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: 1362

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!

Forum Discussions

When is it too windy to use blower door?

Started by Brandon Walton in General Forum. Last reply by Kent Browning 14 hours ago. 10 Replies

Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF)

Started by Barry L NewDelman in General Forum. Last reply by Arnie Katz yesterday. 2 Replies

Affordable Housing Funding

Started by SUZETT MOFFITT in General Forum. Last reply by Diane Chojnowski on Wednesday. 4 Replies

Latest Activity

Profile IconEmily Rhea, Spray-on Foam and Keith Flores joined Home Energy Pros
14 hours ago
Kent Browning replied to Brandon Walton's discussion When is it too windy to use blower door?
"I found this post thru a Google search. I was already a member and have posted a few times. I am a…"
14 hours ago
Home Energy Magazine's video was featured

2017 U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Race to Zero Student Design Competition (Race to Zero) inspires collegiate students to become the next generation of buil...
23 hours ago
Dave Ransom joined James Sayers's group
Thumbnail

Marketing Energy Efficiency

Sharing ideas, tools and examples of promoting energy efficiency to consumersSee More
yesterday

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service