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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Trimble Acquires Sefaira

 
February 12th, 2016 by Susan Smith

In a conversation with Mads Jensen, Sefaira’s co-founder, we talked about the company’s recent acquisition by Trimble.

SketchUp Sefaira

Trimble acquired the London/New York based Sefaira Ltd., a leading developer of cloud-based software for the design of sustainable and high-performance buildings, an acquisition that expands Trimble’s Design-Build-Operate (DBO) portfolio to include tools for designing high-performing buildings early in the conceptual phase of a project. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s  Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiatives, today, buildings consume about 40 percent of global energy. Studies show that by designing buildings for efficiency at the beginning of the design phase, more valuable energy savings can be derived.

By providing sophisticated performance analysis via an intuitive user interface, Sefaira’s solutions empower users to estimate, compare and optimize the energy, water, carbon and financial benefits of relevant design strategies.

AECCafe Voice:  I thought Trimble had some ability to do performance analysis before. How does the acquisition expand their capabilities?

Since Trimble acquired SketchUp from Google in 2012, SketchUp has grown rapidly as a key offering in Trimble’s Design-Build-Operate software portfolio. SketchUp does not have any built-in performance analysis, but it offers its users additional functionality through plugins and extensions. Over the past few years, Sefaira has become by far the most popular and widely used performance analysis plugin for SketchUp.

With Sefaira becoming a part of Trimble’s SketchUp business, SketchUp will have more direct access to Sefaira’s world class expertise and leading performance analysis technology. It will be possible to integrate performance analysis even more directly into SketchUp (and other Trimble products) in the future.

AECCafe Voice:  What is the file format difference between SketchUp and Revit models? Is it a different process to run models in each?

Sefaira offers direct, real-time analysis inside the 3D modelling environments in SketchUp and Revit. Sefaira reads the models directly by using their APIs, without the user having to save their model to a file. The approach is very similar in the two environments and focuses on minimizing the burden on the user.

AECCafe Voice:  How many more firms does Sefaira expect to reach with being acquired by Trimble? I imagine a lot, since Trimble is a big company.

SketchUp has millions of users across the world, giving Sefaira an opportunity to rapidly grow our user base.

AECCafe Voice:  Will the staff move with the acquisition?

Trimble has acquired 100% of the shares in Sefaira and all employees are now employees of Trimble.

AECCafe Voice:  Will existing offices stay in operation or will they merge with Trimble offices?

There are no short-term plans to change offices. Long term this will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, as part of Trimble’s management of their global real estate portfolio.

AECCafe Voice:  What about existing customers? How will they be served?

Sefaira and SketchUp have always had a strong focus on customer support. Sefaira is still committed to delivering the same level of support as before.

AECCafe Voice:  Do you anticipate some new product solutions to be derived from the acquisition?

​The plan is to continue significant investment in the Sefaira platform and to offer continuous improvement to both architectural and MEP designers. Several exciting announcements​ are planned this year, so stay tuned!

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Categories: 2D, 3D, 3D PDF, AEC, AECCafe, BIM, building information modeling, collaboration, engineering, Sefaira, SketchUp, Trimble

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