New Autodesk Tools Advance Environmental Performance from Buildings to City Scale

Categories: Architecture Engineering Infrastructure

Technology advances showcased at Greenbuild 2015 help designers, owners, and cities solve building, infrastructure, and city challenges to combat climate change

By Emma Stewart and Erin Emery, Autodesk


On this first day of Greenbuild 2015 in Washington DC, we’re excited to share the news about a significant expansion of Autodesk’s portfolio of energy and water analysis tools that span the spectrum of design through operations for individual buildings all the way up to the city and district level. These new solutions will help architects, engineers, owners, and government agencies optimize the value of their project throughout its lifecycle.

The Big Picture

Future_Of_Making_Things-07Image courtesy of Autodesk

With our deep understanding of building performance, validated data, connected physical and digital technologies and the power of the cloud, Autodesk is enabling our customers to lead the way toward the future of making buildings and cities – making them smarter, making them more efficient and environmentally sound, and making them more profitable for owners and operators. Over the past year, we have made significant strides with advanced modeling, simulation, and analysis technology that democratize building performance analysis, make building energy sensor data more impactful for facility managers, and simulate how cities can meet their energy and water-related goals.


Introducing Autodesk Insight 360

Insight_360_02_66%Visualize and interact in real time with energy range, heating, cooling, lighting and solar performance using Insight 360 run directly from Revit and FormIt to drive towards better building performance from early design targeting and feasibility through to operation.

Today, Greenbuild attendees will be the very first to experience Autodesk Insight 360, which empowers architects with centralized access to their building energy and environmental performance data and the world’s most advanced analysis engines, all within a beautiful and intuitive interface. Through robust bi-directional Building Information Modeling (BIM) integration, direct access to leading analysis tools, and guidance and recommendations from industry benchmarks, architects can approach the design process with more effective understanding of the elements that lead to better building performance outcomes throughout the building lifecycle.

Insight 360Insight 360 allows users to visualize and interact with building performance with regard to recognized industry benchmarks such as Architecture 2030 and ASHRAE 90.1.  Image courtesy of Autodesk.

Here’s a snapshot of Insight 360’s key benefits, features, and capabilities:

  • Visualize and interact with key industry benchmarks for performance with real-time cause and effect feedback to guide you toward better building performance outcomes.
  • Model with Revit and FormIt 360 Pro to generate insights using robust automatic analytical model creation and visualization of performance information directly in the modeling environment. This capability offers a powerful comparison workflow to run millions of design scenarios and see energy savings with immediate and interactive feedback.
  • Access to trusted industry leading engines for whole building energy, heating, cooling, daylighting, and solar radiation simulations.
  • Organize and share insights with project stakeholders and support geographically dispersed team collaboration from early targeting and feasibility analysis through operation with access anywhere via desktops, tablets, or smartphones.

Quickly compareQuickly compare critical design scenarios and identify key performance indicators. Image courtesy of Autodesk.

Learn more at the Insight 360 blog.


Internet of Things R&D: Project Aquila

For facility managers, we are previewing an Internet-of-Things application we will continue to develop over the next several months, code-named “Project Aquila.” It is a cloud-based app that overlays building sensor data with 2D drawings and 3D models while providing analytics and real-time alerts for facility managers. The application combines:

  • real-time device level electricity data from Panoramic Power’s wireless, non-intrusive, self-powered sensor technologies;
  • BIM-based visualization;
  • Energy and financial analytics; and
  • Automated reporting to deliver actionable insights for energy management and equipment maintenance.

For example, a building or factory facility manager, using Project Aquila, could diagnose where a facility is wasting energy, evaluate the Net Present Value and payback for fixes, and prioritize work orders, all in one place.

We continue to work on Project Aquila, including connecting it to Insight 360, and our plans for the near future include adding means to automate measurement and verification. Today we are inviting people to test it out free of charge and give us feedback.

Aquila_3D_map_devices_to_dataImage courtesy of Autodesk.


New Partner Solutions: AutoCASE for Sites

Earlier this year, we teamed up with Impact Infrastructure to announce their AutoCASE for Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite, the world’s only triple bottom line, cloud-enabled analysis tool for stormwater projects.  Today at Greenbuild, we’re once again collaborating with Impact Infrastructure to announce AutoCASE for Sites. AutoCASE for Sites reveals the value of your building site designs from roofs and roads to rain gardens, and enables you to create cost-effective and sustainable projects for your clients. The in-canvas dialog can show the cost-benefit of (all expressed in risk-adjusted dollar values) multiple factors, including:

  • Reduced heat island effect;
  • Low-impact development for stormwater management;
  • Reduced carbon emissions; and
  • Effects on air and water quality.

By linking with Autodesk’s BIM design software AutoCAD Civil 3D 2015 and 2016, and/or InfraWorks 360, AutoCASE for Sites is, to our knowledge, the world’s first application that quantifies the triple bottom line value of your projects – and can keep those values up-to-date as the project progresses.  Design teams and owners alike can cost-justify proposals immediately without breaking the design workflow with AutoCASE.

AutoCASE in IWImage courtesy of Autodesk.



  • Insight 360 is available to Maintenance and Desktop Subscription Revit customers and FormIt 360 Pro users starting today, November 18. English language only at launch.
  • Project Aquila is available today as a free technology preview at
  • AutoCASE for Sites is available at