Green Building XML Schema

For Immediate Release


May 2, 2000

GeoPraxis Announces the First Comprehensive XML Schema for Building Energy and Environmental Performance Analysis

SONOMA, CA --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- May 2, 2000 -- Today pioneering energy analysis solutions provider GeoPraxis, Inc. announced the publication of an open XML schema that will greatly facilitate the analysis of building energy and environmental performance. Soon architects, engineers, and others who design and build buildings in CAD will be able to predict how much energy their buildings will use and how much pollution they will produce with drag-and-drop simplicity.

The new schema, Green Building XML™ (gbXML), will greatly simplify and popularize the use of powerful but traditionally hard to use building energy simulation software. Presently this type of software is only used for research or on the largest construction projects that can afford to hire specially trained engineers.

The gbXML™ schema will facilitate the transfer of building information including product characteristics and equipment performance data between manufacturer’s databases, CAD applications, and energy simulation engines. Improved data interoperability between the tools currently used in the architecture, engineering, and construction (A/E/C) industry will greatly reduce the time and cost of designing high performance, energy and resource efficient buildings.

John Kennedy, head of software development at GeoPraxis, made the announcement. "After six months of dedicated effort by our simulation tool development team, the preliminary gbXML specification is now ready for industry review and comment. GeoPraxis is actively seeking cooperation with other interested parties before submission to BizTalk.Org and XML.Org later this month. The next generation of gbXML-enabled CAD tools will allow architects to estimate energy consumption and associated environmental impacts as soon as their schematic designs are entered into CAD. Engineers, Construction Managers, and other design team members see the benefits too since they will be able to refine the CAD files and re-perform the analyses without having to re-enter the data into another program."

Kennedy added, "For building product manufacturers, CAD software vendors, and A/E/C project extranets, the best news in this announcement is that this schema is much more than a simple template to guide future schema and tool development. In fact, the schema has already been integrated into the powerful IDEA Server™ web-based energy analysis application that is available right now. And the benefits of the schema will be available to the users of the popular 3D CAD modeling software DesignWorkshop® by the end of the year."

Kennedy said he expects the schema will ultimately be adopted by the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI), the organization that has been advocating data interoperability in the A/E/C industry for the past six years. The long elusive goal of interoperability received a big boost when Bentley announced the publication of their aecXML standard last fall. Since then, GeoPraxis has been closely following aecXML developments.

"Our focus groups and survey of over 400 A/E/C 3D CAD users have confirmed there is great demand for energy analysis tools that are easier to use than what is currently available", said Marketing Director Tom Conlon. "Almost all the architects we have spoken with are excited about the advanced capabilities this new technology will bring them. No one wants to become an energy expert if they don’t have to, and no one has time to re-enter data or spend hours researching the properties of green building materials." Conlon says that manufacturers who make information about their high performance products compatible with the schema will be giving CAD users the easiest way possible to evaluate their products.

President of Artifice, Inc. Kevin Matthews observed, "The new Green Building schema provides a real advance in CAD integration, for all the right reasons. We will be supporting gbXML aggressively in our DesignWorkshop® Professional architectural modeling, rendering, and walkthrough software."

"Using the gbXML schema, we can efficiently provide a new range of AEC design and analysis capabilities. From our consumer-level web-based building design tools, to the high-level business and enterprise-level energy simulation solutions we are creating with GeoPraxis, this schema is the key to unlocking the power of the Internet for improved environmental performance."


About XML.

Extensible Markup Language, or XML, is a meta-markup language that provides a universal data format for describing structured information. The "extensibility" of the XML language makes it a very powerful business tool for communicating and collaborating on the Internet. By developing and implementing an "XML schema" or relational vocabulary specific to AEC projects, organizations using the same schema could use their existing software applications to send, receive, access and retrieve virtually any type of project document or transactional data. It also gives AEC firms a much more efficient and effective way for taking advantage of e-collaboration and e-commerce opportunities, such as coordinating and synchronizing related project information with clients as well as doing business with suppliers and purchasers of equipment, materials, supplies, parts and services.


About aecXML.

AecXML is a framework of XML-based schemas to facilitate communications between and among the various constituents involved in the A/E/C process, including: architects, engineers, contractors, owner/operators, estimators, consultants, materials suppliers, building product manufacturers, and others. AecXML uses the XML-standard revolution to remove the current barriers to exchanging A/E/C-specific information in electronic business-to-business conversations. The gbXML schema extends the aecXML standard into a domain that is becoming increasingly important to the A/E/C industry: green building design. The International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) announced its adoption of aecXML in February of 2000.


About Green Building XML™.

The gbXML schema was developed at GeoPraxis with the support of the California Energy Commission, under the Public Interest Energy Research Program. Through the Conceptual Design Energy Analysis Tool (CDEAT) project, GeoPraxis is developing a means of linking powerful energy simulation programs (e.g., DOE-2 and EnergyPlus) to 3D-CAD modeling tools. The result of this project will be the Energy Analysis Module, an easy-to-use, energy analysis software module that will be integrated with an existing 3D-CAD software tool. An extremely powerful but hard-to-use building energy analysis program will be hidden within the most accessible, inexpensive, and yet full-featured 3D modeling and rendering tool currently on the market, DesignWorkshop®. The resulting tool is intended for energy non-experts, (primarily architects, lighting designers, design/build contractors, and developers) who will be able to generate reliable estimates of the energy performance of a building during its earliest stage of design.


About GeoPraxis.

GeoPraxis, Inc. combines its expertise in energy engineering, market research, and software development to meet the rigorous research and development needs of some of the most sophisticated resource companies, research organizations, and policy-making bodies in the world.

GeoPraxis is all about putting the best ideas to work for the most effective use of limited resources. In Greek "Geo" means Earth and "Praxis" means Action, the exercise of an art, science, skill, or practice. At GeoPraxis, our work enables people and organizations across the planet to better understand and manage their resource use. Understanding how we use resources is the first step to taking control and managing their associated costs and risks.


Tom Conlon, Principal
GeoPraxis, Inc.
461 7th Street West, Suite 1
Sonoma, Ca 95476-5976

707.996.9408 voice
707.939.8702 fax


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