Inspite the usually later attached service solution of a building, the main decisions which determinate the energy efficiency of a building are those which were made by the architects in early stage of the designing process.
Therefore, as well as the trends, the ever more stringent regulations and because of increasing workforce marketability (see the 2010 statement of CEDEFOP) require us, architects, to be conscious about these choices regarding sustainability. The simulations of energetic software programs (eg WinWatt, Heat 2) are usually not well-known among architects, their usage could be time-consuming or difficult, so in the recent years different CAD companies developed their own integrated softwares.
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Instead of exporting the files into IFC or gbXML format, Graphisoft announced a new application for ArchiCAD 14 called EcoDesginer which is made to convert the virtual building model into a more intelligent building information model (BIM), consequently energy analysis can be performed in a three-step workflow:
You need to assign building structures with their U-value, and give the shielding method of windows and transparent surfaces which are automatically listed due the consignation. After setting the building?s geographical location, function and orientation (to which the program?s built-in database pairs data of air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and solar radiation intensity), the next step is to set characteristics of the building services such as heating, cooling, ventilation system, hot water production, interior lighting and the potential usage of green energy resources. The received calculation results are data of energy consumption, carbon emissions, carbon footprint, monthly energy balance!

Have you thought that that very software we use eveyday with a ?little extension? is capable of such clever things? I admit, I haven?t tried this feature yet, but as I see, it?s not as publicly well-known as the news that ArchiCad 15 includes a very new shell modeling tool (wow). I suggest the next time instead of modeling a shell structure which can humiliate also Toyo Ito?s atelier (  The new trend: energy awareness in CAD ) let?s click on the EcoDesigner?s Analysis> Calculation features.

In 2009 Autodesk released Revit BIM and now the Building Design Suite ( see here ) combines the advantages of Revit and AutoCAD softwares. This fall Autodesk starts its free online ?sustainability workshop? which is aimed to teach high-performance strategies, proper material selection, energy efficiency awareness through real-life design challenges.

The workshop was created collaboratively by green design strategists Dawn Danby, Adam Menter and Jeremy Faludi (who is suspected of having Hungarian origins).  For registered students or members, online resources are available on the official website, videos can be also viewed on Youtube as an alternative.