To sync or not to sync, that is the question!

Hello :pollination: community!

Now that the core functionalities of the model editor are coming together, we see great potential to address one of the most common issues we have seen in the coordination between architects and energy modelers.

Keeping up with the design changes during the project is an issue that we have heard about for a long time. Almost in every Revit workshop, someone asks a version of the same question:

“What happens when the Architect sends us a new Revit model? Can I re-use the fixes that I have made to the model?”

From what we understand, the change in the design usually means starting from scratch or trying to manually update the energy model one room at a time. It is a boring, slow, and painful process that can and should be automated.

We have tried to address this issue twice already but neither took off. We have some assumptions on why that might be the case but that is what we think!

I’m writing this post to better understand what you think! Is it really a problem or are we making it up? Is it a priority to build a UI on top of the model editor to allow comparing the models visually and pick and choose the changes you would like to be merged?

Here are a few items that we need your help with.

  1. Is this a major pain point in your workflow? Have you ever used a semi-automated process to address this issue? How desperate are you for an improved solution?

  2. If this is a major issue in your workflows, what does the ideal workflow for fixing the issue look like?

  3. Do you have samples of real-life projects that you can share with us as a reference? We are particularly interested in Revit models of the same project that have changed during the development of the project, and you had to recreate the energy model for them.

    The key to building a useful solution for this problem is to be able to identify meaningful changes in different iterations of the model, and real-life models will help us to test our current assumptions. Even though this will be an ongoing task that will evolve having access to real-world models will give us a great starting point.

Thank you in advance and looking forward to hearing your feedback!

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Yes, this is a significant pain point and the primary reason I see energy models being created too late in the design process. For example, the engineers would like to make an energy model to evaluate energy conservation strategies. The architecture design keeps changing, so the energy model development isn’t started. Eventually the model is created for code compliance and its power as a design tool is lost.

This is a tricky answer for a number of reasons. Was it a simple redistribution of the existing spaces or were new spaces created? Since the Revit model is referencing the room names, I would appreciate a method in the GUI to identify space areas that have changed since the pollination snapshot was created. Then helping identify if new spaces were added. This could appear in the room list with a highlight color. Maybe there is a better way to implement this but I doubt a whole new GUI is needed.

I’ll ask around!

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Thank you, @justinshultz!

My instinct is that it will be a mix of both, and we don’t want to show a long list that says everything has changed. That’s not as useful. That’s exactly why we are looking for a handful of real-life models to see how the models change.

Not creating a whole new GUI would be ideal! That’s always my favorite option. :smile: But from what I have seen the same room/space ID is rarely kept in the two models. That’s why most likely we will need to use the geometries to find out the areas of change instead of the name or the ID. For the same reason, I feel the UI should be a 2D plan that allows you to pick between the two options in a region of the building that includes several rooms rather than a table that compares the rooms.

Thank you!

Hi Mostapha,
I´m a PhD Architect and I use algorithmic design since 2011 so I can share my experience as a modeller, and a designer.
The modeller must take part in the design process as soon as possible because the decisions at the early stages of design impact most in the results. It´s hard to make an efficient design if the architect is not aware of the consequences of his/her morphological and material responses. If the designer and the modeller are not the same professional, they should work together from scratch. The modeller should follow the design development to inform the designer about simple rules of bioclimatic design strategies: natural ventilation, daylight, radiation, shading devices, energy efficiency, low-carbon materials and so on.
Besides, the modeller should construct a flexible workflow with as many variable parameters as possible: sliders for envelope element dimensions, orientation, and item selectors for material constructions, shading devices, …I also use Genetic Algorithms to optimize solar radiation and thermal gains.
I could go on with many more recommendations from my own experience as a professional, modeller and professor on thermal and lighting simulation.
Hope to help all of you!

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