Effective Workflows For The Revit Energy Analysis Model

Review our research into the effects of the Revit Energy Analysis Model on BIM efficiencies and the workflows you can incorporate to deliver high-performing buildings.

Stage: All Design Stages

Understand Energy Performance In Early Stages

Revit proficiency not required

Key Benefits

Simple Models For Rapid Analysis

More Integrated Design Process

Supports and Promotes Best-Practice Modelling

Faster processing, easier onboarding

Introduction

Adopting Building Information Modelling principles such as early decision making and democratising and sharing open, extensible information is vital in the performance design of buildings and building façades.

However, common modelling techniques can also create a barrier to successful use. One component that can commonly create challenges to efficient workflows is the Revit Energy Analysis Model, and how it can be influenced and affected by a multitude of modelling practices.

Our research has led us to understand that the issues users face with the Revit Energy Model are widespread and contribute to an overall lack of engagement within Revit in the early stages of design.

We have found that more people would use Revit as a design tool (in the conceptual and early stages) if the Energy Model Analysis had a cleaner on-ramp. Through our engagement, product research and development, we have identified several ways that we can resolve these issues:

-to improve the workflow from the Revit EAM to FenestraPro;
-to support the user utilization of the EAM;
-to promote the use of Revit from an early stage in the design process.

In this whitepaper, we have outlined two workflows:
Workflow 1 – Leveraging the Conceptual Massing Environment
Workflow 2 – Envelope Export and Energy Model Clean-Up

With the help of some of the wider FenestraPro community, including HKS, TVS, HOK, and Perkins + Will, our users provide their thoughts on how some of these key issues can be resolved for the industry.

The Revit Energy Analysis Model: Why Do We Use It? And How?

Utilizing the Revit Energy Analysis Model can provide a more integrated design process by making decisions while understanding energy performance from an early stage, improving collaboration between stakeholders, consultants, and the design team, and enhancing the link between accurate and detailed design and fabrication.

When used effectively, the Revit EAM supports the building information modelling (BIM) methodology of creating a generic data environment to make timely decisions in a cost and resource-effective manner, thus providing insight to building design consultants on various aspects of the project.

The Revit EAM can create a data set from the earliest iterations of a project that includes analysis and guidance on occupant comfort, material performances, and data standards. Through platforms such as Autodesk Insight 360 or FenestraPro, the data can provide a starting point, and an ongoing study and validation, for building energy analysis, energy use intensity and optimal solutions and strategies.

However, many designers and Revit modellers are not utilizing the Revit Energy Analysis Model for a variety of reasons, which typically fall under two broad rationales:

1. Lack of engagement with Revit as a design tool and using other platforms instead (Rhino and SketchUp).
2. Revit as a documentation tool at later design stages after design and performance-related decisions have been determined.

Defining The Challenge

Users are experiencing a host of technical and complicated issues with the Energy Model. One of the core issues is that the Energy Model is generated and created on all room-bounding elements within a project. If a model is not modelled or managed correctly, issues such as the Energy Model failing, taking too long to generate, or generating incorrect data will occur. Our team found that user issues, queries, and frustrations are overwhelmingly caused by Energy Model issues.

Effective Workflows: An Entry Point

How can we use any architectural model to create an accurate and complete analytical model that can intuitively use FenestraPro?

Architectural workflows generally use collaborative features by linking multiple users through Revit and BIM360. Often creating an analytical model from within an architectural model can be counterintuitive. The architectural model will likely contain far more elements than the typical room-bounding elements such as floors, roofs and façade systems needed for an Energy Model. By applying the following workflows, façade analysis will become vastly accelerated.

The workflows take two approaches:

Workflow 1 – Leveraging the Conceptual Massing Environment
By creating a simplified mass within your detailed building envelope, you can dynamically prototype façade design decisions for benchmarking and code compliance.

Workflow 2 – Envelope Export and Energy Model Clean-Up
Using the Envelope Export and Model Clean-Up functionality in FenestraPro for Revit v6.1 will enable users to export a ‘side model’ containing just room-bounding envelope elements and any Energy Modelling issues that this may cause can be identified and resolved.

To learn the following workflows, download a copy of the full PDF by submitting your email below.

Key Features Used

Energy Model
Clean Up

Early Investigation
of Window-To-Wall
Ratio

Envelope
Export

Stay Tuned As Our Case Studies Develop

Revit is not well suited for rapid early analysis and can be too dependent on the Revit model which may not be complete, or as accurate as needed such as when it comes to the user setting room object or ceiling heights.

Tyrone MarshallArchitect at Perkins + Will

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