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DesignBuilder Software Ltd

Company Profile

DesignBuilder Software Ltd specialises in developing high-quality, easy-to-use and affordable simulation software tools for assessing the environmental performance of building designs. The flagship product DesignBuilder provides data to building designers and assessors on energy consumption, carbon emissions, occupant comfort, daylight availability as well as the status of the building with regard to several national building regulations and certification standards. The software is the result of considerable investment in user interface technology and an uncompromising approach to software design.

DesignBuilder Software is a leading provider of Energy Performance Certificate and Building Regulations Compliance checking software in the UK, France, Ireland and Portugal. 

Version 1 of the product was launched in 2005 as the first Graphical User Interface to the EnergyPlus simulation engine (from US DOE) and several years later it continues to be the most complete EnergyPlus interface. Version 2 was released in May 2009 adding BIM interoperability and integrated 3-D CFD calculations linked to EnergyPlus. Version 3 released in August 2011, introduced the first advanced GUI to EnergyPlus HVAC systems and also a daylight evaluation tool with calculations performed using advanced Radiance ray-tracing engine.

DesignBuilder is able to offer considerable expertise in the building energy analysis arena. We have many years experience working with building design practitioners and have contributed to several successful UK Government funded research projects, including the development of the NDEEM/3TC national stock modelling methodology, energy performance indicator development through the BESTCert project and 3TC simulation algorithm development. More recently projects have focussed on introducing leading edge design tools based on optimisation techniques.

The DesignBuilder software is distributed throughout the world by a network of Partners. DesignBuilder is represented in USA, Italy, Portugal, France, Mexico, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Africa as well as many other countries. 

Our Aim

"We aim to bring advanced building design tools into the mainstream by providing software that is easy to use and highly accessible both in terms of initial cost and time taken to learn it. We are particularly keen to encourage the uptake of environmentally responsible design techniques and to play our part in reducing building-related pollution to sustainable levels."

Personnel

Dr Andy Tindale: Director and founder of DBS, has been working in building energy modelling for more than 25 years in academia and building design consultancies. He has combined his expertise in building energy simulation with an understanding of industry modelling needs to drive the development of the DesignBuilder product. Involvement with a number of building energy-related research projects has contributed to some useful developments including the 3TC simulation method. Andy received his PhD on Solar Roofspace collectors from the Polytechnic of Central London in 1991.

Dr Steve Potter: Director of DBS, has been working in the building simulation software sector for over 25 years. He has considerable experience in building energy simulation and the development of architectural modelling, CFD and building services software, including management, design and development input to significant commercial projects. Steve obtained his PhD on CFD coupled radiation methods from Northumbria University in 1998

DBS also employs a dedicated team of software developers, web developers, graphic designers and administrative staff.

Research Projects

Apart from the DesignBuilder project, we have successfully completed a number of government and privately funded research projects since 1999:

ADOPT - A TSB-funded project running completed in 2013, to build on progress made in the previous OBOES project to develop multi-objective optimisation building design tools. The new tools help designers to identify building specifications that best satisfy sometimes conflicting design objectives. One potentially very powerful application of the new optimisation technology is in finding the lowest cost / lowest carbon designs which also provide adequately comfortable conditions given a base building design and a list of variations that can be applied.

OBOES - Reseach project part funded by DTI Innovation Scheme. The 18 month project started Nov 07 and was focussed on identification of practical methodologies for integrating 5 areas of capability into the DesignBuilder interface:

      • Optimisation – provide optimal solutions given a set of criteria describing the relative priorities for each of the key measures of success (energy, CO2, comfort, cost etc).
      • New UI methodologies to be tested with a view to make optimisation tools accessible to general users in the industry.
      • High-speed simulation (to process the large numbers of simulations required in optimisation analyses in reasonable time).
      • Design advice. Provide advice to guide the user towards the most optimal designs choices. The user would set the constraints (i.e. define which aspects of the design are fixed and which can be varied). Otherwise the process should be automatic. 
      • General 3-D CAD interoperability to allow any reasonably well drawn 3-D building CAD model to be loaded to the simulation interface, automatically identifying spaces and surrounding surfaces, adjacencies and windows.  

SAVE BestCert - European Project (pilot a common methodology capable of fulfilling the requirements of the EPBD directive), advising on methodology, provision of user interface software and development of prototype generic building layouts and energy performance indicator calculation procedures. This project was useful in guiding DesignBuilder user interface, database and algorithm development and helped to keep DesignBuilder at the leading edge for Building Regulations and Certification energy calculations.

NDEEM/3TC - development of UK Government NDEEM/3TC Modelling Simulation Package used to provide informed policy decisions. Stock-modelling tool is based on a portfolio of building models containing detailed survey information on over 300 buildings. The 3TC simulation method is an output from this project.

Action Energy - project to develop a methodology and prototype environmental performance indicator calculation tool. Many of the ideas developed in this project found their way into the BESTCert project.

NiteCool - The original client brief was for a series of design curves to assist designers wanting to include night cooling as part of a strategy to reduce peak summertime temperatures and/or cooling loads. The solution was to use the 3TC simulation technique embedded in a spreadsheet to generate the design curves in real time. This approach was then extended to create a standalone Windows program capable of generating either base design data or design curves. The popularity of this easy-to-use tool prompted BRE to ask us to convert it to a NiteCool web page making it available to a much wider audience.

AirSoft - we developed and extended the software used by Passivent and its clients for calculating the size of natural ventilation openings required to provide comfortable summertime conditions. 

Company Details

DBS is a Private Limited Company

Date of Incorporation: 19/08/2002

Company No. 04514127
 D-U-N-S No: 64-110-7821

Name & Registered Office:
DESIGNBUILDER SOFTWARE LIMITED
Clarendon Court
1st Floor 54/56 London Rd
Stroud,
Gloucestershire
GL5 2AD
UK

Latest News

DesignBuilder v4.7 is released!


DesignBuilder SBEM v4.7 approved for England and Scotland EPCs and Part-L2 / Section 6 2015

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