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Benefits of being a Web application
Benefits of being a Web application

What is a web app? Why is cove.tool a web application?

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

New technology in Architecture, Engineering, & Construction

There are numerous technological innovations that have vastly changed the way architects, engineers, and others approach the built environment. cove.tool is a software platform on a mission to identify and aggregate as many of these developments to make the fastest, most comprehensive, and most intuitive building performance platform on the market. One way in which this is made possible and convenient for both the user and the cove.tool team is by being a web app. Check out how cove.tool web app platform allows the software to constantly evolve and stay relevant.

What is a web app?

A web application or "web app" is a software program that runs on a web server. Unlike traditional desktop applications, which are launched by your operating system, web apps are accessed through a web browser. Web apps have several advantages over the traditional AEC standard desktop applications. Below are key advantages of being a web application.

  1. Cloud Hosting and Computing

  2. Data Visualization

  3. AI, Automation, and Machine Learning

  4. APIs and Data Exchanges

  5. Security and Privacy

1. Cloud Computing & Hosting

The term cloud computing/ cloud hosting is used to describe the storing and accessing of data and programs over the internet instead of being limited to only using your local machine. Mostly used in the SaaS (software-as-a-service) service model, a user’s machine requires no installation of cove.tool, only internet access is necessary to operate the cloud application. In the past, each customer would purchase and load their own copy of the application to each of their own servers, but with the SaaS operation, the cove.tool users can access the application anywhere. cove.tool uses this cloud computing and hosting to:

  • Give our user's floating licenses;

  • Foster an easy integrative workflow;

  • Perform routine data back-ups, so you never lose any work done online;

  • Provide automatic updates, so you always have the latest capabilities and fixes;

  • Unfettered storage and project creation; and

  • Lighting-fast simulations and results.

2. Data Visualization

Data Visualization is the presentation of data visually to ensure that cove.tool's users can understand it easily and apply insights to their decision-making quickly. cove.tool uses data visualization to:

  • Display sDA, ASE, & Shadow Analysis in 3D virtual environments;

  • Generate Whole Building, EUI Breakdown, National Average, and Calendar Usage bar graphs, and comparative reports;

  • Interpret input efficiency ratings with color-coded ratings; and

  • high-resolution climate diagrams and building performance report you can download and share.

3. AI, Automation, and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence is the intelligent application of data from a machine. Automation, a prominent AI feature, allows computers to instantaneously execute a series of commands, run thousands of operations, and process tons of volumes of data. Last, Machine Learning is a computer's ability to perform specific tasks without using explicit instructions, but rather relying on known patterns and inference instead. cove.tool uses these elements to instantaneous create and populate every aspect of your project such as finding costs and engineering inputs. These processes also allows users to parametrically optimize their building design for energy use, product selection, embodied carbon, construction costs, and more. cove.tool uses AI to expedite the following operations:

  • Quick processing and durable calculations. cove.tool will will learn and save inputs and outputs to improve the calculations and duration of simulation runs;

  • Automating the selection of energy codes, climate data, best practice engineering inputs, regional cost values, regional building products, and more; and

  • Optimize cost, energy and building performance. Users can test every option through quickly and thoroughly and leave knowing they have a thoughtful and valid results specific to their design.

4. APIs and Data Exchanges

An API is an Application Programming Interface that provides developers with programmatic access to cove.tool's proprietary web app. In the simplest terms, an API allows one piece of software to interact with another piece of software. cove.tool connects to a variety of tool's through APIs to make many of it's features and calculations accurate and quick including the AIA 2030 DDx Dashboard.

5. Security and Privacy

cove.tool uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host our application and data as they are the industry gold standard for security and reliability. In addition we have also gone through an AWS Security Audit which tested for network and data vulnerabilities and implemented infrastructure improvements based on the findings. Also, we have the following best practices in place (the “Customer Responsibility” according to AWS) to keep our user's data secure:

  • Data is hosted behind a firewall and accessed directly by the server, not via a public URL;

  • All connections to and from the server encrypted with HTTPS;

  • Any cove.tool employee accessing the data must use two-factor authentication (2FA) and use HTTPS/SSL;

  • Database backups stored under the same encryption

  • Users can only access the data belonging to their firm

  • Users are required to verify their email address and all passwords are encrypted

  • Best practices such as Cross Site Scripting and Request Forgery prevention and SQL injection prevention are in place to prevent unauthorized access to the application/data

  • Limited user, business, and project data is collected - see the full list here

The cove.tool team has signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that covers user data. Each company in our platform has their data encrypted and siloed and there is no sharing of data between companies.

Even when we use machine learning on a cost optimization, we are only strictly analyzing options within that specific project and we do not reference other projects even from the same firm. This is due to the fact that many of our customers are also government contractors in the US, Canada, and UK. For specific national security requirements, we can verify where the data on a project is stored to comply with any audits.

For government projects where location information cannot be shared, a user can put the project address as the closest airport to further anonymize it. They will need to upload any context buildings to the shading device layer. The project name can be set to a code name for an extra layer of anonymization.

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