At the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo kicking off today in New Orleans, Autodesk is unveiling several new applications on Autodesk Labs, including three new apps that help building and infrastructure project teams cost-justify sustainability strategies; two new apps that bring tighter integration between Building Performance Analysis (BPA) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows for Autodesk Revit and Autodesk FormIt users.

"Autodesk’s aim is to empower architects and engineers to design and build the highest performing buildings possible by delivering solutions that are intuitive to use and trustworthy,” said Emile Kfouri, Director of Building Performance Analysis at Autodesk.

“Tighter integration of building performance analysis and cost-benefit calculations within the design environment allows project teams to make better decisions when it matters most. It’s all part of Autodesk’s mission to make sustainability easy, insightful and cost-effective,” added Emma Stewart, Head of Sustainability Solutions, Autodesk.

Autodesk is announcing three applications that help building and infrastructure project teams explore the cost implications of more efficient designs:

Energy Cost Range (ECR), available here on Autodesk Labs, is a single, simple indicator of a project’s overall potential energy use range, including comparison to the Architecture 2030 benchmark, and the key factors that influence it.  A flexible new dashboard interface within Revit, called Project Solon (available on Autodesk Labs here), allows users to more easily see and better understand the complex interplay of various design factors that affect building performance. Using the stock dashboards provided by Autodesk, a designer’s work will be informed by results using a range of predefined building features (e.g., wall/roof insulation, glazing, daylight controls) and defaults based on ASHRAE standards. When more detailed work is required, the designer or an experienced analyst can easily customize the automated simulation settings and deploy custom dashboards for company Revit users.

Autodesk previously introduced ECR based on preliminary building size and geographic location in the Autodesk FormIt mobile app; now that ECR is passed through and refined within Revit. In Revit, ECR now combines DOE2 simulations from the building model along with multiple pre-computed DOE2 whole building energy simulations to provide more robust results.

This new way to collaborate, experiment and present results in terms of an Energy Cost Range allows for more meaningful conversations between design teams and owners. Since it’s a range, designers can have confidence in the analysis and manage the risk of discrepancies which invariably arise from a building’s ultimate operational use. And since it starts in FormIt and continues in Revit, ECR establishes a basis for continuous, iterative decision-making to drive improved energy performance from the earliest stages and throughout the design process.