Sefaira Systems users can already define custom zone layouts using Revit rooms. With our most recent update, users can now define custom zones in SketchUp as well, simply by dividing the floorplate. (For those familiar with Sefaira, this is the same mechanism we use to define rooms for room-by-room daylighting analysis.)

Zoning is an important tool in the mechanical engineer’s arsenal, even in early design. Zoning typically groups spaces with similar load profiles — but in buildings with multiple uses or unique interior layouts, zoning often requires a customized approach.

For instance, consider a community center that contains multiple uses: classrooms, a gymnasium, offices, and support spaces. Each of these uses has unique occupancy and operational characteristics that require specific consideration; simple perimeter-core zoning won’t do the trick. Instead, we can zone this building via the following steps:

1. Divide the floorplate in SketchUp to reflect the desired zones, simply by drawing lines on the floorplate. (Here, I’ve grouped similar spaces by orientation.)

Sefaira Systems zoning in SketchUp

2. Upload to Sefaira Systems as usual.

3. Select “one zone / room” in the Zoning module of the Envelope tab.

Sefaira Systems zoning options

4. Adjust the Internal Conditions on zone-by-zone basis to reflect the different space uses.

Sefaira Systems zone internal conditions

That’s it! Now we’re ready to compare HVAC system options, study peak loads or zone sizing, or explore energy conservation measures.

SketchUp zoning is available immediately for all Sefaira Systems customers.