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Thread: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

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    Default Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    Now Available:

    The new Solar Radiation Technology Preview allows users to analyze the effects of solar radiation on the surfaces of a conceptual building model within Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2010 and Autodesk® Revit MEP® 2010 software. Using the Solar Radiation Analysis add-in during the conceptual design stage of a project can help users make fundamental design decisions about building shape, orientation, and surfaces early on – when changes are the least costly. The add-in uses conceptual massing elements from Revit-based models and the Autodesk® Ecotect® Analysis insolation analysis engine to calculate the amount of solar radiation hitting the surfaces of the massing forms. Learn more about the Solar Radiation Technology Preview on Autodesk Labs: http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/ecotect/.

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    Default Re: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    Looks like they are integerating parts of Ecotect into Revit

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    Default Re: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    Looks cool. (as i said in the other thread) I just wish it was available in more than Concept Massing. A lot of offices dont start with massing. Also, we use families, etc, for things like solar shading, solar collection... And im ASSuming we cant use it for those things.

    But yes, it is a nice start...

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    Default Re: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by jwilhelm View Post
    Looks like they are integerating parts of Ecotect into Revit
    Correct. The underlying calculation engine came from Ecotect, although there was some optimization done in the integration process.

    Quote Originally Posted by twiceroadsfool View Post
    Looks cool. (as i said in the other thread) I just wish it was available in more than Concept Massing. A lot of offices dont start with massing. Also, we use families, etc, for things like solar shading, solar collection... And im ASSuming we cant use it for those things.

    But yes, it is a nice start...
    We certainly hear that need and are aware of it on the Product Team. We chose to do the current Massing-only implementation for the Tech Preview for the following major reasons:
    • It's a Tech Preview, and isolating to massing creates a significantly simpler problem set that can be solved via an API Plugin. It's not that different than the predominant use of the same functionality in Ecotect.

    • The particular calculation being carried out, Incident Solar Radiation on a Surface, is most useful in the early stages of the design process, where massing is most appropriate.
    If we were to implement this on full blown detailed Revit models, care to share the situations where'd you want to use it?

    Cheers,
    Kyle B
    Product Line Manager
    Revit Services

    Smart Questions = Smart Answers

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    Default Re: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    Kyle-

    First, let me say that im glad its in there at all. Its certainly a welcomed addition. Im working on a project right now where we would have LOVED this very tool, if it was available to more than massing. Here is how i see it working.

    1. Many offices, doing pretty straightforward buildings, dont start with massing. One building im doing in particular, is a fairly large manufacturing facility. We are pushing for LEED certification, however, and spent a little time looking at the site plan orientation, as well as the Curtain Wall systems and some different entities for Solar Energy Collection.

    2. See the attached image. Please note: It is an SD model still, its not fully detailed and this application would be VERY useful at this point. That large Curtain Wall system is canted at an angle (not parallel to the surface of the building). In addition, there are the Solar Collector devices at many of the windows. There are also "light shelves" behind the Curtain Wall systems.

    3. If we could use the tool exactly as it shows in the Tech demonstration, on some of these items, it would be very powerful in terms of orienting such elements, and critiquing efficiency of some building systems.

    Now, we could do it with Massing, but as mentioned... We didnt even use building massing for this- It just isnt necessary. Revit revises these elements fast enough that we can just manipulate them with ease. But, had the tool been available, we would have then built a mass ON TOP of the revit model, and massed in the solar collectors, so we could analyze them.

    Im not sure how i would see the tool working... Maybe it would ask you for a selection set? Or ask you for catagories the way a QTO or Filter does? Certainly i can see why it may be harrowing to put it on EVERYTHING. (If every piece of furniture in the model had to calculate, i doubt it would ever finish, am i wrong?)

    Maybe it works like the other Revit WYSIWYG stuff... You set up a view with the items you want analyzed, and if youre silly enough to include everything your Hardware gets hammered, haha. (If this option... a warning like "Youve chosen to analyze over 600 elements, this could take a long time. Do you want to prroceed?" would be nice, lol...

    Maybe you guys would have to pick catagories in house, but thats a slippery slope. (What ARE those families... GM's? SE's? Mechanicals? etc...)

    Nonetheless, its a GREAT first step. But many firms dont use Massing unless theyre doing complex forms, such as the tall buildings in the example.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    Aaron,
    Thanks for taking the time to provide the feedback, much appreciated.

    Definitely a dicey problem to solve as you point out. It also seems like you're looking for not just Incident Solar Radiation. Sound slike you also want the ability to calculate lighting levels, both Artificial and Natural, to best optimize the design elements you mentioned.

    Am I on the right track there?

    Cheers,
    Kyle B
    Product Line Manager
    Revit Services

    Smart Questions = Smart Answers

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    Default Re: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    I suppose in a perfect world, it would calculate everything, and even offer the contractors coffee while they work. LOL...

