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5 Ways Revit Supports Green Building

Sarah Sharifi

If you’re not already using Revit to support green building in your designs, you should be.

Sustainable building design is moving from being a good-to-have to a must-have for building projects worldwide, as more clients are demanding architects and engineers design buildings to perform better and contribute to green building goals, such as those put forward by the Architecture 2030 Challenge.

Impacting all countries, buildings account for an estimated third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Governments are increasingly creating new energy standards and regulations. For example, the EU’s Energy Performance Building Directive mandates that all new buildings be nearly net-zero energy by 2020. The United States Conference of Mayors unanimously stood in support of the Challenge and making new buildings net-zero by 2030. And China’s national climate commitment calls for 50 percent of all new buildings constructed by 2020 to be certified as green buildings.

Government support for green building has been growing steadily, which is fueling more sustainable design practices in the private sector. With the green building industry expected to reach $234 billion by 2019, sustainable design and its contribution to green building is now adding business value for many architecture firms.

Contributing to this value, data and collaboration is now at the forefront of driving green performance. Architects and engineers are equipped with various data and collaboration tools to help them achieve sustainability goals, one of which is Autodesk Revit. Revit users can use the tool’s energy analysis capabilities with Insight, a plug-in for building performance, to meet sustainability goals.

Convinced?  Here are five ways Revit can help your designs support green building:

  1. Benefits of BIM 

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is recognized as increasing design, innovation and construction efficiency, and green building is a factor driving the increased adoption of BIM processes.  The integrated energy analysis workflows included in Revit make it easier for building designers to simulate and improve building energy performance from early concept to detailed design. Design teams collaborate better with multidiscipline Revit models that allow all team members access to the same project data. And extended teams using cloud-based platforms such as BIM 360 Team and Collaboration for Revit gain even greater collaboration efficiencies.

  1. Real-time Feedback

Data and collaboration are key inputs for successful green building design, and the best tools offer accurate real-time to guide designers towards improved building performance. Via the Insight plug-in, Revit provides a fast, intuitive outcome-driven guide to better building energy and environmental performance throughout the building lifecycle, allowing you to visualize and interact with key performance indicators, benchmarks, and specifications. Real-time feedback on how design alternatives will impact building energy performance ensures that designers are equipped to make informed design decisions.

 3. Daylighting Analysis

Revit simulates, calculates, and visualizes key daylighting metrics, such as daylight spatial autonomy and annual sunlight exposure. In short, Revit helps to optimize a building’s footprint by empowering designers and engineers to identify more sustainable lighting options. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, daylighting is one of the most important strategies for green building because utilizing natural light can contribute to energy savings. Electric lighting in buildings consumes more than 15 percent of all electricity generated in the U.S.

Revit engery analysis
Access daylighting and shade study information with Revit’s energy analysis feature
  1. Heating and Cooling

Revit lets you generate tabular reports, or visualize heating and cooling loads in Insight to instantly call attention to spaces that will be susceptible to higher loads. Reports generated by Revit explain how much energy is needed to heat and cool the building, and where that energy is used. Recently reported by the International Energy Agency, zero-carbon and energy-efficient heating and cooling technologies for buildings have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to two gigatons, and save 710 million tons oil equivalent of energy by 2050.

  1. Solar Radiation

Revit lets you calculate incident solar radiation per building surface, articulate PV potential, and payback period. Analyzing the impact of the sun on a site can help designers increase the energy efficiency, comfort and financial value of the building. Designers can improve the efficiency of buildings by incorporating energy offsets relating to sun exposure. By estimating building performance through the use of solar models, you can incorporate photovoltaic systems into building plans.

Here are some additional resources for using Revit to promote green building practices in your designs:

Building Performance Analysis & Optimization Using Insight

Insight How-to’s: Building Performance Analysis & Optimization in Revit and FormIt Pro Using Insight

See how many firms have found success using Revit to support green building projects.

What is BIM (Building Information Modeling)?

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Sarah Sharifi

Sarah Sharifi is Content Marketing Manager on Autodesk's Sustainability & Foundation team. Her prior experience includes content strategy across various industries including renewable energy, oil & gas, construction and tech. She has special interest in educating architects and engineers on the business values created by sustainable design for building.

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