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New ‘Potential Energy Savings’ Widget Helps You Focus on What Matters!

May 15, 2013

By: David Scheer – Green Building Studio Product Owner

We’re excited to announce the new Potential Energy Savings chart. We’ve built it to help design teams understand the features of a building’s design, construction, and systems that can save the most energy. It is designed to help users focus the team’s valuable efforts only on the areas that matter most for reducing energy use. The feature is being released as a Beta until it has enough feedback.

The chart is available through Autodesk® Green Building Studio® (GBS), the analysis engine behind Revit®, and Vasari®.


Energy analysis can be an extremely valuable part of the design process when used to make choices that reduce a building’s energy use or to avoid costly mistakes that increase energy use. This value can only be reaped when energy analysis is done often enough to continuously inform design decisions. While energy analysis has traditionally been difficult and time consuming, advancement of building science and cloud computing is creating new opportunities.

The infrastructure we have built for GBS accompanied by the new Revit 2014 modeling features, makes it possible to do sophisticated, multi-run, parametric energy analysis easily and seamlessly within your normal Revit workflow. Now you can keep track of your performance and energy saving opportunities continuously as you work.

How to read and use the chart


Architecture and engineering teams need to work together to scope and prioritize energy efficiency measures. This chart is meant to make that process easier. For quick characterization of your building, the chart is designed to enable easy takeaways about the building characteristics analyzed.

Use the chart to help focus your design team on the building features that have the highest potential to affect energy performance.

  • Focus on the more effective opportunities to improve on the current model (baseline) by investigating the features at the top of the list that have large bars on the right of the vertical line. These are the best opportunities of the building features analyzed.
  • Take care to avoid reducing energy performance by making sure you don’t backslide on building features that have large bars on the left of the vertical line.
  • Know where you can be flexible. Building features where modifications will have little effect on energy performance have small bars on both the left and right side of the vertical line.
  • For an existing building, the chart results can help prioritize your efforts during the building audit. Building features that have a big impact should get more of your attention during an audit and subsequent efficiency studies. 

How do I get it and how it works

The Potential Energy Savings chart is created automatically whenever you initiate an analysis run in Autodesk Revit, Project Vasari or Green Building Studio. You can find instructions for submitting runs here: Revit, Vasari, Green Building Studio.

Launching an Energy Simulation for Revit

The data in the PES chart comes from about 40 separate energy simulations that are run simultaneously in the cloud automatically every time you submit a simulation. Each simulation varies a combination of 12 building features, including roof and wall construction, glazing properties, lighting controls, and infiltration. These simulations test extreme values seen in new and existing buildings, and help design teams get a high level understanding of how sensitive the building’s energy performance is to each parameter.

To view the chart, go to the GBS Website. This is a web portal where you can view the simulations that were submitted to GBS through any of the authoring tools mentioned above. After you sign on, navigate to your project where you will see the results of your simulations and/or you can submit new models (as gbXML files).


Look for the link to the PES chart in GBS Web Project page. When your runs are complete, this link will open a separate browser window for the chart. While in GBS Web, you can explore more details about your simulation and the 40 or so alternative simulations we prepared for you. See the wiki documentation for more about all the information available from GBS Web.


Accessing GBS Potential Energy Savings Chart

For more information about how the analysis works, what design options are simulated, and what’s behind the curtain in GBS Web, see detailed information available from Autodesk Wiki Help:

To support this massive increase in simulations running through GBS in the cloud, we have also released significant improvements in our platform. You can see more information about our scaling infrastructure in the previous blog article on GBS cloud service enhancement. The most important thing to note is that we have scaled up our system so that you will see no degradation in service while getting results from 40 simulations instead of just one.

Tell us what you think:

We are very excited to offer this first step in a significant advancement in the world of energy analysis services. We would like to hear what you think, how you use the tool, and what additional features you would like to see next. We are listening to you; let us know what’s on your mind!


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  1. AvatarAlan



    3 words:
    Vasari Windows 8!!!