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How Green Building Simulation Systems Shape the Future

What if architects could make CAD models of their buildings that would automatically tell them how much energy structures would use at what times of day and year; where sunlight streams into rooms, and how bright it is; and how much air conditioning they need? Well, they can, within limits.

Simulation and modeling is one of the keys to a sustainable future. Otherwise progress can only happen by trial and error, which on the architectural scale is a horribly slow process. Simulating a building's energy use is a hard problem, requiring not only a model of the building and the materials that make it up (including insulation, windows, foundation, etc.) but also a model of the building's location, with the path of the sun through the year and weather data that is accurate and detailed, including humidity, wind, simple daytime-nighttime temperatures, and a host of other information. And of course, the challenges are compounded when you want to make a simulation that will work in any part of the world.

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