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Tue April 13 2021

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Trimble buys building software company

10 Feb 16 Trimble has bought a developer of software used in the evaluation of building performance.

The cloud-based software by Sefaira, which is based in London and New York, is aimed at the design of sustainable and high-performance buildings. The acquisition is intended to expand Trimble’s design-build-operate (DBO) portfolio to include tools used early in the conceptual phase of a project.  

Today’s buildings consume about 40% of global energy, according to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Sustainable Buildings & Climate Initiative. Trimble said that optimising the built environment can therefore have a substantial impact on the drive towards sustainability and increased global energy efficiency. “However, the most impactful energy savings can only be achieved if buildings are designed for efficiency at the beginning of the design process,” said the company.

Sefaira’s solutions are used to estimate, compare and optimise the energy, water, carbon and financial benefits of relevant design strategies. The aim is for users to balance the investment between various strategies, to maximise capital efficiency, minimise energy and water use and create high-performing sustainable building designs at low cost.

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The analysis can be run with models created in SketchUp, Trimble’s building design tool for architects and engineers, as well as with models created in Autodesk Revit. In addition, Sefaira provides tools that allow engineers and contractors to derive and analyse heating, ventilating and air conditioning design scenarios from an architectural model.

“Architects rely on SketchUp to understand conceptual design choices and develop constructible models,” said Chris Keating, general manager of Trimble’s architecture and design division. “But today, design is no longer just about aesthetics. Architects need to consider building performance in a more intuitive way, and be able to collaborate better with the engineers who design the systems that make buildings work. We have been a development partner with Sefaira for years now, and we are excited to increase our commitment to this space by adding Sefaira’s tools into Trimble’s portfolio of products for building designers and engineers.”

Sefaira CEO Mads Jensen added: “Sefaira’s tools are already being used by designers at more than 500 firms globally. Joining forces with Trimble will allow us to expand the reach of our tools much further, bringing performance analysis to many more architects around the world. This is an exciting milestone in our journey towards a future where building design is synonymous with high-performance, resulting in a built environment that is truly sustainable.”

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