Sefaira: real-time performance-based design in SketchUp, and now a part of Trimble Buildings
With SketchUp, we imagined a design tool that would stand out of the way and let designers get about the business of doing their design. A tool that was simple enough to be useful in the way that a pencil and straightedge are useful.
But we need to acknowledge that building design has grown increasingly complex over that same period of time. The principles of good building design have grown from the traditional questions of program, form, space, and order to include the full performance of a building.
The challenge with performance-based design to date has been in finding useful ways to do it early enough in the design process to really make a difference. Too often, critical design decisions are made during even conceptual design that unintentionally but adversely impact the ultimate performance of the building — decisions which are next to impossible to unwind once they are discovered.
Luckily, there are smart people in the world who have recognized the importance of early-stage performance-based design and studied how to fold it into the real-time flow of exploring and iterating upon a design. These are our friends... now our colleagues at Sefaira.
Today, I’m pleased to announce that Trimble has acquired Sefaira Ltd., a developer of industry-leading design tools for the performance-driven design of buildings. Long story short, this means that Sefaira is now a Trimble product, joining SketchUp and the Trimble Buildings team. We’ve been collaborating together for many years and the time felt right to make the collaboration permanent.
What is performance-based design, anyway?
Practically speaking, this acquisition means business as usual for customers of Sefaira Architecture and Sefaira Systems. They should expect to receive the same great level of service they have become accustomed to from Sefaira.
Over the next year, Sefaira and Trimble will work together to integrate Sefaira more closely with SketchUp, 3D Warehouse and Trimble Connect—as well as with numerous products from Trimble MEP.
Consistent with SketchUp’s track record of interoperability and Trimble’s commitment to openness, we’re also planning to maintain and improve Sefaira’s functionality for other CAD systems, including Revit.
In the long term, we intend to grow the reach and capability of Sefaira’s product line, bringing the performance-driven design ethos they champion into the hands of more and more architects and engineers.
Working with Sefaira, we think we can make a positive impact on the design of buildings. We’d like to make performance-driven design as quick and capable as SketchUp. Simple enough to be useful… and maybe now, useful enough to make a real impact on the built environment.