Software Tools for Architects

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Design-stage tools for modeling the appearance and performance of projects are getting better all the time. They’re getting smarter, too, and more user-friendly for people without an engineering degree.

But there is no substitute for understanding how your building works, and being able to squint-test the results from any simulation. Knowing what each tool is good for—and how to leverage its strengths—is one key to effective performance simulation.

The other is knowing what questions to ask so you don’t waste time modeling scenarios that don’t matter.

Software Tools for Architects

Deep Dives

Get up to speed on complex topics. You can also earn CEUs and download PDF Spotlight Reports.


Quick Takes

Jump straight to the essentials with these short explanations of green building concepts.


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Product Guidance

Unbiased information from our product experts helps you separate green from greenwash.


In The News

We break news down to the essentials and provide expert analysis.


Perspective

Thought-provoking opinions from the most trusted minds in sustainability.


Learning Resources

A wide range of education options, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.


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  • Whole-Building Life-Cycle Assessment: Taking the Measure of a Green Building

    Feature Article

    Why we will never understand the true impact of our buildings-and how we should try to anyway

  • Energy Modeling: Early and Often

    Feature Article

    For the biggest energy and cost savings, model early in design and model often, say the experts.

  • Shoebox Energy Modeling: How to Do Quick, Early Simulations

    Webcast

    Most whole building energy simulations require a mechanical system design, making them unsuitable for early-design modeling. In response, architects and energy modelers are turning to shoebox models, with one or just a few zones.

    Not doing energy modeling yourself? This webcast will familiarize you with concepts that will help you get more out of your energy modeler, whether it is someone on your staff, or an outside consultant.

  • Whole-Building Life Cycle Assessment: Promises and Pitfalls

    Webcast

    Whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA) promises improved performance with reduced environmental impacts. Yet in practice it can bog projects down with confusing or even conflicting priorities, complicated by mountains of data.

    BuildingGreen has arranged for four widely respected practitioners to share their LCA expertise, taking you from big-picture questions—Why should I worry about embodied impacts?—to practical details—How can I get good data on my building's concrete mix?

Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...


  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.