As with visualization, the authoring environment of a BIM platform isn’t necessarily the most effi cient one on which to perform analysis. Although you can create some rendering and animations within Revit, a host of other applications are specifi cally designed to capitalize on a computer’s RAM and processing power to minimize the time it takes to create such media.
Analysis is much the same way—although some basic analysis is possible using Revit, other applications are much more robust and can create more accurate results. The real value in BIM is the interoperability of model geometry and metadata between applications. Consider energy modeling as an example. In Figure 1.9, we’re comparing three energy-modeling applications:A, B, and C. In the fi gure, the dark gray bar refl ects the time it takes to either import model geometry into the analysis package or redraw the design with the analysis package.
The light gray bar refl ects the amount of time needed to add data not within Revit, such as loads, zoning, and so on. The white bar represents the time it takes to perform the analysis once all the information is in place.
In A and B, we modeled the project in Revit but were unable to use the model geometry in
the analysis package. This caused the re-creation of the design within the analysis tool and also
required time to coordinate and upkeep the design and its iterations between the two models.
In application C, you can see we were able to import Revit model geometry directly into the
analysis package, saving nearly 50 percent of the time needed to create and run the full analysis.
Using this workfl ow, you can bring analysis to more projects, perform more iterations, or do the
analysis in half the time.
The same workfl ow is true for daylighting (Figure 1.10) and other types of building performance
analysis. With the ability to repurpose the Revit model geometry, we are able to
move away from anecdotal or prescriptive design solutions and begin to rely on calculated
results. Using Revit also ensures consistency because the model is the sole source for design
Building analysis can reach beyond just the design phase and into facility management. Once
the building has been constructed, the use of BIM doesn’t need to end. More advanced facilities
management systems support tracking—and thereby trending—building use over time. By
trending building use, you can begin to predict usage patterns and help anticipate future uses.
This strategy can help you become more proactive with maintenance and equipment replacement
because you will be able to “see” how equipment performance begins to degrade over
time. Trending will also aid you in providing a more comfortable environment for building
occupants by understanding historic use patterns and allow you to keep the building tuned for
optimized energy performance