Salovich Zero+ Campus Design Project
Salovich Zero Plus Campus Design Project

Tool Overview

Integrating Site and Water in the Early Design Phases 


Zero+ Shoebox Model Maker Zero+ Calculator Zero+ Campus Model Maker Prototype


Effective evaluative tools are essential in selecting appropriate design strategies and assessing the relative impacts of factors such as site, climate, building type, programmatic issues, and occupancy schedules in the early design phases.  To support better integration of energy and water in the early phases of design, the Zero+ team conducted an extensive inventory of existing design tools and online calculators that could potentially bridge energy and water at the building and landscape scales. From this inventory, a variety of tool resources have been developed to support better decision-making and design integration:

1. Online Calculators and Software:  An inventory of energy, water, and carbon tools online.

2. Tool Matrix:  A critique of the top four tools that were chosen for further analysis.

3. Zero+ Toolkit: Three Zero+ tool resources that are under development:

  • “Zero+ Shoebox Model Maker”:  A Zero+ SketchUp plugin for modeling with Integrated Environmental Systems VE (IES VE).
  • “Zero+ Calculator”: An Excel spreadsheet calculator that tailors energy and water assessments to include UMN operations data (e.g. energy and water costs, fuel sources, carbon emissions, etc.).
  • “Zero+ Design Analysis Tool Prototype”: An integrated SketchUp/Excel/Integrated Environmental Systems VE (IES VE) analysis tool prototype that can compare the performance of a simple “baseline model” to “bundles of design strategies” for as many as three design proposals (prototype is under development).