News Brief

Sefaira Plug-In Integrates Energy Analysis Directly into SketchUp

Sefaira introduces new software that models a building’s energy use while architects are still drafting initial designs.

Sefaira for SketchUp is designed to help architects connect the dots between energy use and building elements without interrupting their familiar design process.

Credit: Sefaira

Sefaira recently unveiled its new plug-in for SketchUp that provides real-time energy analysis for the conceptual stage of building design; Sefaira claims the tool will allow architects to make early performance-enhancing decisions about form, orientation, and façade design without requiring expertise in energy modeling.

After the user selects a location, the extension software uses corresponding weather data to deliver immediate analysis of a design’s energy use—broken down by heating, cooling, lighting, and plug loads—and graphically shows the heat gains and losses of the building. By highlighting the elements of design that are most responsible for poor performance, the program guides architects toward making targeted adjustments from the outset of the design phase, when their impact on building performance can be greatest (See “Energy Modeling: Early and Often”).

The plug-in operates directly within SketchUp so that architects don’t have to interrupt their design process to perform scenario comparisons, claims the company, but it utilizes Sefaira’s cloud-based engine for real-time analysis. Customers pay a subscription fee to use the tool.

For more information:

Sefaira

sefaira.com/sefaira-for-sketchup

 

Published December 2, 2013

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Comments

December 5, 2013 - 7:45 am

Sefaira now has a Revit plug-in as well, according to the company. More information is available here: http://www.sefaira.com/sefaira-for-revit/

December 2, 2013 - 6:23 pm

Alan, Thanks for your comments and interest in Sefaira.

EnergyPlus from the US Department of Engineering is one of the most powerful analysis engines for energy modelling, and Sefaira uses Energy Plus as one of the engines on our platform – in particular for thermal comfort analysis (e.g. analysing whether buildings are at risk of overheating).

Specifically with respects to our SketchUp plugin with Real Time Analysis, the emphasis here is on delivering analysis in real time. Unlike traditional energy simulation, Sefaira for SketchUp has no “run” or “analyze” button. The software constantly analyzes your model, and every time you make a little change you get an updated energy analysis. This way you can constantly assess the performance of your model, and you can experiment with many different design options to see which direction is likely to give you the best results.

December 2, 2013 - 12:00 pm

can any SketchUp users compare this Sefaira plug-in with other similar tools, such as Energy Plus?

Thanks in advance-

Alan Abrams
Abrams Design Build
www.abramsdesignbuild.com