Does anyone know about "green" software?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Leslie, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. Leslie

    Leslie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    My husband and I are discussing our next house. This time we want to build green. Does anyone know of any software that would help us design our future home. Thanks.-Leslie
     
  2. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,495
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    Montana
    Hi,
    There is a nice free software package called HEED. It allows you to interactively define your house, its construction, window information, which city you live in etc. From this is does a full year of hour by hour simulation using typical weather for the city you choose. It reports a great deal of information for the house you define, including heating and cooling energy used, temperature profiles, and much more. It was originally designed and funded as a tool that California rate payers could use to evaluate house designs or changes to their houses (like adding insulation) -- so its designed for ease of use.
    If you have trouble modeling specific features of the house you want to do, then try the "advanced tab" -- this allows you to define things in much more detail.

    The program allows you to define a baseline house, and then to play around with variations on it to see they improve the design -- the program bookeeps the baseline and many variations, and allows you to compare any two via dozens of graphs.

    From my knothole, the main limitation of HEED is that it will only handle a single zone, so things like attached sunspaces are hard to do. But, that said, its a very capable and well written software package at the right price :)


    You can download it here:
    http://www2.aud.ucla.edu/heed/

    Some additional documentation here:
    http://www2.aud.ucla.edu/energy-design-tools/papers.html

    You will also need to download the weather file for your city.


    There are quite a few more links to software packages, passive solar home design guidelines, sources for plans etc for solar passive homes. at my sight here:

    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/SolarHomes/solar_homes.htm

    and here:
    http://www.builditsolar.com/Tools/tools.htm


    Gary
    www.BuildItsolar.com
     

  3. Leslie

    Leslie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Thanks so much. I am astounded with your speedy and complete response. Now I'm just sorry you're in Montana and we are here in Texas. You and my husband would get on wonderfully (read through your website). He actually is a rocket scientist! The two of you could talk over my head all night long :) .
     
  4. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,327
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Carthage, Texas
    Leslie,
    what part of Tx are ya'll from...I'm guessing Houston if DH is a rocketman.

    Have you found land already?

    I visit this site often, looking for alternative ideas... http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/index.htm

    I'm in the extremely initial phases of building a newer home...