Cove.Tool's OpenStudio Export
courtesy Cove.Tool Cove.Tool's OpenStudio Export

Cove.Tool has launched three new features for its eponymous software platform to help foster real-time collaboration, streamline the BIM-to-BEM (building energy model) transition, and enable rapid building prototyping. Founded by Sandeep Ahuja, Patrick Chopson, AIA, and Daniel Chopson, based in Atlanta, Cove.Tool is a cloud-based platform that can analyze a project’s performance and identify potential cost and energy savings in the early stages of design.

Cove.Tool's Integrated Teams feature
courtesy Cove.Tool Cove.Tool's Integrated Teams feature

To facilitate project communication among architects, consultants, contractors, and owners, the new Integrated Teams feature turns Cove.Tool into a live Google Document file of sorts. An architect working on a massing model in Cove.Tool and needing input on the HVAC systems can message their mechanical engineer to hop into the online model via Integrated Teams. Further tinkering with the massing model by the architect or another team member will subsequently update information on the mechanical systems.

Cove.Tool energy performance report
courtesy Cove.Tool Cove.Tool energy performance report

OpenStudio Export is Cove.Tool’s way to minimize the number of platforms designers use to conduct a BEM analysis, which can include a project’s anticipated energy usage, daylighting analysis, and carbon footprint. Architects and energy consultants typically have to remodel the building or project in each software analysis program before running the simulation. Through OpenStudio Export, designers can import models directly from their 3D modeling tool of choice—whether it be Autodesk Revit, Trimble SketchUp, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, or McNeel & Associates Rhinoceros—into Cove.Tool and then export the model into OpenStudio to attain the BEM.

Cove.Tool’s press release estimates this feature can save up to 60 to 150 hours of geometry remodeling time while reducing discrepancies in modeling and assumptions since the same project model is used in design and analysis. This workflow also enables an early-stage performance model to be used as a compliance model used for automatically checking against U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, or Australia energy-code requirements.

Cove.Tool's 3D Drawing tool
courtesy Cove.Tool Cove.Tool's 3D Drawing tool

The third new feature is the 3D Drawing tool, with which architects and engineers can draw and edit their building models directly in Cove.Tool to find the building geometry that best suits their objectives. Team members can also use the tool to draw early-stage models and conduct rapid prototyping.

This article has been updated since first publication.