Solid Green was commissioned to put together energy regulation compliance reports for a 33,000 square metre shopping mall. Their client was particularly interested in knowing what the optimum roof insulation was, before the report went out to tender — in two very short days.
Using an existing energy model, each run of parametric simulations on the roof insulation alone took an hour. Testing several variables for different building elements and comparing options would have meant that Solid Green would have missed the tight deadline. Realising that there was a much better approach, the project engineer, Warren Gray, built a simple SketchUp model and started running the Response Curve feature in Sefaira at 6:30am. The entire report was ready by 9:00am, a mere two and a half hours later, ensuring that Solid Green met the deadline.
“I was able to advise my client on the optimum insulation, as well as point out that the roof reflectivity was actually the more sensitive variable which they should pay particular attention to. The suggestions I made will save them about $60,000 in insulation cost and about $3,000 in monthly running costs,” said Warren.
This is a typical challenge that architects face often. There is always a need to select materials and these choices have a great impact on both capital and operational cost. Performance based design, using a software like Sefaira, allows architects to understand and show the financial implications of their choices very clearly — it enables them provide the right answers to these questions from the earliest stages of design.