This Section will cover some of issues that Users may come across when using the application and helpful guidance on understanding these issues and resolving them.
|FenestraPro will arrange the model into Facades based on orientation and plane. There may be several South facing Facades for instance if they are on different planes. Within these Facades are Surfaces, defined by Levels and Internal Walls. Each time there is an internal wall, a new Surface will be assigned for that Space/Room.
The 'Spatial Elements' option (for Detailed models) will assign separate Surfaces for each Curtain Wall.
FenestraPro will indicate values with colors to indicate Cool, Optimum or Overheated Spaces. Surfaces that FenestraPro highlights on the model relate to the Rooms/Spaces internally associated to these glazed Surfaces and the results refer to these floor areas. The ranges used are listed on this page
Colours are indicated in the Facades List, in the Charts and on the Dashboard.
Red will indicate areas for attention. These may require a higher performance Glass Type, Shading Devices or Fritting applications etc
Blue will indicate Cool Surfaces which may over-restrict Solar Heat Gain. In this case, a lower performance glass may be required.
Green Surfaces have values within acceptable ranges eg. 15 - 25 W/m sq (4.75 - 7.9 BTU/ft sq / hr).
Daylight colours vary from grey to yellow indicating values. An optimum range for Daylight factor is 2 - 5%.
When first starting to analyze a new project:
- Launch FenestraPro from the Revit Add-ins Menu
- Select an option for the model type. For Revit Mass Models, select Conceptual Mass. For Detailed Models, select Building Elements (all detailed models), or Spatial Elements (if Rooms/Spaces have been placed in the project)
- The Building Manager will Open automatically. Adjust Settings for Site Location, Terrain, Building Use and Occupancy Hours if necessary. Turn on Calculate Shading if there are significant surrounding buildings modelled or self shading on the model. Close the Building Manager when results display and this process is complete.
- Set an Energy Code in the Performance Tab (for Compliance Targets). This will indicate compliance of element thermal properties for categories (Walls, roofs, Floors and Glazing)
- If Glazing has analytical properties, results will display for Surfaces including these elements. Adjust Analytical Properties for glazing using Revit's Type Properties or the Glass Database in FenestraPro (new Glass Types may require a restart of Revit).
- Make selections of Surfaces using the List, Charts or 3D Viewer and review Surfaces with high results. These Surfaces may require higher performance glazing (lower solar transmittance/SHGC), shading devices, fritting etc to reduce the Heat Gain
- Further functions are available for review such as saving Reports, reviewing the Shading Animation, Generating Glazing on the model using performance targets etc
The Site Location in the Revit model should be set. True North rotation will also affect the results and to obtain correct orientations. Project Name should also be input in Project Information under the Manage Tab on the Revit Menu (other inputs in Project Information are not critical). Glazing elements in the model should have Analytical Properties assigned under Type Properties for each glazing type that is being used in the project.
Model Elements generally need to be set as Room Bounding to be included in calculations (structural columns may be set to Non-Room Bounding).
Assuming that the model integrity is good and Revit's Energy Model generates successfully, then you may launch the application.
FenestraPro will ask Revit to generate a current Energy Model when it launches and will use this information to create Surfaces and organise the model into separate zones related to the internal spaces. Then use the Building Manager to Calculate Solar Results.
Please see this Section for more details on Getting Started.
The Dashboard will display a weighted average result for the selections made. Selections may be chosen from the Charts, from the Facades List (in the Facade Navigator) or from the 3D Chart Viewer.
If one Surface is selected, the results displayed are for that Surface only. Heat Gain and Daylight is shown for the space behind that Surface.
If multiple Surfaces are selected, the results are an average for all Surfaces selected.
Heat Gain results for spaces in the model associated to Surfaces through which the Solar radiation is transmitted. This is displayed in Watts per Square Metre or British Thermal Units per Foot Squared per Hour.
Daylight Factor for Model spaces is also displayed associated with Surfaces which transmit this through the project envelope. Daylight Factor is a percentage and is a ratio of external illuminance to internal illuminance at a working plane.
