Thornton Tomasetti’s Building Sustainability practice, in conjunction with the CORE Studio team, is developing a Rhino/Grasshopper-based, concept-level sustainability analysis platform known as PANDA (Parametric Analysis of eNergy and Daylight Autonomy). The tool uses Energy Plus’ robust energy simulation engine within a parametric modeling environment by employing Integration Applications Developer Mostapha Roudsari’s Grasshopper Honeybee components.

The interface will allow the user to experiment with multiple design iterations and obtain rapid feedback on whole-building energy use, utility costs and renewable energy potential.

The tool differentiates itself from similar tools on the market by:

– using powerful simulation engines generally used for more detailed modeling
– allowing the user to visualize changes to the building in Rhino’s modeling environment
– simultaneously analyzing daylighting
– providing comparisons to energy standards such as ASHRAE 90.1 and the 2030 Challenge

In addition to being able to rapidly simulate design parameters like geometry, floor heights and window-to-wall area ratios, the team plans to eventually add the capability of evaluating the impact of HVAC systems, such as under floor air distribution and ground source heat pumps. The tool is currently in the beta testing phase and is being evaluated by Project Director Colin Schless, Roudsari and Sustainability Intern Christopher Mackey. We will post progress updates here on the blog as it evolves.