SketchUp for modeling building energy use with HS students?

I am hoping to use SketchUp for high school seniors I teach in NJ for an elective class on sustainability. They would design and then compare two versions of the same simple building layout but with traditional features in one that would make it an energy sink versus green features in the other (e.g., solar panels, orientation, efficient HVAC systems, materials, etc.) with the goal of making it energy neutral. Has anyone developed this type of activity with a lesson plan you could share? This is not an architecture course so it would have to be for motivated students with no prior experience (the same could be said for me as their teacher). Video tutorials or written instructions would be needed. Apologies if this request has already been posted by others - I looked around this part of the SU website but didn’t see something along these lines.

One part would be that you need to have access to SketchUp Studio, so they can use the Sefaira extension. There are several aspects that come in play when (pre)designing energy neutral buildings. Location and weather, for instance.
pinging @niraj.poudel and @corney
Maybe they have something to work with.

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Thank you Mike! I will look into SketchUp Studio. I would like to geotag the building location for our location (Lawrenceville, NJ), so that location can be taken into account for things like projections for solar power and heating/cooling needs.

HI @slaubach,

Sounds like a really fun and important initiative. As @MikeWayzovski mentioned, SketchUp Studio will give you and your students access to Sefaira where you can run the type of analyses that you mention.

One place to start crafting your syllabus would be to first go through these Sefaira YouTube videos, that will hopefully give you a sense of what is involved and maybe spark some ideas on how you would want to start building your syllabus.

Hi @slaubach,

One thing to keep in mind is that for Sefaira to take your location into consideration (and pull in the correct TMY3 weather file for analysis), you would enter the location information in the Sefaira extension as opposed to geolocate your model inside of SketchUp.

For example:

Hope this helps.

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Very helpful - thank you @niraj.poudel!

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