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Sefaira Concept is a plug-in that runs in Trimble SketchUp, a 3D modeling program with wide usage in architecture design. Known for its ease of use, SketchUp is particularly useful during a project’s schematic design phase. Until now, however, it lacked robust analysis tools. Sefaira Concept fills that gap and allows designers to explore a variety of options for reducing energy impact early in a project’s life. Before a tool of this nature existed, energy modeling and analysis would be done by consultants with more specialized knowledge and at a point in the design process where it was too late to inform the design. A program like Sefaira Concept could have a major impact on the ease with which a firm can bring sustainable design practices into their workflow. While far from being a perfect solution, having easy access to reliable energy analysis data could someday make principles of sustainable design as obvious and integrated into the design process as formal and spatial principles are now. This collaboration between Boora Architects and Portland State University tests Sefaira Concept with realworld data from a project currently in development by Boora in order to gain firsthand experience of the plug-in’s potential for deployment within the firm.
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