Can you explain what PANDA is?
PANDA doesn’t just measure carbon, it helps you reduce it. PANDA automatically generates feasible design options for your given geometry. PANDA computes 1000’s of code compliant design options in minutes and assesses the cost and carbon impact of each one. With this information our customers can explore and develop the options with less embodied carbon,. This adds value whilst saving time and money compared with manually generating each scheme.
How is PANDA being used?
The customers who get the most from PANDA use it early, collaboratively, and productively.
Early – PANDA likes to get involved early; users get the most of PANDA when they use it at design stages 0-1 to identify possible schemes at the start of the design process. PANDA only needs to know basic information on your project such as: basic layout geometry, soil type, loading and layout requirements; it doesn’t need a full detailed design so can be used right at the start of a project.
It is still useful to assess the impact of changes later in the design process, but the earlier you consider your options the greater the opportunity to design a low carbon building.
Collaborative -- Once the inputs have been provided, PANDA will automatically generated 1000’s of code compliant design options; displaying the carbon and cost of each one. But no computer software can replace the design team, the user needs to evaluate the options and select the best ones to develop further. Since PANDA runs very fast, this evaluation can be done live as a collaborative process between the project manager, engineer, architect and client. The team can collaboratively evaluate the results and filter the options to assess the impact of key decisions before they are made.
Productive – PANDA isn’t a carbon calculator, so it doesn’t need detailed design to add value. To find out whether option A is better than option B approximate geometry is good enough you don’t need to spend a lot of time creating detailed layout geometry. This approximation means PANDA runs very fast enabling live collaborative decision making to select the best options. This increases the team’s productivity in early stage design studies.
What benefits can using PANDA bring to a project?
PANDA can help you win new business, save time, save money, and reduce emissions.
Clients and collaborators are looking for ways to ensure their buildings have less of an environmental impact. With the structure responsible for upward of 50% of embodied carbon in a typical building the structural design is likely to be one of the key focal points in reducing environmental impact.
Enlightened clients realise that the best performing buildings are designed holistically from an early stage, good environmental performance doesn’t come from “bolt ons”
So we can run really early concepts through PANDA before things become too fixed. Using PANDA can help guide early design decisions such as layout, grids, structural zones, etc providing data on relative cost and carbon with each option.
One of the great things about PANDA is the speed at which it analyses hundreds of options. This means it can be a real collaborative tool used in design workshops.
The speed of PANDA means that our customers don’t have to put up their fees to provide this added value to their service.
Is PANDA just another LCA software? How does PANDA compare to other seemingly similar embodied carbon and life cycle assessment software?
No, PANDA is not an LCA software. PANDA is an early-stage design optioneering tool, which actually generates the design options from scratch using our codified version of the design codes. PANDA does not use a database of benchmark buildings or rely on a human generated design, this means it is able to identify low emission design solutions which would otherwise have been overlooked. The user can select the most suitable schemes to develop in a detailed design.
PANDA uses LCA data to rank solutions and evaluate which design options have lower emissions, but a detailed LCA should still be undertaken for the selected design options.
I’ve heard that many engineers now have a carbon assessment tool, why should they need PANDA too?
We recommend that PANDA is used in conjunction with your favoured carbon assessment tool, not instead of it. Such tools are important to give a detailed picture of the building’s embodied carbon, but they cannot significantly reduce the embodied carbon of the building as they do not generate alternative solutions. In contrast PANDA generates all the feasible design options so will reveal significant emission saving opportunities.
In these volatile times how reliable is the cost data within PANDA?
Our cost data is updated every 6 months by a leading UK cost consultancy. However, clients are free to input their own cost data.
PANDA is designed to help make early-stage decisions with an understanding of carbon impact and cost for all possible design schemes, it is not intended to replace a quantity surveyor who can provide more accurate costings for the small number of selected schemes which are developed to detailed design.
Where does the LCA and Cost data come from?
Choose from our product libraries, cost data from our QS partner Gardener and Theobald and LCA data based on ICE database with additional research from the university of Cambridge.
Alternatively, if you have your own data, we can help you build a bespoke model using your own component libraries, carbon models and cost models.
How much does it cost to buy PANDA?
An annual licence for PANDA costs £3450/year exc. VAT. Each licence seat is floating so unlimited users can access the software. Discounts apply for multiple licence seats, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on multi-licence pricing.
Can I pay for it monthly?
Yes, monthly licences are available at £395/month exc. VAT. Monthly licences operate on rolling contract basis with 30 days’ notice period for cancellation. One-off periods can be purchased, please contact us at email@example.com for more information on bespoke pricing.
How does the licence work, do I need multiple licences?
Each licence seat enables one user to access PANDA at any given time, if multiple users require access at the same time you will need to purchase multiple seats. We want the whole team to benefit from using PANDA, not just a sustainability specialist, this is why all PANDA licences are floating seats which are not locked to individual users.
Can PANDA be used on international projects?
PANDA uses Eurocodes with UK national annexes to generate the feasible design solutions. Carbon and cost data are based on UK, but international users can easily override these numbers through inputting their own local data in a text file.
We are working on developing international versions of PANDA, in the meantime we hope the Eurocode design is still useful in international markets to inform early design decisions to select a small number of design schemes which can then be checked against local codes during the subsequent detailed design stages.