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Sync Revit & IESVE

Sync Revit & IESVE

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Sync Revit & IESVE
 Linking BIM and building analysis software offers greater opportunities for green design.Not that long ago, most building professionals would have classified sustainable design merely asan interesting idea. But awareness of climate change and other environmental issues hascatapulted it to center stage. The international movement toward sustainability has created aflood of new green building regulations and initiatives around the globe and sustainable designpractices -- once considered niche -- are now widespread.Quality sustainable design requires an understanding of how a building will perform after it's built,which in turn requires computer-based simulation software for rigorous building analysis. Theadvent of BIM (building information modeling) offers even greater opportunities for buildinganalysis by pairing the analysis software and BIM for the seamless assessment of buildingperformance.This month, I begin a two-part series exploring how BIM supports analysis for sustainable design,punctuated by Autodesk'srecent announcementthat
it's partnering withIntegrated
 
Environmental Solutions(IES) to further enhance the Revit softwareplatform to support green design.
Green Design Revisited
One of my earliest"1-2-3 Revit" columnsoutlined how Revit could be used in conjunction with theGreen Building Studio Web service for sustainable design.
At that time, approximately180 million square feet of LEED-registered projects were in the pipeline,per the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council). Currently the USGBCestimates 750 million square feet of LEED-registered space: a 4xincrease in just two years
 
.
Statistics like this one underscore the acceptance of greendesign and sound a hopeful note in the discord of climate change news.Governments around the globe are implementing new building regulations that mandatesustainable design.
According to Dr. Don McLean, CEO of IES, "Countries thatrepresent almost three-quarters of the world's GDP require performanceassessment tools for either code compliance or building ratingpurposes."
McLean explains that countries or regions such as the European Union, Australiaand California, which represent almost a one-quarter of the world's GDP, already requireperformance assessment to comply with building regulations.
Additionally, countries thatrepresent more than one-half of the world's GDP (such as the UnitedStates, India and China) have or are adopting voluntary building ratingsystems such as LEED.
 
 
But compliance with the performance-based criteria of these programs can be difficult to assessby traditional methods. McLean explains, "It's fairly easy to design good performing buildings --ones that will consume more than 50% less energy. However, there's a severe lack of understanding and experience of low energy design in today's building design community."
Fordecades, simulation software tools have been available to assist thedesign of energy-efficient buildings. Unfortunately these tools weredifficult to use and thus limited to specialists, so most designers reliedon simple hand-calculation methods to assess building performance.
The integration of the Revit BIM and the building performance analysis tools from IES targetsthese challenges and provides an easy way for architects and engineers to examine theimplications of alternative design strategies, helping them achieve higher operational efficiencyand building performance.This integration also underscores the advantages of a computable BIM, a model that contains thenecessary level of detail and reliability for performance analysis that can be done directly bydesigners for their own baseline energy analysis.Linking BIM and Building Performance AnalysisEstablished in 1994,
IES
is headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland.
Its software is the firstcommercially available system for the integrated analysis of a building'sperformance, generating detailed data for a range of analyses such asthermal simulation, load calculations, daylight assessment and solarstudies.
 The company's software, called
IES <Virtual Environment>
, or the <VE> for short, isrelatively new to North America but is widely used in other areas of the world, with severalthousand users in more than 500 commercial sites throughout the world and many more users inacademia. Representative customers include Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Stantec, Arup and evenWal-Mart (a customer of IES's own consulting group).
The integration between the Revit platform and the <VE>features a link between the Revit BIM and the IES analysissoftware. There's no need to recreate the building geometry,because users can pass the BIM room geometry and data directlyto the <VE> and with one mouse click run a variety of analyseswithout specialized skills, separate analysis packages orseparate models for each analysis.This tight integration allows Revit users to quickly and easilyanalyze alternative green designs. Thermal and daylightingstudies that would have taken weeks (if they were done at all)
 
can be done in minutes, and the results are output in a HTMLreport. The quality and speed of the technical feedback enablesfirms to use building analysis tools for sustainable design ratherthan just equipment sizing. More importantly, these tools can beused in the very earliest stages of the design process to helpmonitor and guide a design rather than waiting until the end of the design process and using building analysis for just validationwhen design changes at that point are difficult and costly toaccommodate.
The integration manifests itself within both Revit and the <VE>. Revit MEP, developed formechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers and designers, has a native functionality forheating and cooling load analysis that uses established IES methodology. In the <VE> you canuse the new Sustainability Toolkit to perform thermal assessments and daylighting calculations.Sustainability ToolkitThe Sustainability Toolkit is an analysis package within the <VE>, unique to the Revit platform,that lets architects conduct a variety of analyses:
ASHRAE load calculations,dynamic thermal analysis and daylighting assessment -- andproduce a LEED daylighting credit report, all based on the RevitBuilding model.
As mentioned above, the integration features a link between Revit BIMand the IES analysis software, so there's no need to recreate the building geometry for analysis.The analysis is launched with a single icon, and the feedback is a simple HTML report.This analysis package allows architects to receive quick feedback on their design; feedback suchas how much energy the building will use, what are the anticipated CO2 emissions and if thebuilding will pass LEED daylighting requirements. By giving architects the ability to quickly andeasily assess their design for building performance, they can make better informed building-design decisions to iterate on a greener design.

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