Who this is for: Architects or engineers who looking for reliable database of local weather data for site studies and energy analysis for building projects, and who want to know where that data comes from.
Takeaway: Climate Server is an Autodesk-maintained database of over a million virtual weather stations that are based on sound meteorological science and research. This is the data that drives energy analysis in Green Building Studio, Revit, and Vasari. Most of this data can also be downloaded from GBS.
By: Adam Menter, with Matthew Bye
"Where does all of this weather data come from, and which weather station should I choose?"
That’s a question I often get from folks trying to use Autodesk’s energy analysis tools in Revit, Vasari, and Green Building Studio.
The short answer is that the data comes from Autodesk Climate Server: a database of weather data that many users take for granted or don't fully understand. To demystify the black-box and answer user questions, we’ve significantly bulked-up that topic on the GBS WikiHelp – check out the links below.
- Weather data in GBS
Autodesk’s philosophy in creating Climate Server (internally called Thor) is to help make as much weather data available as we can. It is a data clearinghouse with about 1.6 million locations of useful weather data.
of the global coverage of the Autodesk Climate Server,
which provides the weather data inputs for GBS, Revit, and Vasari.
This data comes from various sources (described in much more depth on WikiHelp)
- Climate data from about 2,000 physical weather stations, from places like airports (TMY2 data).
- Weather data for nearly 1.6 million “virtual” weather stations that can be used for predictive analysis. This data comes from meteorological simulations of a single year (this methodology is called numerical weather prediction - NWP).
- Historical weather data from a service called 3-Tier that can be precisely matched with utility data to create calibrated energy models of existing buildings.
Where virtual weather stations and physical weather stations show-up on the GBS web interface.
The advantage of the virtual weather stations is that they can sometimes help you get more locally appropriate data. Almost all TMY2 locations are situated at large airports and may not represent the weather at your building. For example, the nearest TMY2 weather station is 23 miles from the city center of Washington, DC, while a GBS virtual weather station is within 4 miles of the center.
Good analysis starts with good weather data, and we hope that Climate Server is helping to provide that.
- Again, for more information on GBS’s Weather Data, see WikiHelp.
- For more information on the basics of climate analysis, see the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop.
Where do you get your weather data now? What do you think of GBS’s approach to helping you access weather data, and how can we make this service even more useful?
Is this new documentation on WikiHelp useful, and what's still missing?