The Advantages of Using Hevacomp to Accurately Model Your Building in the Design Process

At BEM Services we use Hevacomp to accurately 3D model our clients building during the design process, this gives us numerous advantages over traditional design techniques. The software is used to create a mock-up of the building which is accurate in its dimensions, orientation to the sun, location in the world, and the materials used for walls, windows, doors, floors and ceilings.

From this model, which is made up from the architects original 2D AutoCAD drawings, we run several calculation programmes that precisely simulate the use of the building whether it is fully occupied, empty or somewhere in between. The calculations also take into account date, time of day, weather and materials data.

The software allows analysis of mechanical and electrical components of the building including solar panels, lighting and power. Once all the building data has been put into the program, which can be time consuming, there are a variety of calculation programs that can be run.

Within the mechanical section there are programs for:

Heat loss – This forms the basis of the heating and cooling design and uses the thermal conductivity of the building materials to work out how much heat will flow in and out of the building throughout the year. From this the heating (radiator and boiler sizes) and cooling (ventilation and air conditioning) requirements can be found.

Simulation – To enable the designer to make informed decisions on which heating and cooling strategy to use simulations can be run, quickly showing results of changes that would normally have taken many iterations of calculations and a long time.

Pipework – Using the 3D model as a basis pipework systems can be designed for cold and hot water supplies. The design tool takes into account all bends, valves, and outlets. This allows the designer to select the most efficient pumps and other equipment required.

Ductwork – In the same way that pipework is designed ductwork for ventilation and air conditioning can also be designed. This takes into account bends, vents and filters, from which fans and grilles can be selected.

Other calculators include chimney design, radiator selection (using supplier databases), acoustics and detailed U-Value settings.

Within the Electrical side there is:

Nimbus – This program, which is linked to suppliers lists of products, allows the designer to accurately and efficiently design the lighting for rooms and open areas. With the supplier’s details being available this is a very accurate tool and the results can be presented in any angle with the 3D visualization module.

Connect – Connect is a cable sizing tool that assists designers to specify the most effective cable size taking into account the power in adjacent cables, room temperatures and the length of run. This is all done to meet British Standard 7671 and presents a safe system ready for domestic, commercial or other installation.

Hevacomp’s dynamic simulation software provides whole building analysis with EnergyPlus, which is the international standard for dynamic simulation. For example, it will quickly provide different room lighting results with individual lights being switched on or off.

To complement the design work done the software also contains government led calculation techniques that show Part L, EPC (Energy Performance Certificates) and SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) compliance.

It is important to remember that the majority of the output from Hevacomp is in data format, be it in a list of numbers, 3D coloured images or certificates, and that this data needs careful engineering interpretation by a skilled design engineer. It is this interpretation skill that takes the computed output and makes it into a detailed, workable design.