Building Energy Software Tools
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Sefaira Architecture

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Sefaira offers the industry’s only software for real-time Performance Based Design. This allows design professionals to understand the daylighting, comfort and energy performance of their designs, so that they can create better and higher performing buildings with lower capital and operating costs.

Sefaira offers both SketchUp and Revit realtime plugins, as well as web apps for deeper comparative and parametric analysis by architects.

With Sefaira, users can analyse and compare multiple design strategies within a fraction of the time and cost previously required. This includes defining, quantifying, and optimising the energy, daylighting, water, carbon and financial benefits of relevant design strategies.

Sefaira's Real-Time Analysis plugins provide constant feedback on both energy & daylighting metrics as architects work. This frees users to test unlimited design options without worrying about the time or cost of analysis.

Sefaira’s Web App for architecture is built for comparative and parametric analysis. Cloud computing enables multiple parallel runs with no reduction in speed -- letting users explore options quickly and home in on the best solutions.

Sefaira Architecture makes it easy to understand how a design is performing, and helps users connect the dots between geometry, energy use, daylight performance and potential improvements.

Expertise Required: 

No specific expertise is required. Sefaira provides training for new users as part of the subscription as well as access to its published content, Learning Website and Knowledge Base.

All of these are valuable learning resources on performance based design for new and experienced goal-driven designers.

Audience: 

Architects, engineers and sustainability consultants

Input: 

Sefaira Architecture PlugIns
Geometry: Users open their existing models in SketchUp or Revit
Required inputs: Building location & building type
Additional inputs, including weather information:
Sefaira’s SketchUp and Revit plugins offer default building specification values for typical building uses (residential, office, retail etc.) These values can be adjusted and updated as the project develops and more detailed data is available using sliders, value input fields, and dropdown menus.

Sefaira Architecture Web App
Geometry: The user’s massing is uploaded to the web apps via the SketchUp or Revit plugins.
Required inputs: Building location & building type
Additional inputs, including weather information:
Weather data is automatically set based on building location, but this (and other specification values) can be manually overwritten in the graphic user interface via text boxes, sliders or drop down menus

Output: 

Outputs include:

- Building energy and water use
- Carbon emissions
- Utility costs
- Renewable energy potential
- Heating and cooling capacity
- Daylight visualisations*

Results can be exported directly to CSV and PDF formats creating clear presentation-ready reports.

*Exportable graphics for both annual and point-in-time daylight analysis allow users to add powerful visuals to client presentations. Users can customise visualisations to grid, contour and gradient views. Available metrics include Daylight Autonomy, Daylight Factor, and time-of-day visualisations.

Strengths: 

Sefaira is a robust analysis framework that helps users develop an intuitive sense of their design and allows them to respond to performance requirements creatively.

- Early-stage analysis of building form, orientation, fenestration, shading
- Intuitive analysis, starting with only two inputs (location and space use)
- Parametric analysis to study key design elements
- Real time analysis for instant feedback on energy use and daylighting directly within SketchUp and Revit
- Quick comparison of multiple design options and iterations to find the best designs and explore tradeoffs between options
- Collaboration with entire project teams anywhere in the world with browser-based software
- Clear, presentation-quality reports that get everyone on the same page, drive focused decision-making , and create early alignment among stakeholders

Country: 
Sefaira was developed in the UK & the USA. It is supported globally in North & South America, Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Major Capabilities: 
Whole-building Energy Simulation
Parametrics and Optimization
Lighting Simulation
Language: 
English
Platform: 
Windows
Mac OS X
Web/Saas
Help and Support: 
Subscription Email Support
Subscription Phone Support
Last Software Update: 
21 January 2015
Last Entry Update: 
12 October 2015
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