Building Energy Software Tools
Formerly hosted by US Dept. of Energy    

Pleiades

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Pleiades is a software environment for building eco-design.
It comprises:

  • A wide customizable building thermal library, linked with EDIBATEC, a French database of manufactured products
  • A graphical modeler providing 2D graphical input and 3D display interface. It can import SketchUp models. It also computes indoor natural lighting (RADIANCE engine) and check the compliance with light target of HQE and BREEAM labels.
  • An input module for gbXML and IFC4 BIM files.
  • COMFIE, a multizone calculation engine for dynamic energy simulations of buildings, developed by ARMINES/Mines ParisTech
  • French thermal regulation compliance modules (RT2012, RT existant)
  • Heating and air conditioning equipment sizing modules
  • AMAPOLA, a statistical analysis module, including : occupants behavior, sensitivity analysis, uncertainty analysis and optimization (of both simulation and regulatory calculations)
  • A building Life Cycle Assessment component (formerly novaEQUER)
  • Plenty of output functionalities (customizable graphics, automated reports, spreadsheets etc.)

Some words about COMFIE simulation engine :

This calculation engine uses a multizone model based upon a finite volume method on which a modal reduction technique is applied. This sub-hourly timestep simulation provides accurate assessment of the yearly and hourly heating and cooling loads, hourly and mean temperatures, comfort evaluation (PMV/PPD) for each thermal zone. It also includes hundreds of outputs related to the equipment (consumption, physical properties etc). COMFIE building model is also coupled with additional modules (natural ventilation, PV generation, ground-air heat exchanger, artificial lighting, PCM). Humidity is also computed.
Expertise Required: 

High level of computer literacy not required.

Audience: 

Mechanical, energy, environment and architectural engineers working for architect/engineer firms, architects, consulting firms, utilities, federal agencies, universities, and research laboratories.

Input: 

User-friendly 2D graphical input interface complemented by 3D display and exhaustive input checking tools.
Users have to input building geometry, thermal characteristics, internal loads and schedules, climate, heating and cooling equipment characteristics.

Output: 

Formatted reports printed directly by PLEIADES; including input and output (tables and graphs).

Strengths: 

User-friendliness of the interface. Quick and accurate computation. Dynamic simulation allows analysis of thermal comfort and passive solar structures. Pleiades includes a life cycle assessment module (formerly separate software novaEQUER) allowing environmental evaluation of the building and the neighbourhood.
The software is continuously improved on the basis of scientific research and engineering feedback.

Country: 
France
Major Capabilities: 
Whole-building Energy Simulation
Parametrics and Optimization
Code Compliance
Life-cycle Analysis
Building Type: 
Commercial
Residential
Keywords: 
COMFIE
Language: 
French
English
Platform: 
Windows
Pricing: 
Reduced for Non-Commercial/Academic Use
Free To Try
Help and Support: 
Peer Support Forum
Subscription Email Support
Subscription Phone Support
Last Software Update: 
10 July 2018
Last Entry Update: 
28 August 2018
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This software is developped, edited and distributed by IZUBA énergies, a French cooperative corporation dedicated to low energy building design, in collaboration with Centre for energy efficiency of systems of Mines ParisTech.
For more information: contact@izuba.fr