||Energy Graphics is a technique for determining the energy performance of buildings at the conceptual stage of the architectural design process. Unlike many energy analysis programs, which only produce results after ail of the building information has been supplied, Energy Graphics works with the designer in understanding how early decisions about building form and configuration affect energy use.
The Energy Graphics technique is currently being "computerized" on a Sun 2/120 graphics workstation, under a grant by the Inter-University Consortium for Educational Computing. The resulting software will be used in the architectural design curriculum so that students will be able to receive an immediate energy evaluation of their design explorations.
For use in the studios, the software must include a powerful graphics interface that allows students to "sketch" their design concepts interactively. The computer will then interpret these sketches as building information, organize them into an integrated database, perform the energy calculations, and inform the student of the results in a graphic format. One of the project's major goals is to provide this graphics interface in the same way that architects think about drawing, and not simply to imitate current computer "drafting" systems.
The goals of the project can only be met by developing the software on a powerful workstation system, which provides fast processing time, large memory, multitasking capabilities and high-resolution graphics. This progress report describes our efforts to date on the development of this important software.