By: Ian Molloy, Senior Product Manager, Building Performance Analysis
We’ve been working on some new capabilities for Revit and Vasari’s Energy Analysis ‘Results & Compare’ (R&C) recently and I’m pleased to summarize the first of two updates now available that incorporate three exciting new capabilities from GBS, provide a bit more exposure of the relationship with and extended capabilities of GBS and generally just make some things that little bit easier.
In case you aren’t sure about Results & Compare, it is the tool that essentially provides the results from the energy simulations run and stored on Autodesk® Green Building Studio® (GBS) directly within Revit® and Vasari®.
Results & Compare in Revit and Vasari
1) The Potential Energy Savings Chart
This recent addition to GBS (see the New Potential Energy Savings Widget Helps You Focus on What Matters! blog post for more information), is now provided as a chart in R&C…
The Potential Energy Savings Chart in Results & Compare
So now when you run an energy simulation from Revit or Vasari in addition to the ‘base run’ GBS automatically runs additional simulations varying a range of common design features to help identify what’s potentially of greatest impact. You will find the ‘Potential Energy Savings’ (PES) chart located just after the base run Energy Use charts however you can change what charts appear and their order through R&C settings. This chart order feature isn’t new but it’s worth highlighting as it allows you to customize what you want to see which can make it easier to focus, do comparisons and tell a story.
Setting what charts appears and their order in Results & Compare
It’s worth noting that as GBS now runs an additional set of simulations after the base run you’ll find it takes that little bit longer for results to return than before. This is unavoidable but I hope you feel the same as I do in that it’s worth the wait because this is what analysis is really all about – multiple simulations informing a range of energy use, not individual simulations that can give an artificial sense of accuracy to some consumers of the information.
If you ask me, considering everything this feature does when combined with the new Building element Energy Analysis feature in Revit 2014 it’s pretty remarkable stuff. Essentially what typically used to take multiple days and would vary widely subject to user experience is all now completely automated and more consistently repeatable. While this is still far from the last word in energy analysis, it does provide a very comprehensive picture considering the relative effort required. There is always room to improve analysis detail and accuracy but this picture should at least facilitate some useful discussion and understanding about what’s important for more designers which is all too easily missed in the design process today.
2) Open Green Building Studio directly from Result & Compare
There are two things about the Energy Analysis features in Revit and Vasari that I find are commonly overlooked. The first is that the features are actually powered by Green Building Studio / DOE2.2 and the second is that Green Building Studio doesn’t just process simulations in the cloud but it also stores them in the cloud where you can access and share through the GBS web UI. As such, GBS offers some additional paths to extend your analysis and collaboration workflows in ways you may not be aware of if you only use R&C. For example in GBS you can create dashboards that group Projects and Runs in certain ways that help tell a story of design progress, set utility rates and upload utility histories and generally provide more detailed analysis input settings and output reportage.
In order to expose this relationship a little bit more but mostly just to make jumping between R&C and GBS that bit easier you can now open a GBS Project or Run directly from R&C. All you need to do is select a Project or Run from the R&C tree, select ‘Open’ from the toolbar and then select Green Building Studio. Your default web browser will then launch and you’ll be taken straight to the selected GBS Project or Run. Note that this only works on newly created Project and Run and remember that you need to have Revit subscription to get access to GBS.
Open GBS Project or Run directly from Results & Compare
When you’re looking at this you will probably notice that ‘Open’ also offers a ‘Design Review’ option but it’s greyed out. This is something we haven’t quite finished yet and so it’ll stay greyed out. All I will say as a teaser is this forms the basis of part 2 of this series so watch this space!!!
Why is this greyed out? You’ll have to wait and see the next update…
3) Project/Run sorting
This is a small but very nice addition to R&C that I know will make life that little bit easier for anyone who tends to have a lot of Project and Runs in R&C. When that Project and Run tree fills up it can become a little hard to navigate and when you run a simulation you’ve got to do digging for it because by default its sorted alphabetically by name. Now if you simply right click in the tree area you can select ‘Sort Projects and Runs by Last Modified’. This means when you run a simulation and open R&C you’ll find the Project you are currently working on sitting right at the top, making it easy to find.
Sort Projects and Runs by Name or Last Modified
How do I get these updates?
From Revit, once signed in with your Autodesk subscription R&C will be updated automatically next time you use the Energy Analysis features. Access to Green Building Studio also requires a valid subscription. These updates to R&C will also be provided to Vasari, once you are signed in and use the Energy Analysis features.
Please tell us what you think
We hope you find these updates to R&C useful and we’re keen to hear what you think. How do you see yourself using them (or not) and why? What else would you like to see?