Autodesk Green Building Studio for Revit – First Impressions
Installing Green Building Studio is a straight forward process. When you first open the software from your desktop you are provided with some very useful tips to get started with the software, which explain every stage to complete the energy run.
You need to take your model beyond the Revit interface and on to the Web to add more complex and accurate energy analysis through the Green Building Studio Cloud service.
To begin working with the Green Building Studio you first have to log-in with your subscription ID and password or alternatively create an account. This is a web-based energy analysis service that aids professionals to perform building analysis ultimately aiming towards a carbon neutral future. Green Studio can either be run through a subscription or a standalone license. Both the Conceptual Energy Analysis and Green Building Studio are offered to subscribing customers to Autodesk.
The standard throughout is the .gbXML format which allows information to be transferred from Revit through to the secure web-based software. Materials and other building information can be exported in this format. The .gbXML format can also be imported into other environmental analysis tools. In order to export to this file format rooms do need to have bounding elements.
The Green Building Studio does not currently link back to the Revit model or if any changes are made they cannot be imported back into your BIM design. This would be a useful tool to have a collaboration function between the two to automatically update either the BIM model or web based energy analysis or vice versa. Therefore it is a good idea to start energy analysis on your models in the early stages and test ideas / solutions to eradicate any errors that may occur before it is too late.
Is good that both existing and new constructions can be analysed using this software. The only fall is the accuracy of the information you put into the BIM model or web-based information.
It is recommended that the models are kept reasonably simple. From speaking with energy analysis personnel it seems that the more detailed the model the greater chance of errors and longer timescales without any substantially better final results.
The Cloud is the Limited
The Cloud is the Limited
The Autodesk Cloud services does have limits that work on a capacity basis. Subscription customers receive 3GB of storage space per seat during their contract duration. I would suggest keeping an eye on your limits by visiting https://accounts.autodesk.com/ and try not to exceed this. However there may be some way to buy or top-up extra credits. I’m not sure whether this is possible yet but something to keep in mind and 3GB is a fair amount of storage space.
Creating new projects you have to go through 5 basic steps
• Step 1 – General project information
• Step 2 – Set exact location via interactive map
• Step 3 – Choose closest weather station available
• Step 4 – Location and rates make sure you change the currency to the applicable
• Step 5 – Preferences on sharing data
At first there seems to be allot of fields to fill in but it’s entirely up to yourself how much detail is actually filled in and the end use.
Information default fields you may need to fill in are as follows:
• HVAC & DHW
Once your XML file is uploaded it takes approx 30 seconds and the data is then linked back to the web page login where you can view the results. The results are extensive both in graph and table format are easily readable and digested. The results range from energy and carbon emissions to LEED daylight space analysis and even LEED water usage. The base run assumptions is also very useful to analyse the construction of the building uploaded. The software explains the data in very simple terms and compares the Annual CO2 Emissions to the SUV equivalent. Furthermore it shows you how much carbon emissions can be reduced and energy produced from adding sustainable solutions into the design. By using design alternatives and the drop down menu’s you can explore ideas to lower the carbon emissions. For example you may add light sensors, make lighting more efficient, add high performance glass and so on. You may also fine tune options including lighting efficiency, number of water outlets etc all of which help reduce emissions and potentially saving tens of thousands of pounds annually.
Below are some examples of the data generated by the Cloud.
You don’t have to put massive amounts of data into the software it works on minimal input as well, which is great for initial testing and solving issues. Over time you may add or explore more detailed information as the schematic design progresses both saving time and maybe additional costs.
Both the Conceptual Energy Analysis and Green Building studio are without doubt fantastic tools for designers and professionals alike. Certainly it may be that other energy analysis or simulation software can be used but the Autodesk software allows analysis of green solutions from the start of the project (in-house). I can also see how this type of Cloud based software will also help designers build BIM models with energy analysis in mind and not tailoring it to suit months and months into the project. The Cloud software is certainly a good step towards carbon neutrality. These are my initial thoughts of the software and are open to interpretation by all means. It would be good to see how others have found the software to use and their thoughts.