FenestraPro plans to drastically improve the time spent designing more energy efficient buildings and reduce the amount of energy used by buildings.
Its smart software helps architects to design the façade of a building, at the earliest stages, taking into account its future energy performance.
By doing this work at the conceptual phase, FenestraPro’s software helps architects to make cost-savings in excess of 30 per cent.
Simply put, it enables them to design better performing buildings – from right at the beginning of the process.
The founders of FenestraPro are David Palmer and Simon Whelan, architectural technologists with a combined 35 years’ architectural practical experience.
The idea for FenestraPro was born when Palmer was undertaking a Master’s in Façade Engineering.
He was researching ways in which the process of designing buildings could save energy and be more cost-effective.
“We looked at how key design decisions could be easily considered with regards to the ultimate performance of the building – this led to the concept of FenestraPro,” says Palmer.
Once the architect has established the shape or mass of the building, FenestraPro informs the user how much glass is allowed on the building, when considering heat loss.
It then advises on the best place to put the glass to maximise heat gain and natural daylight.
To prevent a building overheating, FenestraPro provides the tools to select alternative glass types and shading configurations to control heat gain while maximising daylight.
The software has proved a big hit; FenestraPro is now used by leading global firms such as AECOM, the world’s biggest architectural firm, and Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architects (AS+GG) the designers of the world’s tallest building, as well as a number of other top global architectural firms.
“As the primary moderator between the internal and external environments, the building’s façade plays a critical role in the performance of the building during its lifecycle,” Palmer explains.
“The impact that a building’s façade has on energy consumed varies depending on the geometry of the building. However, on average it can influence 53 per cent of the total energy consumed which combined, represents around 10 per cent of total energy consumed in advanced countries.
“By providing architects with easy to use software that provides an optimised design solution, we will influence the reduction of building energy consumption globally.”
Palmer and Whelan recently launched Version 2.1 of FenestraPro software and will launch Version 3.0 this September that will cement its position as a leading global generative design tool for the design of energy efficient buildings. The company won a Global Cleantech Award for Green Buildings in Switzerland last year. With nine employees, Palmer and Whelan plan to double their number of jobs in the coming months.
Palmer thinks it is an exciting time for the sustainability scene in Ireland right now. “There are a decent number of very exciting companies innovating in the area of sustainability and we are enthused and delighted to be part of that.
“I think that the Sustainable Nation Ireland is what the country needs to build on the successes of a number of early stage companies innovating in the sector. Ireland is long considered a centre for innovation, and known for developing local solutions for global problems, it is important to support innovative companies in the area of sustainability that not only will create jobs but also have a positive effect on the environment.”