Block

Block

GreenDesk uses Block elements to model all aspects of a project and to carry model data (structure, values, and answers to questions). Expert System calculations are applied across blocks and the values they carry to determine whether a real-world project's design, as-built state, or operational state meets the credit criteria for a certification scheme.

Most of the block elements you'll need to work with are either pre-created for you or can be easily added via rich interactive worksheets.

Most blocks represent concrete, real-world objects, but some stand for abstract concepts.

A block has three possible states, indicated by special sets of "interactive" and "passive" coloured icons. The "interactive" versions of the block icons are:

  •   Enabled: the block is known to exist (be used) in the real-world project. The enabled state is 'true'. This can also stand for "turned on", "installed", or "present". Only fully-enabled blocks and their carried values are included in Expert System calculations.
  •   Disabled: the block is declared to NOT exist in the real-world project. The enabled state is 'false'. It is however NOT removed from the GreenDesk project database, and can be re-enabled at any time:
    • This is an important feature that enables users to easily experiment with the impact of including different model elements in the project's design to determine the impact on the predicted credit points achieved.
    • It also enables you to keep a lasting record of design options you tried out without removing the information permanently from the database. When using GreenDesk, you almost never have to completely delete model information.
  •   Candidate: some blocks are pre-created, but are only in the "candidate" state, and not yet fully activated. The enabled state is undefined (also indicated by UNDEF). This feature enables GreenDesk to prompt you with candidate model elements.

The "passive", non-interactive versions of the icons are enabled, disabled, and undefined (candidate mode).

IMPORTANT: A block will only be counted in Expert System calculations if it is fully 'enabled' !

In most views and worksheets, blocks can be 'enabled' or 'disabled' easily by just clicking on the interactive form of the enabled block state icon (where offered); a popup dialog appears so you can turn the block "on or off", and on saving the Expert System applies the changes to all credit criteria calculations.

In many view and worksheets, users can also choose to temporarily hide blocks that are not fully enabled using display options.

Many blocks are contained in Listel (a.k.a. Listing Element or Grouping Element) elements (named lists of similar blocks) to which you can also easily add blocks - although this is also usually done behind-the-scenes for you via worksheets.

Q: Why are they called 'blocks' ?
The term block is used widely in systems engineering. It is used for Building Information Modeling (BIM) and in the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) of the buildingSMART alliance, and in the graphical Systems Modeling Language (SysML) of the Object Management Group (OMG).
Q: Do I have to know about block-based systems engineering to use GreenDesk ?
No. Nearly everything you need to do can be done without knowing how blocks are used behind the scenes. The various views and rich interactive worksheets take care of that for you so you simply have to add, enable and/or disable various types of blocks and edit their values.
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