Saturday, February 19, 2011

Software and Online Tools for Sustainable Design

Solaripedia links more than 230 software and online tools to help with sustainable design. Most of the tools are free for use and some are available by subscription or purchase. The tools can help with solar design, passive design, acoustics, lighting, wind energy systems, PV sizing, psychrometrics, rainwater collection tank sizing, water budgeting, window design and heat gain, shading design and landscape calculating for vegetation and wind breaks. Listed in alphabetical order by name of tool, a brief description helps you figure out if it's the right tool for you, then just follow the link.

Canton Tower Features a Complex BIPV System (China)

Canton Tower is the tallest tower in the world as of February 2011. Also known as the Guangzhou TV Tower, it is 600 meters tall, twisting over the Haizhu District of Guangzho (formerly known as Canton), capital of Guangdong province in China. One of its most remarkable to me is the BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics) system that sheaths part of the building under its giant lattice framework. The solar power system is comprised of a-Si (amorphous silicon) thin-film modules that are installed on facades under the steel mesh. LED technology is used extensively for all lighting so that the tower consumes only 15 percent of the allowed maximum for facade lighting, further contirnuting to its energy efficiency. The dynamic twisting form of the tower is composed of straight shafts that encircle the core of the structure, creating a cinched 'waist' that is designed to be as small as possible at a span of 15.6 meters while still accommodating the elevator shafts and fire escapes. Designed by Information Based Architecture (IBA), a firm based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, it includes a park at the tower’s base, an elevated plaza, a pagoda-park, retail facilities, offices, a television center and a hotel.