Author: Jim Cowan Revit, Insight 360

In part one of this series on Energy Modeling, Energy Analysis Modeling Part One — Masses, we reviewed how to create two alternate models using masses and energy settings. The results quantified energy use for a school/university with conceptual thermal properties assigned to various mass surfaces and a default setting of 35% glazing on all mass wall surfaces.

This workflow gave us the ability to compare performance between two alternate models. We also reviewed how Insight 360 could create alternate “runs” for design factors, such as roof insulation. By doing this, we can interact with the model and revised results based on graphically selected runs.

Now, let’s dive into overriding the default settings.

I’m going to review a fast and interactive approach to overrides that delivers quantitative results in minutes. I’ll use the example of changing the percentage of glazing on a surface-by-surface basis, which affects the model only; results shown in Insight 360 will be indicated by a triangle icon.



Overriding the default settings will allow you to be more specific about the space type loading. For example, instead of assuming all mass forms are simply “School/University,” you can drill down and set the Mass Zone (Space Type) to use ASHRAE standards for corridors, classrooms, offices, restrooms or gymnasiums. By doing this, you will be able to refine the energy loads on a zone-by-zone basis, which means you can easily comply with classroom standards, which are higher than general room standards in schools and universities.  Also, Revit 2018 allows you to create your own Building Types and Space Types, so you can set values that exceed the standards if you’d like.

It’s important to note that these overrides will be lost if the energy model is deleted and recreated after the overrides are applied. To avoid this problem, keep the energy model in a separate, updateable project file. The model will connect to the saved study on The Cloud.



Want to go a step further by adjusting the design factors that are calculated as separate runs by Autodesk’s Green Building Studio and displayed within Insight 360? You can by using the model and Insight. Insight displays the average value of energy use from the model and the associated runs. This display enables you to adjust the range of runs values, so you can see the impact that a design change makes.

To help you focus on changes that improve the energy performance (Energy Use Intensity or “EUI”) the most, the runs for design factors can be sorted by the most significant design factors.  You can then view and compare the (EUI) for the individual energy models within Insight or display a summary document in Revit.

The following movie summarizes what was done in part 1 of this series and then picks up with the assignment of specific overrides:

EAM Mass Models Part 2: Mass Overrides

For more information on the software solutions, training, and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.

         Jim Cowan
Jim Cowan
AEC Senior Application Specialist

Jim Cowan’s extensive AEC design industry experience, Autodesk design solutions expertise, and status as an Autodesk Certified Instructor have made him a sought after university curriculum developer, instructor, and presenter. Jim’s areas of expertise include eLearning, interoperability between solutions, and overcoming barriers to the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM). Educated in Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot–Watt University and in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba, Jim has a special focus on sustainability issues: daylight analysis, sun studies, lighting analysis, modeling buildings, and conceptual energy modeling (models with shading devices). You can learn more from Jim on his YouTube Channel.