    I think Lighting levels would be one of the biggest postive additions, but i suspect that kind of thing is pretty intensive calculation wise. I know ive seen Max do it, but ive never done it myself.

    While we would always LIKE more, i think even the Solar Incidence that is now possible in Massing has an impressive benefit. Even moreso if it works with System Objects in addition to Massing. Changing times of day, times of year, angles of sunshades, Cants of walls that arent vertical, and then watching the calculations change would be tremendous.

    For a building as simple as this one, i would just flesh out a mass for the building and the sunshades and curtain walls, et al... But then again i might try exporting to 3D DWG and importing as a Mass to see if that works too, LOL...

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    Default Re: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    To the Revit team, here is a thought for you:

    One way of looking at a building is as a set of linked models, you have a geometric, a thermal model, a lighting model, an acoustic model a structural model, a code model etc, etc, all of these models are related, a change to one can affect one or all of the others. It would be useful to be able to visualize these relationships and the effects of a change to one on all the others,perhaps at a schematic stage in order to reach an optimal solution, preferably in real time, sure thats not possible at the moment without a super computer but there is no doubt that ability will be on our desktop before long. If I make a change to the glazing for example, how is lighting, heat transmission, acoustics etc effected, or a change to the geometry etc, etc when real time analysis is a reality, the ability to represent these relationships will be key...

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    Default Re: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by kyle.bernhardt View Post
    Aaron,
    Thanks for taking the time to provide the feedback, much appreciated.

    Definitely a dicey problem to solve as you point out. It also seems like you're looking for not just Incident Solar Radiation. Sound slike you also want the ability to calculate lighting levels, both Artificial and Natural, to best optimize the design elements you mentioned.

    Am I on the right track there?

    Cheers,
    Kyle B
    Dear Kyle,
    thank you for the opportunity to use this great analytical tool within Revit.
    I too would appreciate its operation further on down the road (PD and DD as well as SD/massing studies) for custom residential analysis. For instance, I will be starting work on a new house design near August end, that has to be have significant passive solar components as part of the overall project (yay!!).

    The new tool will provide me with the rare opportunity to have more (and detailed) knowledge about incident radiation as design develops - which for my work has never been the case, so this is brilliant. (the You Tube video is useful).

    Also, as passive solar design concepts are becoming more digestible to more punters through central government support (additionally now through a new administration policy) here in NZ, I fully expect the wider acceptance and demand for passive solar elements to accelerate from here (2009) on.
    So providing this tool for Revit users at this time is perfect (for me !!) and I would like to extend my thanks to those who are planning to allow this to continue to happen (hopefully).
    regards
    trombe

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    Default Re: Autodesk Revit Solar Radiation Technology Preview

    Thanks guys for taking the time to respond here with uses you'd want with such a tool in the detailed Revit environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwilhelm View Post
    To the Revit team, here is a thought for you:

    One way of looking at a building is as a set of linked models, you have a geometric, a thermal model, a lighting model, an acoustic model a structural model, a code model etc, etc, all of these models are related, a change to one can affect one or all of the others. It would be useful to be able to visualize these relationships and the effects of a change to one on all the others,perhaps at a schematic stage in order to reach an optimal solution, preferably in real time, sure thats not possible at the moment without a super computer but there is no doubt that ability will be on our desktop before long. If I make a change to the glazing for example, how is lighting, heat transmission, acoustics etc effected, or a change to the geometry etc, etc when real time analysis is a reality, the ability to represent these relationships will be key...
    Agreed, interdependent models for all analysis types, updating in real-time, is indeed the holy grail. The challenge arises when coordinating these items all at once, while maintaining a level of detail needed for Architectural documentation and visualization.

    The reality is that the analysis that's being done today is on simplified models, the analytical engines and tools are not sophisticated enough to handle the type of complexity found in a detailed model. Nonetheless, those folks doing those analyses on simplified models are using their results successfully to make design decisions.

    Anybody who has worked with gbXML Analytical Models on a detailed Revit Model knows that there are challenges when trying to maintain a valid analytical model along with the detailed Revit model. Different analysis types have differing modeling paradigms, which sometimes conflict (e.g. defining Volumes in all open areas for Energy Analysis vs. only in occupied volumes for programming). We've certainly worked on this for 5 releases now on that problem with varying success.

    My point is not that these things are impossible, but that they are a significant technical challenge, which may or may not become a reality down the road.

    The Technology Preview reflects a focus the critcal early design decisions, and also an approach that is likely to to yield success for the majority of Revit users attempting to carry it out. If the massing environment is quick and intuitive, maintaining that additional model for analysis, while certainly additional work, is still a viable workflow until we can deliver on that holy grail.

    Cheers,
    Kyle B
    Product Line Manager
    Revit Services

    Smart Questions = Smart Answers

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