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An Investigation into Interoperability of Data Between Software Packages used to support the Design, Analysis and Visualisation of Low Carbon Buildings

Robina Hetherington, Thursday 3rd June, 11:00 am - 11:15 am, Student Presentations 1, JLB Meeting Room 10

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28 May 2010

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A very colourful first slide – very pretty ... windmill is present! She is originally an architect. She is looking at design, software engineering and climate change.

She is going to discuss a case study based on the type of software for generate building models, the processes involved and the limitations.

She originally modelled a small building in BIM software and carried out the energy analysis and then thought it wasn’t sufficient and then revised the building.

Design software: CAD (vector-based), 3-D visualisation (e.g. Sketcher ?), BIM (Building information modelling – uses double and single glazing – considered as 4D as uses time as well), Environmental analysis (looks at energy – outside and inside as well, uses zones)

Software case study changed into zones – and uses a piece of software called Ecotect by AutoDesk for energy analysis and green building studio.

Talking now about file exchange and the problem of using XML – particularly for the energy analysis.

It is an iterative process to check design and ensure energy analysis – as the government wants it to have low carbon output.

The process is that you feed survey data into BIM from where zones are created – this is then exported to the environmental analysis software– but it is uncertain whether the zones geometry is correct and sometimes the data is lost during the exporting. The results are interpreted and model altered. Unfortunately the BIM model does not accept data from the environmental analysis software and hence need to be inputted again.

She indicates that there is no confidence that the geometry you’re working with is correct, the analysis is very difficult to interpret and implement and as well it is very difficult to design a building with zero carbon output.


There seems to be a lot of variables involved, how would you interpret these graphs – could you drag a bar of the graph down and see how the building changed – is that even possible? She indicates that she is having nightmares about this and perhaps would take a theoretical approach to this.

Is this a problem of process or tying the data together properly? Both – as well as the commercialisation.

09:26 on 3 June 2010

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