Autodesk Ecotect Analysis 2010
by Kenneth Wong
If your client adds a series of penthouses to his pending skyscraper, will it cast a shadow on nearby city properties? How much can you reduce solar gain by adding some shading devices between the floors?
If you cover the roof areas with photovoltaic panels, how much electricity can you generate? And if your client changes the project from a residential building to an office building, how will it affect the annual water usage?
These are just a few of the questions you can answer with Autodesk Ecotect Analysis 2010, a software solution for predicting and analyzing building energy performance and environmental impacts.
Autodesk rolled out Ecotect Analysis 2010 in March 2009, combining capabilities previously found in Ecotect and Green Building Studio, two building analysis technologies that Autodesk had snatched up from third-party developers in 2008. This sustainable-design software duo complements Autodesk's existing building information modeling (BIM) solution, the Revit platform.
Tools such as these are making it possible to foretell, with relative accuracy, the consequences of your design before you even break ground on a project.
Although Ecotect is now part of the Autodesk portfolio, the software is also popular among those who use BIM software produced by Autodesk's rivals. To accommodate the import of 3D geometry from industry-standard architectural modeling programs, the software lets you import models in various intermediary formats (such as DXF, OBJ, or 3DS). The import wizard can automatically remove duplicate surfaces or merge triangles if needed.
Using the desktop tools within Ecotect Analysis, you run
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