Who is this for: Intermediate to advanced Architects and Engineers performing analysis of outdoor air flow simulation using Revit.
Takeaway: Autodesk is releasing Falcon for Revit to Autodesk Labs. Falcon is an outdoor air flow simulation add-in for Revit launching on December 18th 2012 and will be available till August 30th, 2013
By: Emile Kfouri
So have you ever wondered if you could get Computational Fluid Dynamics fully integrated into Revit? Well your dreams have come true.
Falcon for Revit can help architects and engineers answer the following questions:
- How can dense urban environments channel wind, resulting in pedestrian comfort issues?
- How does the building form/program interact with prevailing winds?
- How does wind flow over a building on a given “design day” or critical direction/speed?
- Does the wind create a wake or stagnation region near a vent/open window/outdoor seating area?
I have been following the SIM 360 team who has been working on this feature for a number of months and I have been really impressed with what they have done. They have integrated the feature really well into Revit. Probably the best integration of analysis results that I have seen to date. Two elements you should check out are the animated fluid flow in the Revit view and the UI for changing things like wind direction.
- Make sure you have any version of Revit 2013 installed
- Download and install Falcon for Revit from the Labs Project Page
- Check out the Falcon Getting Started Page and the Falcon for Revit wikihelp
- Take a look at the Falcon documentation to learn how to use it including tips on how to set up a proper simulation
Under the hood, Falcon solves the same core equations as industry standard CFD codes (Navier-Stokes equations, LES turbulence model, Finite Volume Method). Autodesk has and continues to make an investment in validating Falcon using both published experimental data and physical wind tunnel experimentation with university partners. Initial validation is available in the web-based Falcon documentation. Architectural validation cases are being run and will be added to the documentation when completed.
Compared to the wind tunnel feature in Project Vasari, Falcon for Revit:
- Uses the latest calc engine that incorporates solver accuracy improvements
- Is more deeply embedded (in-canvas controls, locks air domain to ground level automatically, uses unit system from BIM model, documents results in the Revit file)
- Enables design changes concurrent with the simulation
- Adds measurement points and the ability to account for wind shear
- On the minus side, does not have all the visualization available within the Ecotect Wind Tunnel (3D flow lines not part of first release)
Compared to Simulation CFD 360, Falcon for Revit:
- Is highly geometry-tolerant and requires little or no simplification prior to simulation
- Runs inside Revit and uses familiar, easy to learn controls
- Has the option for running a 2D slice through a 3D model (with the ability to move the slice to different heights or locations)
- Is ideal for understanding basic exterior air flow trends in the early stages of an architectural design project
Simulation CFD 360 should be used for any kind of interior flow, combined fluid flow and thermal analysis, contaminant migration studies, or any flow simulation requiring a higher level of detail. At Simulation TV you can find more info on using Simulation CFD with Revit and simplifying the Revit Content.
Tell us what you think:
Do you use CFD as part of your BPA workflow? Is so how do you use it? We would love to hear from you and learn more about your CFD needs and how you want them integrated into the other tools you use.