San Rafael, Calif.,-based software manufacturer Autodesk has announced that its Autodesk Green Building Studio web-based service now provides more recently documented hourly weather data for 1.6 million virtual weather locations around the world. The previous version of the Autodesk Green Building Studio service supported 55,000 locations of weather data for North America and Northern Europe. The new version adds virtual weather locations for Central and Southern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Japan, Philippines and South Korea.
Green Building Studio is an online software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, which is also available to subscribers of Autodesk Ecotect Analysis 2010 software during the term of their Subscription. The web-based service helps architects and designers working within a building information modeling (BIM) process to perform whole-building energy and water analysis, optimize efficiency and work toward carbon neutrality earlier in the design process. With faster, more accurate performance analysis of building design proposals, architects and designers can evaluate sustainability earlier in the process and build more energy-efficient buildings.
"Architects and building engineers working on new projects or renovations have a unique opportunity to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in so doing address the climate change crisis," said John Kennedy, senior manager, sustainable analysis products for Autodesk AEC Solutions. "To do this effectively, building professionals must pay close attention to designing for specific local climatic conditions. Giving our users access to a huge data set of hourly, site-specific and more relevant weather information represents a significant step forward.”
The previous version of the Autodesk Green Building Studio service supported weather locations mainly based on large airport sites. The 1.6 million virtual weather locations now supported by the service are located no more than 8.8 miles (14 km) from any given project location covered by the new data set. The new virtual weather locations were developed using weather data from a variety of government and other public sources, such as airports, ocean or river buoys, and aircraft and satellite readings.
An observations-based physics model (mesoscale meteorological model) was then generated for each region.
“As the largest green builder in the United States, we are firmly committed to supporting our clients’ sustainability goals,” said James P. Barrett, national director, virtual design and construction for Turner Construction Company. “The use of Autodesk Ecotect and Green Building Studio, particularly during the preconstruction phase when detailed building performance analysis and evaluation are critical, enhances our ability to successfully deliver a green building to our clients. The increase in virtual weather location data enhances our whole-building energy analysis for our clients on new or renovation projects. It helps us better project not only initial costs, but also lifecycle costs for a more comprehensive view of a facility’s total cost of ownership.”
BIM is an integrated process for exploring a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally before it is built. Coordinated, consistent information is used throughout the process to design innovative projects and conduct analysis from the earliest stages. This enables better visualization and simulation of real-world appearance, performance and cost. Adopting a BIM process also makes it possible to prepare accurate documentation and deliver projects faster and more economically, while minimizing environmental impact.
Autodesk also announced that it's offering its Ecotect Analysis program, which usually costs in excess of $3,000 per seat license, for $995 to customers that also purchase the AutoCAD Revit Architecture or AutoCAD Revit MEP software suites.