Architecture Firm Perkins&Will “SPEEDs” Up Early-Stage BEM

Critical decisions on building form, massing, and envelope construction and configuration greatly impact a building’s energy and daylighting performance and must be made early in the design process. Using Building Energy Modeling (BEM) and other analyses, design teams can evaluate many different options to inform these decisions, reducing costly late-stage design modifications and maximizing building performance.

Unfortunately, incorporating BEM into the early stages of design is notoriously difficult. Turnaround times are short and budgets are tight—sometimes nonexistent if an architecture firm is bidding on a project. Hiring outside consultants or using in-house modeling specialists isn’t always feasible. Companies such as Sefaira, Autodesk and cove.tool have created early-stage BEM tools for architects. However, some design firms have chosen to develop custom, in-house workflows to facilitate energy modeling at the start of a project. One such firm is Perkins&Will, a global design firm with a focus on sustainability.

Late last year, Perkins&Will launched a web-and-cloud-based, early-stage building performance analysis platform called SPEED (Simulation Platform for Energy-Efficient Design) (use this link to watch the SPEED video). SPEED enables energy, daylighting, and solar analysis with turnaround times of under 24 hours.

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