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All you need to Know about PreDesign in SketchUp 2021

by global

We have already announced the release of SketchUp 2021 in one of our previous articles – real all about what’s new in SketchUp 2021 here! One of the most interesting features of SketchUp that Trimble announced this fall, however, is the PreDesign in SketchUp pro 2021. This requires a detailed understanding. Let us delve in!

The SketchUp 2021 PreDesign feature is for architects and designers who want to, sort of, test drive their creation a bit before it actually takes shape. That is to say, the designer can, using this feature, now test out the environmental impact of their building in the area, and alternately, the effect of the site climate on the building.

The need for PreDesign

Green building is all the rage now, and for good reason. The effect of climate change is making us all think about things like sustainable architecture and energy efficiency and environmental footprint. All of these can be estimated using specialized environmental scientific software (looking at you, Sefaira!) – and quite effectively, too.

However, the problem with that approach is that this has to be done only after you have a complete model available of the building. Which means, any new decisions you make depending upon the environmental analysis data about changes in the design, will be hard to implement since the full model is ready now.

PreDesign circumvents this issue by letting you see the environmental impacts of and on the building at the earliest stages of the design development. Using this, you can make many important big decisions regarding climate responsiveness of your building that may be hard to take later on as the model complexity grows. 

How PreDesign Works

PreDesign is useful for anyone designing a building or doing building renovation. It will also work in outdoor space designs. You can also use the PreDesign tool to get inspiration or ideas to build or renovate in a particular area.

Using the PreDesign tool in SketchUp 2021, you can find and assimilate climate information of the immediate surroundings and of the general area. This helps you take better decisions at the phase where the design work is still in its infancy. Furthermore, this will let you device design strategies, or choose between a few different approaches for the building design. 

But not only that, you can use this tool for your customers too. You can tell you clients how and what they exactly need using the environmental impact models at the very basic stage, and convince them to choose one specific approach that will best fit the local climate and will produce the least emissions.

Incorporating these climate factors in your design at an early stage is paramount for the rest of your design lifecycle, since these decisions will shape the tomorrow of your model.

Do’s and Don’ts with PreDesign

  • It should be used in the research or concept phase of a design or renovation work.
  • It can be used to filter through various design ideas and present them to your client to select the best fit to budget and climate.
  • It can be used EARLY, to avoid costly design modification work LATER.
  • It cannot be used to automatically apply design strategies.
  • It cannot be used to guarantee compliance with greed building standards – that’s on your own to check.
  • It cannot be used on a specific 3D model you are working on (it only looks at building type and climate history and provides suggestions based on that).

Hope you have made good use of this information. We will be back later with more in-depth looks at the features of Sketchup 2021.

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