R-value or U-values for the selections made are also displayed. These represent the average value for the Surface(s) or Facade(s). U-value represents Heat Loss through the building fabric (a lower value is more desirable). R-value represents the Resistance of the fabric to Heat Loss (a higher value is more desirable).
R-value is shown as Foot Squared Fahrenheit per Hour / BTU. U-value is shown as Watts per Square Metre Kelvin.
Glazing Percentage on a Surface or Facade is also displayed.
Shading Results are output if these are included in the calculations.
FenestraPro can factor in the shading effects from surrounding buildings (modelled as Masses for context).
Shading Devices that can be used are generic Revit families (canopies/fins), Mass Canopies and Vertical Fins, Overhanging Roofs and Floors, Extruded Mullions in Curtain Walls, Freestanding elements outside a model such as walls and Self Shading from the model itself on other areas of the model.
Note: Vertical Fins will not affect Daylight results
Please see this Section for more details on Shading Effects and Devices.
Select an element in the model or select a Surface on the model (which has glazed elements). Selections may be made from the Facade Navigator List, using the bar Charts or by using the 3D Viewer in the Charts which represents Surfaces on the model (to use the 3D Chart Viewer, shading needs to be calculated first in the Building Manager).
Once a selection has been made, you may review Glass Types in the Glass Database. These may be sorted into ascending or descending values by clicking on the headers (U-value/SHGC/VLT). The database may also be filtered by using the sliders to define a range for U-values, SHGC or VLT. Only Glasses which lie within these ranges are then listed. Note: Only glasses available in the region associated with the project's Site Location are displayed. If you wish to view all Glasses, uncheck the Region Filter.
Once a Glass Type/product has been selected in the list, it will highlight. This may then be Applied to the selected Surface or model element by using the Apply button shown. A message will display to ask if you wish to change the existing Glass to this new type, only the selected Surface or everywhere in the model that this family is located.
If you wish to Apply only on this Surface, a new family will be created in Revit for you with the name of the new Glass Type. Please see this Section for more details on all the features.
Yes, the Smart Surfaces function will allow you to define target Heat Gains, Daylight and U-values/ R-values for a Surface and Glass products which have suitable properties to produce these defined targets will be listed. Please see this Section for more details of this workflow.
Yes, the Glass Suppliers in the database have online Glazing Configurators to allow you to configure an assembly with various glass types. FenestraPro provides links to these websites in the application to direct you to the suppliers web applications where this can be achieved.
Once a Glass Makeup is configured, it may be imported back into your FenestraPro Account where it wil be added to your database. It will then become available in the Revit Addin also and may be used for projects in Revit.
Note: New Glass Types that Revit has not seen before may require a restart of Revit before they will appear in Type Properties and become information that can be used in calculations.
Please see this Section for more details on creating Custom Glass Assemblies on Supplier's websites.
Yes, once this option is used, inputs will be recognised and used for calculations instead of any Construction Type. This option is available in Revit for Glazed Elements only (it is not an option for Roofs, Floors or Walls). Please see this Section for more details.
This is normal and is a helpful indicator that thermal properties need to be set for an element on this Façade. It may be that a door or window has no analytical property set. If one element is missing thermal properties, the warning indicator will appear beside the Façade name. Thermal Properties may be set in Revit by using the Edit Type tool.
Check that Revit’s Energy model is successful first and that there are no warnings. If there are, try to resolve these first before launching FenestraPro.
Glazing material, if assigned, should have the required transparency set in the materials browser, to be identified as glass.
If is still an issue, please contact us for support: email@example.com
If a colleague has the same version of FenestraPro, you may copy the results file and send it to them. If they paste this file into their FenestraPro folder, the results will be available in their Charts and Dashboard when they open the application on their machine.
There are also files in this folder called CustomStandards.db and CustomGroups.db and GlazingSpecs.db. These may also be copied and pasted to a colleague’s machine to display the same information if new Standards and Groups have been created. The colleague must have a current active license for FenestraPro.
FenestraPro should be closed down first as it will be accessing files in the FenestraPro folder. It is recommended that the person to whom you are sending the file, first close down FenestraPro if it is open and rename their existing database file as a backup eg. FProStore.db should become - FProStore.db.bak.
