Better Building Energy & Environmental Performance with Insight 360
Revit 2017 is here and we are very excited to share more information on what that means to you, our rapidly growing community of Insighters working to make the built environment better!
To start, check out this short video about Insight 360 and Revit 2017. In case you haven’t already heard (and therefore must be new to our blog, so… welcome!!!) Insight 360 was launched just last November. The response so far has been consistently fantastic as we continue to push the boundaries based on your feedback and share the knowledge of this exciting new paradigm for building performance analysis.
The Revit 2017 release includes some relatively simple, but extremely valuable improvements that help make Insight 360’s unique “outcome driven input” and “energy range” paradigms even easier to appreciate so you can apply it on every project with ease and confidence from concept to detail, design to operation, continuously driving towards better building performance.
Insight 360 AND Revit Energy Analysis
The first thing you will notice in Revit 2017 is that all of the energy analysis capabilities found in previous versions of Revit are essentially still present and work much the same as they did before. As part of your Revit 2017 subscription Insight 360 is available as a free plugin for Revit. Download it here.
Insight 360 panel for Revit 2017
Check out this quick guide to getting started with Insight 360 and read on for more information on the specific changes you’ll find in Revit 2017.
Revit 2017 Energy Settings
As you explore Revit 2017 you will find changes to the Energy Settings dialog. Over the years as Revit’s energy analysis capabilities grew, this dialog became more and more cluttered making it difficult, especially for new users, to appreciate what really mattered.
In Revit 2017 the Energy Settings dialog has been greatly streamlined to reflect Insight 360’s outcome driven input and energy range paradigms. All that is required of you is to set the Location. No other inputs in the traditional sense are required because these are all simulated over a wide range of key factors that drive overall building energy use. The outcome of all that is then presented as an energy range, where the impact of each factor can immediately then be seen with real time cause and effect feedback in Insight 360.
Revit 2017 Energy Settings Dialog
Beyond the Location, the only other parameters shown in the Energy Settings dialog relate to the Energy Analytical Model (EAM). The Advanced settings aren’t necessary for accurate results, and often times, it is entirely possible you may never need to use the Advanced settings.
The Energy Analytical Model settings control how your architectural model is translated into an energy model. The defaults are set for maximum coverage of Revit architectural model characteristics. These include automatic perimeter and core thermal zoning in addition to the resolution settings. You may want to consider exploring these values in order to capture more detailed model geometry more accurately.
That’s all there is to it! Provide a location and an architectural model and you can use Insight 360 to explore the impact of key factors on building energy and benchmarks, quickly compare design alternatives, and continuously push towards higher performance.
Steps from Revit to Insight 360
Revit 2017 Advanced Energy Settings
As previously mentioned, it’s entirely possible you may never even need to use the Advanced energy settings. Insight 360 varies all key factors that drive build energy use over a wide range which provides a tremendous picture of what really drives building energy and helps frame key architectural design decisions. The need to detail a lot of information is not as great as it is for typical energy analysis tools and workflows.
The best way to think about the Advanced energy settings is as “additions” to Insight’s energy range. You can begin with the basic settings of location and your model combined with Insight 360 factors ranges to provide you with an Energy Range. Then, if you wish to account for the performance of a specific building element or space thermal properties, you add that to data your Revit model, enable the related advanced setting and next time you generate an Insight that data will be included and reflected in the change to the Energy Range.
Revit 2017 Advanced Energy Settings
The Advanced Energy Settings dialog is still supporting much of the previous energy analysis functionality, so there is still quite a bit going on here, but for Insight 360’s purposes the really key parameters to be aware of are Room/Space Data and Material Thermal Properties.
The default for Room/Space Data is Rooms and this essentially has no impact on Insight 360. Changing this to Spaces however means that any Space objects found in the model which contain specific Occupancy, Lighting, Equipment, and Schedule information will then be added to the Insight 360 Energy Range.
Similarly for Material Thermal Properties the default is Conceptual types and has no impact on Insight 360. By changing any of the Conceptual defaults, enabling Schematic types, or Detailed Elements these are incorporated into Insight 360 and will be reflected in the change to the Energy Range next time an Insight is generated.
In the past Revit’s File > gbXML Export only related to the Room/Space based method of gbXML export and not the newer Energy Analytical Model. Now, by default the gbXML export is based on the Energy Settings however you can chose to use the original Room/Space volumes method by selecting it.
Revit gbXML export
The addition of Insight 360 and changes to Revit 2017 represent yet another major step forward in significantly lowering the barriers to and greatly increasing the quality of building energy and environmental performance analysis. If you haven’t upgraded to 2017, Insight 360 is available for Revit 2016 through your subscription, but we think the changes in Revit 2017 make it very worthwhile.
As always we are keen to get your feedback. What do you think of these improvements? The Insight 360 team is currently running an industry and user survey and we’d really appreciate your feedback. There are 10 $50 Amazon gift vouchers are up for grabs!
So what are you waiting for? Check out Revit 2017 with Insight 360 today and let us know what you think!!!