Chartered Architectural Technologist | MCIAT, MSc. BIM, BSc. Arch. Tech.

Initial Design Stage – Energy Analysis in Autodesk FormIt & Insight

Category : Architecture

This is a blog post on using Autodesk FormIt Pro and Autodesk Insight 360, in this case I have chosen a nice site in West Cork. To see how the building will be impacted by solar, shadow and glazing or varying orientation you can use Insight to give you an early analysis of these factors. A two storey holiday home in West Cork is a nice place to start!..

To start… Open FormIt

1. Locate Site

Navigate to the location symbol in the top toolbar > Type in an address in the search bar > Locate your site > Finish Import.

2. Draw Building

Use the line tool to sketch a footprint of your building. Once you place the line you can click in the dimension and enter a preferred dimension.

3. Extrude Footprint

Hover over the plane and click to extrude to a desire height.

4. Change Height

To change the height click in the dimension and enter your preferred height.

5. Create Levels

To generate an Insight, FormIt requires that levels are set to the mass.

Navigate to the symbol tool in your side bar (shown as two level heads with lines). Select Add Mulitple Levels and in this case I want to Levels (Ground & First Floor) at 3m height.

6. Apply Levels

To apply levels, double click your mass so it highlights Blue.

Navigate to the properties tab on the right hand side and select Use Levels. A blue line will appear to show that the levels have been applied.

7. Shadow Analysis

As above see how the shadows are at different times of the year or day.

8. Solar Analysis

Still within the shadow analysis dialogue box, click the solar analysis and your model should change colour.

As you hover over a face of your mass, kWh/sq m of solar energy will appear on the building.

9. Generate Insight

Click the 19.1 symbol and Generate Insight option. This should take a few minutes (5 in my case). It sends the data to Autodesk Cloud for analysis

Once that is complete the View insight Option will be available to select and this will bring you to Insight 360 in your web browser.

10. Insight 360

The analysis automatically applies glazing to the model to allow it to test options of how % of glazing may affect each facade.

As you scroll through the widgets you can inspect for example how 90% coverage of PV panels might impact the running costs of your building.

11. Setting Utility Costs

In the top left of your browser click Back to Insight

Within settings under the cog symbol on the right hand side you can set utility rates to Irish Rates.

Insight is a great tool for early design analysis and is very easy to create geometry within Formit and direct workflow into Insight.

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