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Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design

Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Introduction
In this whitepaper we will explore some of the Building Information Modelling technologies available for making informed
sustainable design decisions from the earliest possible design stages.
How does Building Information Modelling aid Sustainable Design?
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is core to Autodesks sustainable design approach. BIM is an integrated workflow built on
coordinated, reliable information about a project from design through construction and into operations.
Autodesk BIM software makes sustainable design practices easier, more efficient, and less costly by enabling architects,
engineers, builders, and owners to:

Easily create coordinated, digital design information and documentation

Use that information to accurately visualise, simulate and analyse project performance, appearance, and cost

Reliably deliver the project faster, more economically, and with reduced environmental impact through the project
lifecycle from design through operation

With BIM, the information required for sustainable design, analysis, code compliance, and certification becomes available as a
by-product of the standard design process, making the sustainable design process inherently more efficient and cost-effective.
Further, analytical capabilities not possible in traditional, drawing-based methods are easily accessed through BIM.
Autodesks commitment to sustainability
Autodesk is committed to sustainability and demonstrates this through:

Using Autodesks own operations as living lab opportunities to innovate in sustainable design practices.
Providing educational programs to help the next generation of designers to incorporate sustainability.
Striving to help every AEC professional more easily and routinely consider the sustainability implications of their design
decisions by offering a broad portfolio of products and helping get the most from them.
Acting as an expert adviser to bodies such as the World Economic Forums Low Carbon Taskforce, DOEs Net-Zero
Energy Consortia, and the U.Ks Technology Strategy Board and work on solutions with other companies through the
Green Sigma Coalition, World Resources Institute, U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program, and various green
certification councils.

The Autodesk Corporate Sustainability Report can be viewed at:

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.

http://www.autodesk.com/sustainabilityreport

Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design


Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis


Applicable to Autodesk Revit Architecture and Autodesk Revit MEP with Subscription

With the Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis tool, architects and engineers can quickly convert conceptual design models into rich
analytical energy models, and conduct integrated whole building energy analysis.
As an early design concept changes, the energy model and conceptual massing forms are updated accordingly. This makes it
possible to continuously conduct energy and carbon analysis and compare design alternatives.
Highly visual analysis reports make it easier to understand and communicate the impact of design changes to project
stakeholders.
These integrated early analyses help make more informed decisions in the conceptual design phase when changes are least
expensive. An added advantage is the conceptual model can be used to form the basis of the more advanced model as the
design develops.

Key features
Web-based Climate Data
At the heart of the Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis Tool is cloud based computing that allows rapid analysis without disturbing
user workflow. To enable the analysis, a high resolution global climate data set containing more than 1.5 million weather
stations is available to the user. The building can be located using Google Maps technology and an appropriate weather station
selected. The data for this weather station is then used for the energy analysis runs.

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.

Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design


Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Conceptual Massing Tools


Building forms can be quickly created using the expressive conceptual design tools available. Separate forms can be created
within the mass to allow separate space types to be applied. Mass floors are applied to the resulting form as a prerequisite for
energy analysis

Automatic Form Rationalisation


Intelligent energy settings are used to define the desired performance parameters for the building and are used to rationalise
the mass form into zones and surfaces used for energy analysis. The global energy settings for the building can be overridden for
specific zones and surfaces to tune the model to suit requirements. Custom glazing and shading can be created where required.

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.

Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design


Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Graphical Energy Analysis Results


With the mass form complete and the required energy settings applied, the model can be submitted to the cloud for analysis.
When complete, the user will be notified via a pop-up window and can then review the results. These results include energy
usage, lifecycle costs, and breakdowns of consumption and loads. The easy to understand graphical results and raw data can be
shared with project stakeholders via .pdf, .png image file or .csv file.

Compare Design Options


Use Revit design options and results comparison to explore and evaluate multiple concepts and design iterations.

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.

Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design


Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Export mass to gbXML


Leverage the easy to use conceptual modelling tools to create energy analysis models for use in downstream analysis tools via
the gbXML file format.

