IES Launches Plug-in for Google SketchUp
Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), a world leading provider of integrated performance analysis software and consulting services for sustainable building design, today announced the availability of a plug-in to Google SketchUp(TM), a free, easy-to-learn 3D design tool from Google. This Toolbar sits within the SketchUp application and gives direct access to all of IES’s tools: VE-Ware, VE-Toolkits and the full Virtual Environment. For many architects and other professionals in the building design industry, this level of integration is what they have been waiting for — it allows empowering energy, carbon, daylight and solar analysis, and much more to be undertaken at the touch of a few buttons, right from the earliest stages of the design process, where the maximum difference to sustainable design can be achieved.
The plug-in is compatible with both the Free and Pro versions of Google SketchUp. The IES Toolbar allows SketchUp users to assign important sustainable design information like location, building and room type, construction types and HVAC systems to their SketchUp model and then import it directly into their chosen IES analysis tool, without having to re-build any geometry.
John Bacus, Product Manager of Google SketchUp, commented: “With SketchUp, we dreamed of a simple tool that would give people the ability to think fast and iterate often on complex building design problems. With this release, IES is plugging a set of energy analysis tools into SketchUp at just the right level of complexity — enabling designers to think not just about how a building might look, but also how it will perform in a sustainable world.”
Dr. Don Mc Lean, founder and MD of IES, commented: “I’m incredibly excited by today’s launch, in many ways it’s a culmination of 14 years of work. When I founded IES in 1994 my aim was to develop what were primarily academic tools and bring them into mainstream use. By linking our tools directly to Google SketchUp and continuing to develop different levels of interface we are making the sustainable design potential of performance analysis very easily available to a huge number of professionals.”
Within the Google SketchUp plug-in, IES offers building designers the choice to engage with its software at the level and in the way which is best for them:
— IES VE-Ware: Free energy and carbon analysis tool which makes basic performance analysis widely available to anyone and includes US Architecture 2030 Challenge benchmark capabilities;
— IES VE-Toolkits: mid-level tools that allow a variety of early stage sustainability energy, carbon, solar and daylight analyses to be undertaken at the touch of a few buttons. Including thermal implications of solar/light penetration and LEED/US 2030 Challenge benchmark capabilities;
— The full IES VE: a powerful integrated suite of highly detailed performance analysis tools covering Energy, Carbon, Thermal comfort, Airflow (CFD), Bulk Airflow, Daylighting, Solar, LEED, Egress, M&E, Value and Capital/Lifecycle Cost. It also contains Government approved software for showing compliance with conservation of energy Building Regulations and the creation of non-dwelling Energy Performance Certificates in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Performance analysis has a big role to play in the design of green, high-performance buildings, and in the bridging of the ‘information’ gulf between architects and engineers. This Google SketchUp connectivity and other recent developments by IES have been undertaken to help aid this by offering an analysis toolset that can be used throughout the whole design process; from concept to completion.
Current IES user and beta tester of the IES SketchUp integration Mark Dietrick from Burt Hill commented: “We are very excited about the possibilities the IES/SketchUp plug-in presents. Plans to extend this capability into the hands of more of our staff are already underway — our ‘Energy Analysis’ team is doing an exceptional job of documenting the work-flow so that we will easily be able to engage others once the product is officially launched. This connectivity allows many more of our architectural staff to take advantage of IES’s environmental analysis capabilities to better assure that our designs are being formed for optimal performance in early design.”
IES’s Performance Analysis tools already link directly to the Autodesk Revit Architecture and MEP Building Information Model applications. While the addition of IES connectivity to Google SketchUp is a significant advancement in its own right, it also enhances the workflow for many Revit users who choose to undertake initial concept designs via Google SketchUp — they can now progress their design, as informed by IES performance analysis, seamlessly from one application to another.
Another IES customer and beta tester of the SketchUp integration Ken Hall from Gensler commented: “This new tool means we now have the ability to integrate building performance analysis from early conceptual design using SketchUp, through our entire design process using Revit Architecture. Faster feedback in design affords more opportunity to innovate with sustainability in mind. This means not only can we make the right decisions in the first place; we can make the right decision at every step in the process.”
The IES SketchUp plug-in is available to download from: www.iesve.com/sketchup.
Google SketchUp is available to download from: http://sketchup.google.com/.
This launch is a public beta and is being refined over the coming months.
Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) Ltd. is a company at the forefront of the use and development of powerful software simulation tools which help architects, engineers, facilities managers, developers and all those involved in the development and management of buildings design and maintain truly sustainable properties. www.iesve.com.
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