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BDA Mini Tutorial

Here is a minimum set of steps to get you started with the BDA software:

  1. Select "New" from the "Project" menu in the BDA window, type in a project name and hit OK - the BDA will create a new project database and launch the Schematic Graphic Editor (SGE).

  2. Click on the "New Solution" button in the SGE toolbar and OK the Solution Name dialog box - the SGE will open a new window.

  3. The "New Story" dialog box will open. Type in a story name and hit OK.

  4. Click on the "New Space" button in the SGE toolbar, select a space type and draw a rectangular space by clicking to specify each corner of the room. Double-click to close the space. Note that the BDA will allow you to draw non-rectangular spaces. However, since the daylighting and electric lighting tools that are linked to the BDA cannot model non-rectangular rooms, their output will not appear in the browser list of the space parameters.

  5. Select the space by clicking on one of its walls; click on the "New Window" button in the SGE toolbar and draw a window on the north-facing wall by clicking to specify each of its two end points. Similarly, draw a window on the south-facing wall.

  6. Select the space again by clicking on one of its walls; click on the "New Luminaire" button in the SGE toolbar and insert a luminaire in the space. Repeat, adding as many luminaires as you want.

  7. Click on the “Browser” button in the BDA toolbar – the BDA will open the Building Browser window. Experiment by unfolding the hierarchy of objects in the left window of the browser. Select an object to see the values of its children objects and its parameters on the right pane of the window.

  8. Click on the "building" object; notice that there are some parameters that do not have values (DOE-2 Total energy use, DOE-2 Total energy by end use, etc.). The same is true for the "space" object (Spatial daylight illuminance, Temporal daylight illuminance, Spatial electric light illuminance, etc.). These parameters can be computed by the tools that are linked to the BDA.

  9. Select any number of parameters of any object, by clicking on the box to their left in the right window of the browser. Select parameters that have values and even the ones that do not have values, and click the “Update Desktop” button in the Building Browser toolbar- the BDA will bring the Decision Desktop to the front with all selected parameters occupying rows. All available values will be displayed in the corresponding cells. Suggestion: Do not select “Window-to-Wall ratio sensitivity” at this time because it takes time to compute. To calculate missing values, click on the “Calculate Results” button in the “SimTools” menu of the BDA toolbar.

  10. Select the space in the SGE and click on the "New Reference point" button in the SGE toolbar and insert a reference point in the space. Repeat, adding a second reference point. Any of these reference points can be defined as a sensor for the dimming control of the electric lighting.

  11. Click on the "Light zoning" button in the SGE toolbar. Add all luminaires to the first reference point in the dialog box for light zoning.

  12. Click on the "Lighting controls" button in the SGE toolbar. Link the first reference point to the lighting control for the space. This step, along with the previous step, defines the first reference point as a sensor for the dimming control of the electric lighting.

  13. Select the space in the Building Browser and change the value of the lighting control to “Continuous dimming”. Double clicking on the lighting control parameter in the right window of the browser will open up the “Object Information” dialog box, from where the value of lighting control can be changed. Compute (or recomputed, if earlier computed) the “DOE2_ECM monthly electric lighting savings” for the space.

  14. To compare solutions: Click on the "New Solution" button in the SGE toolbar and OK the Solution Name dialog box - the current solution will be duplicated.

  15. Select the space in the Building Browser. Select a luminaire, by double clicking on its name in the right window of the browser and then modify its value. From the database of luminaries displayed in the Object Information dialog box, select a luminaire that has a direct/indirect lighting distribution (e.g. RLS Small 4). Select the “Change all objects with the same value” option before clicking OK.

  16. Select the space in the Building Browser and change the value of its "Luminaire suspension length" parameter. Use a value that would be appropriate for indirect lighting. Calculate the results for the second solution.

  17. Add the “Window-to-wall ratio sensitivity” parameter for the space to the Decision Desktop, by selecting it and clicking on the “Update Desktop” button. Calculate the results by clicking on the column head (column head will have the name of the new solution) in the Decision Desktop browser. Another way of calculating the results is by clicking on the “Calculate Results” button in the “SimTools” menu of the BDA toolbar.

  18. Experiment with adding overhangs, fins, and building shades. Click on the window to which fins or overhangs have to be added, and then click on overhang/fins button on the SGE tool bar. Add new spaces and floors. Move and rotate luminaires.

NOTE:

  • To change the values of objects and parameters: Right click on them in the Browser and select "properties" from the pop-up menu.
  • Double-click on a Decision Desktop graphic to open it in its own window and change it.
  • To select parameters from the Building Browser to be displayed in the Decision Desktop, click on the box to their left in the right window of the Building Browser. Clicking on the box will create a checkmark. To deselect the parameters click on the box again, this will remove the checkmark.


Copyright 1997 The Regents of the University of California.
For problems or questions regarding this web site contact majohnson@lbl.gov.
Last updated: June 14th, 2003.