Ecotect provides the facility to create and edit material and construction libraries. Ecotect uses the term material also for constructions.
The material library is opened in various ways including:Model->Material Library
The LHS of the dialogue box which appears lists all the constructions in the database. It is best to create a new library (or edit your own existing library) rather than corrupt the standard ecotect library.
Export and create a library within a directory you have set up for your ecotect work. When you return to ecotect remember to Load this directory. Now you can make alterations to your materials/constructions without worrying.
Don't forget to Export (may also need to Add to Global Library) your materials/constructions at the end, otherwise all your changes will not be available when you reload the software (Ecotect does not appear to warn you of this).
Assuming you are not interested in Acoustic performance, the right hand side has two tabs detailing constructions/materials. The Properties tab gives you an overview of data representing a particular construction. It is not clear exactly what data you are expected to enter and what will be derived by Ecotect.
Setting up constructions
Click on Properties tab. in the top left box enter a name for your construction. below it enter a description. If this is simply an experiment, its best to make this clear. Specify the Building Element you are defining. Ecotect is fairly flexible with assignment of different constructions. For example it should be possible to represent a subteranean dwelling by assigning walls (vertical elements) as floors with ground contact.
Now you have 2 options: To enter the data in the top right hand box (U value down to weight) or get Ecotect to calculate some of these parameters and for you to enter the remainder.
The values in the right hand box are the values Ecotect takes into the thermal calculation. This is the type of data used by any model using the Admittance Method. One additional parameter (emissivity), from the other panels will be needed. If you want Ecotect to work out the thermal parameters then you need to bring up the Layers tab.
There are 2 main sections to the Layers tab. the top one deals with creation and editing of data representing the basic thermal props of material. The lower one details current construction, organising position of layers and thicknesses.
The materials library is arranged according to types of materials. Once you have identified a material you require in the construction, simply click on it and drag into the box below. Set the thickness of the layer. Though Ecotect will allow you to edit the other parameters it should not let you save any other data associated with that material. Editing of the layers (inserting/adding/copying/pasting) is done with a right click in the lower box. Do not drag a material across unless their is a layer for it to go into, otherwise you will simply overwrite what you've already entered. You can move the position of a layer by draging on its layer number and placing it where you want it. The layers appear in order from outside to inside, as appears in the graphic. When your construction details are correct click on Update Material Properties, this will override some of the data defined in the Properties tab.
Editing material data
You can alter the data for an existing material or create new materials. Whichever you wish to do you will have to select a material from the library to edit. Right click on the element and select edit element data. If you change the name of the material it will automatically add it as a new material otherwise it defaults to replacement.