2010-04-29, 09:53 AM

I’m researching about applications of PERFORATED METAL SHEETS to energy saving in buildings.

I chose Autodesk ECOTECT as main software to carry this research out because a like its user friendly running and the amount of graphic output data it can provide.

But I have a problem right now: I’m trying to create a new element material using the window “Elements in Current Model” to be able to use a perforated metal sheet in my model but I don’t know how to do it.

I can’t find technical information about how the software works or how it uses the materials properties.

My research is mainly about energy so I need ECOTECT engines to understand that there are a lot of holes in my metal sheet (i.e. the air can pass through them). So the analysis of this material should be, not only about light or solar behavior. ECOTECT should consider small holes in the metal sheet as “void elements” that allow air to pass through, and the loss of metal (as thermal material) because of them.

I don’t want to draw all the holes as a matrix of void elements because it incredibly increases the file size what overloads my RAM memory making it impossible to study big buildings. It’s a shame the software has to memorize all of the holes instead of only one plus the number of repetitions and distance between them…

Specifically I’m want to apply this material as a 2nd façade skin but considering the air cavity between metal sheet and glass skin as a thermal zone, to know what happens there.

I have some ideas:

1- Study only a small piece of the façade what allow to physically draw all the small holes as void elements.

2- Draw big holes in the metal sheet, but maintaining the “p” (perforation percentage) and introducing a permeability ratio to compensate the loss of thermal surface confronted with the real situation (I don’t know how to do it).

3- Create an hybrid material as a mix of metal and air, but I think it’s a bad way because software doesn’t consider the pass of air and visible radiation.

But I’m sure that there should be an easier way to do it. Would be a little disappointing that such a powerful tool like ECOTECT wasn’t able to consider perforated metal sheet (what is a really common and useful material today).

Could you help me please?

Thank you very much!!!