savings, renewable energy and carbon foot-printing. Also seen as useful was, offering manufacturers’ information about certain components such as windows and mechanical and electrical equipment that can be imported directly online and simulated. Another interesting comment was about the lack of information and ability to simulate sophisticated and detailed components such as double-skin facades, photovoltaics, electro-chromic glazing, green roofs etc... Similarly important, the absence of guidelines and ability to simulate passive systems such as, thermal mass, Trombe walls, passive cooling and heating etc…, was repeatedly reported.
Fig. 8. Criteria concerning integration of knowledge- base
Which tool(s) fulfill the following criteria? Next, respondents were asked to compare the tools, concerning the integration of a knowledge- base in their interfaces. Six sub-criteria, shown in table 3, 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 concerning integration of a knowledge-base in the interface was for, HEED (75%), followed by DB, IES VE
and eQUEST (72%).
knowledge-base unsatisfactory as
in the rest of the shown in table 3.
of a was
Table. 3. Ranking the tools according to integration of knowledge-base
b. What are your priorities concerning the INTELLIGENT KNOWLEDGE-BASE and DESIGN PROCESS? As shown in Figure 9, respondent’s top priority, concerning the integration of the intelligent knowledge-base and compatibility with design process, was the ability to provide quick energy analysis that supported their decision making (33%). The next priority was the ability to examine sensitivity and uncertainty of key design parameters (29%) followed by the ability to
analyze weather characteristics and suggest suitable climatic design strategies (20%). The fourth and last criterion was the overall embracement of design during most design stages. In the comments box, most respondents pointed out the importance of the ability of the tools to match the fast, fluid and iterative nature of the design process regarding the different design phases and the ability and flexibility to revise and update the design variables. Additionally, some respondents expected that the tools should be more intelligent keeping a balance between the amounts of requested input variables vis-à- vis the different design phases.
Fig. 9. Criteria concerning intelligent knowledge-base and design process
Which tool(s) fulfill the following criteria? Next, respondent were asked to compare the tool(s), concerning the intelligence of the knowledge-base and compatibility with design process. Four sub-criteria, shown in table 4, 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 HEED (100%), followed by IES VE and eQuest (80%). There was less agreement on E10 (63%), DB (51%) and ECOTECT (51%).
Table. 4. Ranking the tools according to the intelligence of knowledge-base & design process
Part 4: MOST IMPORTANT features of a simulation tool What are the MOST IMPORTANT features of a simulation tool? In part 4, respondents were asked to rank the most important features of a simulation tool. Figure 10 shows the results of this question. Almost one third (31%) of the respondents, indicated that the integration of an IIKB, that assist designers in decisions-making, is the most important feature of a BPS tool. This finding underlines the significance of an IIKB for