COVE Software reviews

Hi

My firm is evaluating the new COVE software internally.

https://www.cove.tools

Does anyone have experience with this platform?
For Embodied Carbon specifically, it looks like it links to EC3.

Following for interest - looks like a really interesting platform, would love to hear others’ experiences!

Cheers,
Jacob

Our firm is successfully using Cove.tool. It is powerful, fast and flexible. And perhaps most importantly, it is constantly evolving and adding new tools. For embodied carbon, there are ways to use the Optimize tab to evaluate the tradeoffs of assemblies, however at this time a fully developed embodied carbon tool is not yet available but I expect it will be soon. I know that a more direct link to EC3 is in the works and soon I believe you will be able to access EC3 data directly from within Cove.too. As you know, evaluating embodied carbon in buildings is an evolving field and currently best suited to processes where detailed material quantities are available. Cove.tool with it’s focus on early phase (most impactful) decision making has a difficult task ahead to extrapolate all these inputs, options and quantities based on the information available in a typical conceptual building model and then give us information in a way that is transparent enough to inspire confidence yet streamlined enough that almost anyone can effectively use it. Either way, Cove.tool pays for itself the first time you use it and once you are up to speed on how to use it, every project will benefit, even the ones with clients who can’t or won’t pay for climate and energy optimization of buildings. I give it many enthusiastic thumbs up.

Offering a word of caution with Cove.tool as it related to embodied carbon -

  • This is a concern specifically for designs that are either (1) very mutable, or (2) relatively complex/large. We have found that the most time-intensive portion of assembling a whole building life cycle assessment study is gathering accurate material quantity takeoffs. This is why my firm moved away from using Athena towards Tally, which integrates with Revit to automatically generate material quantity takeoffs from the BIM model (still requires oversight, but much less room for error that manual takeoffs). Specifically for building designs that are still shifting, or for complex buildings with many materials, the ability to automatically assess material quantity takeoffs is extremely important, which is unfortunately where cove.tool currently falls short.

  • The embodied carbon inputs are not automated and not automatically vetted within the tool – the recommended workflow is to open EC3, and copy/paste the GWP values from there. To clarify, there is no automatic link to EC3 at this time. Cove.tool does not have a built-in database of environmental impacts for building materials, so you will need to rely on another tool such as EC3 or Tally or OneClickLCA to populate it with credible data at this time, as far as I’m aware. Again, this is a concern for relatively complex projects.

Not to be a pessimist, just seems that this tool is currently very rudimentary and best used for concept design, or small projects.