Welcome to the Sefaira monthly product update. Throughout this past month, we made some important improvements to our products. Read on to learn more.

Sefaira Systems

Project Sharing Outside of Your Firm

Sefaira has always made it easy for multiple users within a firm to share projects. We’ve now made it really easy to share your project with any Sefaira user.

collaboration

A new project sharing option is available in the “Manage Project” settings, called “Share Project Outside of Your Firm”. This will prompt you to enter the email address of the person you want to share with. If the person you share with has access to Sefaira Systems or Strategies they will immediately see the project when they login.

Compare Feature in Energy Outputs

We’ve heard that many users end their workflow with a stacked bar chart comparing energy, cost or CO2 for all the options studied. We have made this chart available automatically to make it easier to see and compare design options.

Design Comparisons

The chart appears in the Energy Breakdown tab. There is a new check-box “Show Comparison”. This toggles between a comparison of all clones and the more conventional energy pie chart.

Other Improvements

We’ve made a series of smaller improvements to the product including the following:

  • Scrolling in zoning diagram lists (such as in the zoning tab and peak loads tab) so that users with lots of zones can easily see a specific zone, the floor plate and the inputs at the same time;
  • Window to wall ratio (i.e. glazing ratio) by orientation that is derived from the imported 3-D model is now shown in the “Override Window to Wall Ratio” card. (Note: if you turn on the override it will replace the actual, imported glazing with a strip of glazing.)
  • Choice of HVAC options for Strategies users. Strategies users are now able to choose between the 3 HVAC system options that pre-populated to a project depending on it’s location and use type. These are:
    • Fan Coil Units
    • VAV Rooftop Package Units
    • VAV with 100% Outside Air (designed for Laboratory and Hospital projects)
  • Strategies users can now download the .idf file from the iteration in the results grid and can now copy projects using the copy feature on the Projects page.

Bug Fixes

The following bugs have been fixed:

  • EnergyPlus reports were previously being published in SI units only. If you want the standard EnergyPlus reports, you can now get them in IP units, provided you switch to “simulate when I click the run button” mode.
  • Zone warnings which are provided when the sum of the zone area is not equal to the area of the floor plate have been corrected.
  • A bug some users experienced where space use options on the zoning tab didn’t match the Space Use tab has been fixed.

Sefaira Architecture

Design Guidance

Design Guidance in Sefaira Architecture, makes performance-based design even more intuitive and accessible by linking your project’s performance with the 2030 Palette‘s online library of passive design strategies.

Sefaira Design Guidance

Our latest collaboration with Architecture 2030 links your design’s energy use by segment and presents design strategies that stand to address your project’s leading contributors to energy use. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Roof Glazing In the Sankey Diagram

The Sefaira Plugin considers the impact of roof glazing on performance. Until recently, though, that impact was not reflected in the Sankey diagram. Now it is, which provides a more fine-grained assessment of building performance. Please note the following modeling considerations:

Revit

You should model your building roofs using a roof family. If a given roof is to be made of glass, simply select the roof, navigate to your Properties window, and change the family type to “Sloped Glazing”. 

SketchUp

Sefaira relies on Entity Types to link modeled geometry to the appropriate building element (e.g. wall, floor, roof, etc.). You should tag roof glazing as “Glazing”. Sefaira will recognize it as roof glazing if it is located within a roof plane (as pictured below).

Roof Glazing

Fix: SketchUp Closing Upon Sefaira Launch

If you are a Sefaira and SketchUp user, you may have recently experienced SketchUp suddenly closing when loading the Sefaira Plugin. This issue:

  • is caused by SketchUp’s communication with the web browser infrastructure that powers Sefaira and other extensions.
  • is present in Windows versions of SketchUp 2014, 2015, and 2016.
  • is not present in Mac versions of SketchUp.
  • is intermittent and affected by a number of factors including both hardware and software, which is why you may have seen it happen a little, a lot, or not at all.

The fix for this issue requires you to replace your existing SketchUp software with a new build of the same version.

Our development teams have produced the builds for SketchUp 2015 and 2016, and will produce the build for SketchUp 2014 as soon as possible. You can download your relevant installer here.

Fix: Revit Camera Syncing

Sefaira’s Daylighting Visualization syncs to your design environment camera. This helps you generate visual assets for reports and presentations in a more systematic and repeatable way.

Customers have reported issues with the Daylighting Visualization window in Revit: sometimes, models just won’t center in the Sefaira window, even when the model is centered in the Revit window.

This problem occurs when Revit models contain geometry that is located far away from the Origin Point (frustratingly, the Origin Point is an invisible, immovable object in Revit unique from the Project Base Point or the Survey Point). Correcting for this offset presents a significant technical challenge we have been battling for some time. As an interim solution, we have implemented a new feature: you can now pan and zoom directly in the Sefaira Daylighting Visualization window in Revit. If you have any questions or feedback about this update, please let our Product Manager, Kerger Truesdell, know via email at kerger.truesdell@sefaira.com.

Staying Up to Date

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