ECOTECT

ECOTECT logo.

Complete environmental design tool which couples an intuitive 3D modelling interface with extensive solar, thermal, lighting, acoustic and cost analysis functions. ECOTECT is one of the few tools in which performance analysis is simple, accurate and most importantly, visually responsive.

ECOTECT is driven by the concept that environmental design principles are most effectively addressed during the conceptual stages of design. The software responds to this by providing essential visual and analytical feedback from even the simplest sketch model, progressively guiding the design process as more detailed information becomes available. The model is completely scalable, handling simple shading models to full-scale cityscapes. Its extensive export facilities also make final design validation much simpler by interfacing with Radiance, EnergyPlus and many other focused analysis tools. Screen Shots

Keywords

environmental design, environmental analysis, conceptual design, validation; solar control, overshadowing, thermal design and analysis, heating and cooling loads, prevailing winds, natural and artificial lighting, life cycle assessment, life cycle costing, scheduling, geometric and statistical acoustic analysis

Validation/Testing

N/A

Expertise Required

CAD and environmental design experience useful but not essential. ECOTECT is good at teaching the novice environmental designer many of the important concepts necessary for efficient building design. Extensive help file and tutorials provided.

Users

Over 2000 individual licenses world wide, taught at approximately 60 universities mainly in Australia, UK and USA.

Audience

Architects, engineers, environmental consultants, building designers, and some owner builders and enthusiasts.

Input

Intuitive 3D CAD interface allows validation of the simplest sketch design to highly complex 3D models. Can also import 3DS and DXF files.

Output

ECOTECT's own analysis functions use a wide range of informative graphing methods which can be saved as Metafiles, Bitmaps or animations. Tables of data can also be easily output. For more specific analysis or validation you can export to; RADIANCE, POV Ray, VRML, AutoCAD DXF, EnergyPlus, AIOLOS, HTB2, CheNATH, ESP-r, ASCII Mod files, and XML.

Computer Platform

Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 & XP (Can also run on Mac OS under Virtual PC)

Programming Language

C++

Strengths

Allows the user to "play" with design ideas at the conceptual stages, providing essential analysis feedback from even the simplest sketch model. ECOTECT progressively guides the user as more detailed design information becomes available. See more ECOTECT features here.

Weaknesses

As the program can perform many different types of analysis, the user needs to be aware of the different modelling and data requirements before diving in and modelling/importing geometry. For example; for thermal analysis, weather data and modelling geometry in an appropriate manner is important; and appropriate/comprehensive material data is required for almost all other types of analysis. The ECOTECT Help File attempts to guide/educate users about this and when/how it is important. Like any analysis program it's a matter of, "garbage in, garbage out...".

Contact

Company:

c/o Centre for Research in the Built Environment

Address:

Cardiff University, Bute Building
King Edward VII Avenue
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3NB
United Kingdom

Telephone:

+44 (29) 2087 5977

Facsimile:

+44 (29) 2087 4623

E-mail:

sales@squ1.com

Website:

http://www.squ1.com

Availability

A demo version of ECOTECT can be downloaded from the Square One web site. Go to SOFTWARE > STORE > Price List in the main menu of the site for the latest price/licensing information. Prices start from US$75 for a student license.