Posts Tagged vasari

California Legislates Mandatory Energy Bench Marking : Deal With It

Yoinks, so much for market capitalism.  California with AB 1103 ( Commercial Building Energy Use Disclosure Program
Rulemaking)  legislated mandatory energy benchmarking into existence for non-residential buildings. Energy bench marking is to be done using

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager benchmarking system.

A building owner shall comply with this article according to the following schedule:

(a) On or after January 1, 2013, for a building with total floor area measuring more than
50,000 square feet.
(b) On or after July 1, 2013, for a building with a total floor area measuring more than 10,000
square feet and up to 50,000 square feet.
(c) On or after January 1, 2014, for a building with a total floor area measuring at least 5,000
square feet and up to 10,000 square feet.


What impact does this have on LEED EB?  If any?  Is anyone using LEED EB?  I was talking to an owner; raises funds, buys buildings, etc. and the general consensus of any green, LEED, sustainable, initiative, at least for him, was does it add value to his portfolio in the short term as they have a much shorter window of ownership.  However, with this mandate and benchmarking we might have something completely quantifiable to reflect the price of a building from an operational point of view.  And it’s an Energy Star rating like the one you find on your new refrigerator. While there might be plenty of flaws, as the benchmarking seems pretty rudimentary, it is a first step.  So the government mandated it and while that seems a dirty word these days, mandate; it’s here, deal with it.  I deal with the market as it exists and until I can afford to have a phalanx of lobbyists to create a market that way I want it, I deal with what’s in front of me.  And right now, it’s mandatory Energy Auditing.

How will the software makers respond, if at all, to this?  How about, can I have push button energy star rating on my building please?  Brief search turns up Melon Power, which coordinates electricity usage and your submission to Energy Star Portfolio Builder.  I have not tested it but yes, we want an app for that!  Not buried in the subscription pack of Green Building Studio.  Fact is, could be a wonderful Lead Generation Tool.  Fact is, all these companies Autodesk in particular buy these companies and stuff them into their AEC package, so although the price might stay the same, you are getting more ‘value’ per install because of everything else that’s stuffed into it. But software usage, cost per seat, software as a service?  That’s a rant for another day.

For now, there’s a new law of the land in California, and if it’s like the weather, it starts on the west side, and moves east.


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Sketch Up vs Revit : Round 2 : Autodesk and Revit scores with Vasari

Is it fair to continually compare Revit and SketchUp as essentially they were doing two different things, Conceptual Modeling as compared to Building Modeling, not anymore with the release of Project Vasari, alive and available for download. It is available as a preview and free until May 15, 2011.  I will be downloading it shortly, and from the looks of it and as posted by other bloggers, like the Revit Kid and David Light here are some of the features:

  • Stripped Down Revit User Interface
  • Built in Energy Modeling
  • Produce conceptual models using both geometric and parametric modeling functionality
  • Cross Compatibility between Revit 2011 and Vasari files.

In fact, I even suggest to jump over to David’s post to get a more in depth look at Vasari and its features.  However, what has been apparent to me and others was for Autodesk to round out their line up with a conceptual modeling tool, and with something that had the ease of  SketchUp.  Why? Because I would speak to architects who had never even fired up any CAD package who said they are now using SketchUp, plus with idea of a Revit Light you can create an easy entry point for users rather than be bamboozled by full Revit UI/Ribbon/Feature smorgasbord. In addition to the easy entry point models created in Vasari can be opened in Revit 2011 and visa-versa so going from concept to modeling in Revit Architecture should be easier, conceivably, although I have not seen that work flow.

I imagine pricing, when the free release ends, has to be somewhere within the SketchPro version which is at $495.  But not sure how that would work through the VAR channel, maybe it’ll be free as an entry point or lead generation tool.  SketchUp also allows you to trace photos to try and recreate real world elements, plus validation and analysis. There’s a battle going on for building design and life cycle management;  makes you wonder what Google produces or buys next – a BIM authoring tool, or possibly model integration a’la Horizontal Glue.   The global AEC industry is $4.6 Trillion, and if you think of buildings as customers, energy customers, retail customers, services customers, why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that.  Score one for Autodesk.


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