Google SketchUp for Home Energy Raters - Measurements Made Easy

Hey, HERS raters, what if I told you that you could get the volume of a multi-pitched roof for all of your home energy ratings without the need to calculate a single algebraic formula? Or, how about wall area? I know, I'm your new best friend, right?

Anyway, with Google SketchUp this is all possible. In fact there are a few more ways to use the program to help you complete all the calculations (e.g. area, volume and perimeter) necessary for a home energy rating, or any energy modeling exercise.

Building 3-D models in SketchUp is fairly simple once you learn a few of their basic shape drawing tools. For example, the model you will see in the following samples took less than a minute to create, and would be based on the take-offs made in the field, or from a set of plans.

Once the model is created, you can start getting the more complicated measurements, such as wall area, window area, and volume. All it takes is selecting the surface that you want and asking the program to calculate the measurement you need.

Here are a few screen shots of what it looks like:

1. Calculating wall area: Select the wall, right click, and then select 'Area>Selection.'

 

2. Calculating window area: Select all the windows of a certain orientation, right click, and then select 'Area>Selection.'

3. Calculating volume: Select the volume part of the home whose volume you want to know (e.g. roof, floor level), right click, and then select 'Volume.' Voila!

Once you've mastered this, which really would take only half a day, you can calculate all of the measurements necessary for a HERS rating in less than 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of the house. In fact, I've been able to do it in less than 5. Of course, this tool also helps with doing Manual J heating and cooling load calculations, which are just another form of energy modeling.

Sketchup is free to download, and the volume tool is an extra Plug-in that needs to be downloaded and installed on your computer.

For more information visit our website.

 

from the desk of Energy Vanguard's architect dude

Views: 496

Tags: SketchUp, energy, home, raters, ratings

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Ryan Moore on April 25, 2011 at 11:27am
I've just started using SketchUp for my takeoffs and am also finding it very useful.  Being a newbie at it, I would be interested in learning any tips from you folks out there.  One concern I have it that a SketchUp model from an architect will result in erroneous measurements because the wall heights are exterior, not interior as would be calculated for a HERS rating.  I'm guessing it's a simple matter of changing the height of the block(s), but wonder if anyone else out there has a good way of dealing with this.
Comment by Jim Peck on March 31, 2011 at 12:50pm
Way nice!  I need to use this more.
Comment by Doris Ikle on March 31, 2011 at 8:27am
 This will be a great help in improving accuracy of estimating energy savings. Too often floor space is used when volume or wall size should be used.  Seal-up savings in particular are greatly over-estimated because the size of the envelope is not taken account of in "estimating" air-changes/hr. after the seal-up. Thanks for a much needed tool.   
Comment by Chris Laumer-Giddens on March 21, 2011 at 12:14pm
Yes, it is! The more I use it the more I realize just how useful.
Comment by John Poole on March 21, 2011 at 12:07pm
SketchUp is an amazingly useful tool!

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion How our ceramic based RCC works in the group Radiant Control Coatings
"Hey Tom, I will find the ORNL repoprt and post it.  It was a test on a ballasted roof sample.…"
5 hours ago
Tom Mallard replied to Hal Skinner's discussion How our ceramic based RCC works in the group Radiant Control Coatings
"So it seems that what you're saying is for heat-transfer the stuff has little resistance or…"
6 hours ago
Hal Skinner added a discussion to the group Radiant Control Coatings
Thumbnail

How our ceramic based RCC works

How our RCC worksEveryone knows, understands and accepts that RCCs reflect heat away from roofs,…See More
7 hours ago
Mike Kandel posted a discussion

Earn BPI CEUs at 3rd Annual Building Performance Forum

If you're searching for BPI CEUs, you'll find plenty at the 3rd Annual Building Performance Forum…See More
12 hours ago
Mike Kandel added a discussion to the group Building Performance Institute (BPI)
Thumbnail

Earn BPI CEUs at 3rd Annual Building Performance Forum

If you're searching for BPI CEUs, you'll find plenty at the 3rd Annual Building Performance Forum…See More
12 hours ago
Sean Lintow Sr commented on Christopher Morin's blog post UPDATED: Big Changes for Duct Testing in MA
"4% TOTAL Ted - Leakage to outside was stripped from the codes & for good reason"
15 hours ago
tedkidd commented on Christopher Morin's blog post UPDATED: Big Changes for Duct Testing in MA
"Wait!  4% total leakage or 4% leakage to outdoors? "
16 hours ago
Tom White's video was featured

Alliant Energy's PowerHouse TV: Sealing Leaky Ductwork

The PowerHouse television shows are written and produced by Alliant Energy, an energy services company based in Madison, Wis. The first PowerHouse episode was aired in September 1996 on KCRG-TV9 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and appears in six broadcast…
18 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service