This original file can then be restored later by:
1. Moving the new database file that you sent them to another folder outside the FenestraPro folder
2. Renaming the Original file back to the original name so that it will be used by the application.
The new file that you are sending them may then be placed in the Folder and will be used instead. It contains all the results for the models analysed to date. If they have access to the same models, this will be recognized and the results will appear in the application.
The version number of the software should be the same on both machines, otherwise there may be errors in reading the file or FenestraPro may fail to load.
The new file may then be stored elsewhere and the older file renamed back to its original name so that the user can continue their work.
Results may always be shared normally using the Snapshot Excel Report also which contains all the relevant information on the project. The HTML Report may also be viewed in a browser and shared with a colleague or this data may be downloaded as a PDF and shared with colleagues.
Yes, FenestraPro saves your Building Codes in the FenestraPro folder which is on your local machine. This file may be copied and pasted into a colleagues folder on their machine if they also have a subscription to the application. First the colleague’s FenestraPro application should be closed out. Any existing file with Codes in their local folder should be cut and pasted to another location if it is to be restored later.
The sent file may be pasted into the FenestraPro folder and when the application is started, this will be used with the Codes that were created.
The path to the FenestraPro folder is usually on the C: drive and is found under Windows (C:) > Users > Your Name > App Data > Local > FenestraPro
The file will be named CustomStandards.db. Care should be taken not to delete the file from your own machine as this may cause the application to display an error as it will be referencing this file. The file may be copied and pasted to another location or emailed to a colleague etc.
Other files in this location store the results of analysis to date, log files of progress, error messages, Custom Groups and Glazing Specifications that have been created etc. Likewise, these may be shared with colleagues if information is to be common.
This refers to two different methods for analyzing detailed models (Building Elements vs Spatial Elements) in Revit v2020 and older). Custom Groups created in one method relies on the Surfaces that FenestraPro creates in that method. Since both options for analyzing Detailed models will create, name and manage the number of Surfaces differently, any Groups created in one method will not apply to the other. If another method is used to analyse the same model, Custom Groups would have to be created again.
Masses are analyzed separately. When you choose the Conceptual Mass option when loading the application, a message will appear to Choose the Mass. If there are several masses in the project analysis will occur on each one separately. Surrounding buildings may be modeled as separate masses as these can be used for shading effect calculations.
Once the Energy Model is created, the masses will be merged by and you will see a warning message from Revit. We recommend modelling floor by floor (storey by storey) as it gives more control over the surfaces in FenestraPro. Zones may be created, and finer control is possible for each storey (eg. separate glazing specifications, glazed areas, fritting etc).
Masses modeled as one volume in Revit will be assigned one Surface over the entire orientation and individual control for each storey will not be possible.
Yes, when opening FenestraPro, choose which model type you wish to analyse eg. Conceptual Mass or Detailed. There is one option for analyzing Conceptual Masses and two for Detailed models (Spatial Elements or Building Elements).
Please ensure that the mode set in Revit’s Energy Settings is set to ‘Use Conceptual Masses and Building Elements’ so that the Energy Model will apply to all types.
For both model types, ensure that basic modeling checks have been performed eg. for Mass models – ensure that Mass Floors have been assigned etc. Detailed models should have thermal properties applied to the glazing and building elements if possible (walls, floors and roofs).
Yes, simple curved geometry is supported for Detailed Revit models but currently not for Mass models. Support for curved geometry in Mass models is in development and will be included in a future version. For Mass models, the curve may be faceted.
Note: Currently, results and orientations are limited to overall outputs. Improved support for these conditions is in development.
Where geometry is more complex, all areas may not be analysed fully and Users are advised to exercise caution with these types of models. Curved geometry may not be assigned Surfaces or be provided with results by FenestraPro.
Importing Rhino and Sketchup models to Revit gives limited information as they are often composed of polysurfaces or faces and are not BIM objects that Revit can modify. Analytical Properties cannot be applied to these generic objects and as such the Revit Energy Model does not provide analytical surfaces. Development is ongoing to research if such models can be translated to more useful objects to include in projects. The use of third party software to translate models from other modelling platforms into formats that are readable in Revit may be successful.