Free IES-Gaia for education

IES (or Integrated Environmental Solutions) has a range of tools for sustainable design analysis.

They now offer free 12-month academic licenses to VE-Gaia for educational institutes (contact enquiries at iesve.com). They already offer £50 licenses for students (per year) so I'm not sure what is provided with this academic offer. The software seems to be Windows-only.

Announcement: http://www.iesve.com/news/pressrelease/IES-OFFERS-FREE-ARCHITECTURAL-SOFTWARE-TO-SUPPORT-FUTURE-OF-SUSTAINABLE-DESIGN_2009

The VE-Gaia software

Info on http://www.iesve.com/software/ve-gaia

This is a standalone application focusing on building performance simulation with included visual and text-based reporting. It looks at following criteria:

  • building characteristics: area/volume ratio, solar loads, thermal mass, material usage
  • climate exploration
  • energy/carbon (including temperatures, humidity and comfort at room level)
  • lighting (daylighting and solar shading)
  • use of natural resources (solar energy, wind, rain, water reduction)
You can model inside the software, but it can also be integrated with SketchUp and Revit (using plug-ins) or you can import DXF and gbXML files (which e.g. ArchiCAD can generate using a free add-on for educational users).