Monday, September 27, 2010

The Big news

Meet the new Department of Energy: Conceptual Energy Analysis and visualization within Revit. How does that sound?

It is interesting to note that the weather data used for energy analysis is actually hosted by Autodesk (they even have a weather guy on staff!), which they then overlay onto the Google maps UI when you set your project location. As to the actual analysis process, you will be required to buy a supercomputer that can handle the complex calculations...ok I'm bluffing! Autodesk have taken care of the grunt work by having you send the data to their cloud so you can keep on working on other important things while the number crunching happens on real supercomputers. Once finished, the data is sent back to your machine for further interpretation and presentation of the results to your client.

So if you have shyed away from Revit massing tools, now is the time to really get going and take the leap. The new tools will take your mass model and create a suitable energy model from that - an analytical energy model - which you can further customize up to the individual face level. You have no more excuses to avoid doing an energy assessment at schematic design level. I hope your clients are reading this ;)

So what Revit does behind the scenes is to take the analytical model, create a gbxml file and send it to the cloud. Using design options, you can send multiple runs (ex: a square building, a circular building, etc.) simultaneously. Once they come back to your machine as html data, you can customize the reports, compare different runs side by side, export the data and charts for further tweaking in Excel, and print to pdf for record keeping.

The new features will be available as patches via subscription downloads in the next few days. You will need to give a username and password to your users in order to be able to send runs to the A-cloud. A simple way to do this is to create a common account with limited credentials used solely for this purpose.

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