One difficult task in load calculations is quality control. Did you define windows on all of your walls? Do you have the right number of people defined in each space? Most load calculation packages, including ours, spit out rows of numbers at you. Checking these number to confirm that they are correct is time-consuming and error-prone.
For example, given the floor plan show below, and this load print-out, there is no easy way to confirm that everything is defined properly.
What if we turn on the load map showing glass loads in each room? On the map, rooms are shaded with a color corresponding to the relative load in that room. The scale moves from black at the low-end, to blue in the middle, to white at the high-end. When you look at the floor plan below, does anything jump out at you?
The office in the top-left is black and the storage room in the top-right is white. Typically, you would expect larger windows in an office than a storage room, and a corresponding large glass load in the office. In this example, it is immediately obvious that this is reversed. This visual cue would be an indication for you to check the definition of these rooms. You would discover that there are windows in the storage room, but not the office. You could then check your plans to see if this was intended or a mistake that should be fixed.
If you add windows to the office and remove them from the storage room, the map updates to reflect those changes. The loads are now closer to what you would expect. The rooms on the west side of the building are lighter than the rooms on the east side of the building. The storage room, with no windows, is black.
There are a number of other maps available that you can use to check your design. Combined with the diffuser layout in Design Master, you can compare the supply CFM required in a room to the actual supply CFM. In the map below, the supply CFM in rooms shaded red is too low, the supply CFM in rooms shaded blue is too high, and the supply CFM in rooms shaded white is just right. This designer still has some work left to do on the CFM being supplied to each room!
These load maps are an experiment on our part. We are trying to break new ground in an attempt to solve the quality control problem that is part of load calculations. Please let us know what you think of this new feature. If you could add a map, what would you want to see?
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