HVAC Industry Standardizes on gbXML for Building Design, Engineering

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff December 1, 2004

Leading HVAC manufacturers are adopting and deploying Green Building XML (gbXML), according to GeoPraxis, an A/E software developer. The hope is that it will lead to a streamlining of the building design process, providing interoperability for architects and building design teams.

This critical breakthrough by the AEC industry could speed building design and drive down the costs by making possible the seamless sharing of building design information between architects, building engineers, HVAC systems designers and sales teams. The gbXML protocol is an open schema available at no charge.

HVAC manufacturers standardizing on gbXML include Trane, Carrier and York International.

Leading architectural design software and engineering companies supporting gbXML include Autodesk, Graphisoft, Bentley Systems, Elite Software, ECOTECT and GeoPraxis.

While Trane has supported gbXML for several years, the adoption of the protocol by other leading HVAC manufacturers indicates that the industry is now standardizing on it.

“We can eliminate the need to perform time-intensive plan takeoffs of key building design information by using gbXML to input building design information from an architect’s CAD model into Trace 700,” said Joe Riemer, marketing manager at Trane. For example, gbXML seamlessly links architects using Autodesk Revit 6.1 with HVAC engineering teams at Trane using Trace 700 for design specifications, allowing them to develop geometrically accurate building models in minutes, rather than days or weeks.

Another advantage is that it allows the building energy analysis team to assess design alternatives using whole building energy analysis like GeoPraxis’ Green Building Studio, and supports the immediate development of detailed input files for DOE-2, EnergyPlus and eQUEST, leading building energy modeling tools. It also allows immediate information sharing with Elite Software’s HVAC duct design tools and ECOTECT’s environmental analysis tools.

“We are excited that GeoPraxis’ Green Building Studio and gbXML-based connectors to our Revit, Building Systems and Architectural Desktop products now demonstrate the power of the new building information modeling tools and approach for the AEC industry. This initiative is a clear example of the benefit of working with building information models to streamline the process of designing better buildings,” said Phil Bernstein, FAIA, vice president of Autodesk’s Building Solutions Division.

“The adoption of the gbXML schema by the HVAC industry represents a turning point in the industry, improving building design practice,” said John Kennedy, president and CTO of GeoPraxis, and creator of gbXML. “Building design teams can now drive down the costs of green building design, and building product manufacturers involved in the specification and pre-sales design will benefit.”