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June 01, 2009


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Glad to see the blog move in another direction.

Three concerns:

First, when Revit was new (early versions), it was going to offer cost estimating tools. Having the program be able to compute overall energy usage for a project seems equally difficult to achieve. I am all for taking small steps to begin to automate a difficult process, but I would prefer the substainable design tools to have modest goals for now.

Second, suggesting that sustainable design tools would be used for "conceptual design" reinforces the idea that real energy usage computations would be beyond the scope of these tools. This seems similar to the new massing tools that have very limited usage because the tools are not present and functional in all areas of the program.

Third, there are many day-to-day wish list items that should be addressed first. Better text tools, stair/railing tools, site tools, etc. have all been requested repeatedly. And of course the lack of a customizable elevation symbol is the poster child for the contempt with which AUGI wishes have been regarded by the factory to date. I have yet to see any indication that these common wishlist tool upgrades are receiving serious attention right now for near-term release. I'm all for having sustainable design tools (and cost estimating tools), but those can come when the existing tools are more mature.

Hear Hear, on Bill's third point.

The relative importance of energy analysis to me and building design is *zero*. So many other features need addressing first.

I had issues with the survey, it asked for my details then told me I was done. So I'm guessing there might have to be more involved. In regards to this feedback I don't think it's fair to tell the factory just to focus on issues. While they are present there are other important factors that need to be developed in order to keep with up with new technology and information standards. I have found Ecotect extremely useful in this area for certain specific concerns, and the feedback is very quick.

I took the survey and appreciate the chance to chime in, but like Bill, Chad and Adam, I think this is of minor importance for the time being.
While it would be nice to have some of this information available, I would much rather have at least some of the many-years-worth of wish list items addressed first.
We can get by with what we've got when approaching sustainable design.

I can't wait until the day when I get to model a railing and stair, and later actually include those same items in the construction documents.

I'm going to assume this was yet another edict sent down on high that "at Autodesk, we strive to help facilitate Sustainable Design Practices through our software cause its the coolest and we like the planet and stuff and other software platforms suck more now!"

We're very interested in energy analysis tools for early design. But we're also interested in a single Revit product. If we can't place a simple mechanical system, how can we take a stab at energy usage?

And as mentioned above, we'd be far more interested in improving the text handling and keynote editing abilities of Revit, not to mention a hundred other "little" things that may be less marketable, but would have immediate, positive, daily effects for each of my users.

I found the survey to focused on CO2 which in my opinion has gained far to much focus in the context of good, sustainable design that incorporates passive techniques to improve performance of a building. There are any number of other metrics besides C02 by which we should measure and understand a building's performance. Looking at C02 and consumed energy does nothing with regards to occupant comfort and true building performance. The assumption of CO2 has an important indicator is predicated upon the assumption that we already know how to design, and or are designing comfortable buildings the perform well. Yet, I could easily "design" a building that responded very well to energy use and CO2 simply by having it cold in the winter and hot in the summer.... Stop buying into marketing hype! CO2 is greenwashing, lets gets tools developed that actually help with the business of architecture and engineering.

RE: hundreds other "little" things.

Yes there are hundreds. I'll try to share some information on what I am looking at relevant to this statement. In general there are a lot of requests that fall in the documentation/annotation/detailing category. I'm planning some future posts to confirm requirements and areas of focus. Stay tuned. its my favorite subject.

Integrate Ecotect as a Plug-in and you will have lots of happy Green' included
there are many standards around, i know of 3 in Australia alone. Proper GXML export seems to be most important for now till politicians are getting their act together..
But please what about alllllllll the Wish List Items 3 years and longer...can we have a more transparent System the one now frustrates.

Poor Erik. Man, you can't catch a break it seems.
While I also welcome better text editing and annotation tools, I for one am for being able to do energy analysis in Revit or at least out of BIM. However, i too found the survey a little off. Here's a couple of points and thoughts:
- It's going to be hard to calculate energy until a more wholistic product approach is delivered. In Revit Arch, I can't add mechanical equipment or zones or any of that. my spaces don't equal zones and there's no translation.
- it would be a simple matter in revit and very beneficial to sustainable design to get a window to wall area calculation by facade or by direction (like all south facing facades). Typically, in design, we get a % from our MEP of glazing to use (say 15% on a west facing wall) and we have to manually calc that.
- Energy is great and I know you guys just bought oodles of energy applications, but don't forget water. again, we can calc water reclaimation and even PV opportunities off roof areas. it's all simple math to add to revit.
- In order to do any of this, we're going to need to have inputs for building use, location, # of occupants,......

is anyone out there LEED certified? maybe you guys should read through that as a starting point. Look at 3ds Max design. Those kids made a daylighting calculator in Max Design second to none. fast, easy, and the most accurate thing on the market today. and it uses radiance.

The survey should have been called what parts of Green Building Studio do you look at. What exactly was the point? Hopefully Green Building Studio lives on...

Working with the current Sustainability tools available from Autodesk, Revit, Revit MEP, Ecotect "analysis", Green Building Studio, and Max Design I think that the biggest issue is how long that list is. For example, using Green Building Studio with Revit arch is a joke, but using it with Revit MEP rocks and is the most useful combination we've used yet, why should we have to buy both and why have both rooms and spaces???. Max Design is the best tool for lighting analysis because it's the only one which even finishes calculations on large projects in reasonable time and without crashes, but again, Revit has the same rendering engine, why is that feature turned off. Ecotect is wonderful but still awkward to work into our workflow. GBxml is much better in the 2010 products, but now we have to keep upgrading our projects to 2010 before exporting to Ecotect.

I don't have an answer but something like Revit Sustainability Tools might work which includes Revit Arch and MEP together, a few tools from Ecotect, the full lighting analysis from Max Design (since it already has the guts there) and a subscription to Green Building Studio.

As far as sustainability vs bugs, making buildings better should not be a casualty of making the program better.

Finally, you can move on from the new UI but we're still stuck with it and it's not aging well.


"is anyone out there LEED certified? maybe you guys should read through that as a starting point."

I do not beleive that looking at LEED is a particularly useful starting point. I do not beleive we need a LEED point calculator in Revit as I do not see this as very useful in evaluating good strategies on how our building designs interact with the environment both to promote sustainable buildings in terms of construction and longevity and in terms of occupant comfort. Too much of LEED is involved with a number of things that have very little to do with either. I say leave LEED to LEED except in a few narrow cases, and focus on tools that help with good passive design and buildings that make occupants comfortable for its occupants (without sucking lots of energy).

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