Revit Solar Studies


Applicable to Autodesk Revit Architecture, Autodesk Revit Structure and Autodesk Revit MEP

It is possible at the earliest stages of design to evaluate the impact of natural light and shadows on your design by performing
solar studies using Revits sun path functionality. The sun path is a visual representation of the sun's range of movement across
the sky at the geographic location you specify for a project. Using the sun path's on-screen controls, you can create solar studies
by placing the sun at any point along its daily path, and at any point along its analemma. It is also possible to animate solar
studies for a defined period.

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.

Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design


Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Technology Previews
Autodesk Project Vasari
Project Vasari is aimed at concept designers and energy analysts and acts as a test bed for new technology and as an on-ramp
to Building Information Modelling. It includes the Revit Conceptual Energy Modelling and Analysis Tools and can be downloaded
from:
http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/vasari/
Analyses included in Project Vasari not currently found in Autodesk Revit products are Solar Radiation and Wind.

Autodesk Green Building Studio


Utilising cloud-based whole building energy analysis, Green Building Studio uses uploaded gbXML files to provide analysis of the
design to estimate energy consumption, determine carbon emissions and understand potential for renewable energy use. The
gbXML files used can be derived from the Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis mass models or more detailed building information
models containing rooms or spaces from Autodesk Revit Architecture or Autodesk Revit MEP, or compatible third party
products.
Additional assumptions and parameters can be applied to the analysis runs over that possible in the Revit Conceptual Energy
Analysis tools. In addition, if the gbXML is derived from an Autodesk Revit MEP model, specified space types, interior loads,
constructions and HVAC equipment data will be used for the analysis.

Key features
Energy and Carbon Results
Results from the analysis are displayed in a comprehensive yet easy-to-understand summary page. The results provide accurate
information on building energy and resource use, carbon emissions, simulation assumptions, performance metrics, and costs.
These results can be used to compare the energy costs of multiple building design scenarios.

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.

Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design


Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Design Alternatives
Use drop down menus to adjust parameters that will impact the energy and carbon analysis. This permits fast optioneering to
explore aspects critical to the design, such as HVAC systems, lighting performance or construction materials.

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.

Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design


Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Portfolio Dashboards
Portfolio Dashboards facilitate the display of analysis results across a range of buildings. This allows building owners to quickly
identify how buildings are performing across their portfolio. You can organise your projects in different dashboards by location,
building type, climate, and other categories. Dashboards can compare Energy Use Intensity, Annual Energy Cost, Annual Energy
Consumption and Average Energy versus Degree Days.

Autodesk Simulation CFD


Applicable to Autodesk Revit Architecture and Autodesk Revit MEP

Autodesk Simulation CFD allows you to conduct real world testing on your models to understand how design changes can help
you achieve environmental objectives and energy certifications.
Factors such as aesthetic appeal, occupant comfort, indoor air quality, and safety needs are considered for both the present and
the future. Simulation CFD informs energy-efficient design and takes advantage of natural resources to significantly improve
sustainable development

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.

Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design


Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Key features
Real-World Validation
Autodesk Simulation CFD provides airflow and thermal validation directly from the Building Information Model. Architects and
engineers are able to understand how design changes can help achieve environmental objectives.

Direct Comparison
Performance of a new technology or design approach can be studied for effectiveness early in the development stage before
significant time, investment or design resources are committed. For example: natural ventilation vs. mechanical ventilation
studies, impact of solar shading Etc.
Architects and engineers are able to demonstrate how a design approach will achieve energy efficiency standards, energy
certifications or air quality requirements before construction.

Simulation CFD offers tools for maximising efficiency of a given design approach, such as varying the thickness of the air layer in
a ventilated faade.
Engineers have access to tools for making fast, accurate comparisons of thermal comfort and air quality issues for different types
of HVAC and structural designs.

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.

Building Information Modelling for Sustainable Design


Conceptual Building Performance Analysis Overview

Autodesk Sustainable Design Resources


For further reading, please see the following web resources:
Sustainable Design Centre:

www.autodesk.com/sustainabledesign

Sustainable Design Guide for AEC:

www.autodesk.com/sustainabledesignguide

Sustainable Design Workshops:

http://sustainabilityworkshop.autodesk.com/

2011 Autodesk. All rights reserved.