Cove.tool’s holistic cost vs energy optimization feature is one of the software's most valuable and intelligent features. The optimization is designed to help users parametrically explore building component combinations to make cost-conscious and performance-driven decisions as quickly and often as possible. By running hundreds of full building simulations instantaneously while factoring in costs and savings, cove.tool can ensure every design combination is explored, and that the lowest cost strategy can be found identified regardless of the design parameters. With cove.tool's optimization feature, users can keep adding new options, changing their design objectives, and exploring and expanding the analysis parameters and will always be able to get a good idea of their projects impact on energy use, cost, and much more. See below all the possible areas a user can customize their buiding options.
What is Optimization?
Optimization is a central concept of Machine Learning, where-in a machine is given a set of available alternatives and searches through all possible combination for solution(s) that best meets the program's objective(s). The patent pending optimization algorithm in cove.tool has the objective of optimizing for performance and construction cost. Read more about costs in cove.tool here. Alongside this optimization, the user is also provided sliders to sort through various filters and select bundle options most suitable for their design. Filters and categories include LEED Points, Energy Savings, Payback Years, Embodied Carbon and more.
How Does it work?
Many times, users are exploring the impact of improving wall insulation, followed by the impact of improving roof insulation, followed by HVAC and so on. Since in a holistic performance exploration, every variable has an impact on each other, cove.tool allows the users to test the model with a more well rounded approach. In these scenarios, a user can find, that perhaps from a overall cost vs energy standpoint, it is better to use a better wall insulation and glass product, while still choosing a slightly lower performance HVAC as an example. The Optimization feature in cove.tool is about switching out thousands of alternatives to find combinations (i.e. bundles) which can best improve to the baseline building generated in the Baseline Energy page. By using cost as a decision making factor, users can then identify a more cost-effective way to reach a lower energy use design and/or find the optimal bundles which meet code. By optimizing, users are able to find how low they can go, in terms of energy, LEED points, Payback years, and cost. The more options you give the more likely the optimization engine will be able to find an even lower EUI and project price tag.
The bundle list as seen above is made of a various parts. The top Cost Vs Energy Optimized bundle is the best possible improvement from baseline. This bundle is the most ideal combination of products and strategies which out performance the baseline while getting the most bang for your buck. The bundles which follow are ranked 2nd, 3rd, and so on, to demonstrate their quality in energy performance and low cost premiums. If users want to add parameters to the bundles being evaluated, then they could do so by using their mouse to highlight a portion of the vertical axis which depicts the range of options you would like to analyze. This selection (addition of parameters) will automatically reorganize the bundle list, to then represent the best bundles options which now based on the inputted parameters.
What are your options after optimization?
1. Try to Generation new bundles by Changing Options
Want to continue exploring this project with the optimization feature? Use the change options button to add more variation and/or edit current options. The Change Options page allows users to create more alternatives to be explored by the optimization tool.
2. Lock the Project and Make a Copy
Want to keep the project (inputs/ geometry/ optimization bundles list) as is, but also want to try a couple of other ideas and strategies? Then the Lock and Copy feature are what you need. First lock your completed project, with the steps listed here, then create a copy of your project by returning to your Home Page - project list. In the project's summary box, select the "create copy" icon (see image below). This will create an exact duplicate, so you can get going without having to retread any of the ground you have already covered.
3. Create a report and work on a new project
Satisfied with the project? Create, download, and share one of cove.tool's automated reports. Once new information is available on the project, return to the platform to start exploring your project once again.