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 Floor Levels and Internal Walls. Each time there is an internal wall, a new Surface will be assigned for that Space/Room. Facades and Surfaces are based on the Energy Model generated in Revit.
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 (above 25W/m sq / 7.9 BTU/ft sq/hr). 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 (less than 15 W/m sq / 4.75 BTU/ft sq/hr). In this case, a lower performance glass may be required, fritting removed or shading devices made less deep or removed etc.
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%.
Assuming that your model generates a successful Energy Model in Revit, you may start analysis with FenestraPro. If you are not getting a successful Energy Model or warnings appear in Revit, check the Model Preparation article for guidance on how to resolve issues.
This is covered in detail under Section 7.0.1
When first starting to analyze a new project:
- Launch FenestraPro from the Revit menu.
- Follow the onboarding process (Model Check - Select or Create an Energy Code, Check Compliance and Calculate Results)
- Then move into the main window to perform various functions (Assign Glass Types, Generate Glazing, Produce Reports, Review Shading etc).
- If this the first install of the application (or update to a new version), you may need to restart Revit one-time to update the Glass Types in Revit (the FenestraPro Glass Database is added to Revit's default list). This should be done before changing glass types using the application.
The model should be created as recommended in Revit. The workflow and modelling guidelines are covered in Section 6.0
- Launch the Tool
- Select a Conceptual Mass in the Revit project
- Use the Building Manager to define project settings and Calculate Results
- Define an Energy Code in the Performance Manager (select from the dropdown list or Create a Code)
- Assign an Overall Glazing Percentage to the model
- Make selections of Facades and Surfaces and use the Surface controls in the Facade Manager to modify Glazing Specification, Shading, Fritting 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 (this is checking when you first load your model into the application and advise is provided.
Detailed model elements generally need to be set as Room Bounding to be included in calculations (structural columns and some elements may be intentionally set to Non-Room Bounding). Element functions for Detailed model need to be correct ('Exterior' or 'Interior' elements) and major gaps in the Building Enclosure should also be avoided.
Assuming that the model integrity is good and Revit's Energy Model generates successfully, then you may launch the application. If the Energy Model is not successful or there are warnings in Revit, please see Section 12.1.1 for guidance. There is also guidance in Section 2.0.1 on Model Preparation.
FenestraPro will ask Revit to generate a current Energy Model when it launches and will use this information to create Surfaces and organize the model into separate zones related to the internal spaces.
The application will also provide a Model Checking Tool to advise on issues and thermal properties during the onboarding process.
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 by hovering over areas in the Model 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 the selected Surfaces.
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 (most shaded Surfaces by percentage).
Yes, you can use Design Options where you have different versions of your model in the one file. This tends to be easier with Detailed models where elements can be assigned to Design Option Sets.
The iteration of the model to be analyzed just needs to be made the primary option and then restart the application to use this version of the model. This is covered in more detail under Section 12.3
For Conceptual models, it may be easier to have different files for each iteration of the design and analyze those separately.
This is the workflow for changing Glass Types in your Revit model:
- 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 hovering over areas in the Model Viewer
- 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. You can also filter by 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 (universal change).
- 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 7.3 for more details on all the features.
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, Freestanding elements outside a model such as walls and Self Shading from the model itself on other areas of the model. In both Detailed and Conceptual models, other detailed buildings nearby will also create shading effects.
Note: Vertical Fins will not affect Daylight results
Please see Section 5.2 for more details on Shading Effects and Devices.
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 184.108.40.206 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 7.3.9 for more details on creating Custom Glass Assemblies on Supplier's websites.
Yes, once this option is used, inputs will be recognized 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 7.2.3 for more details.
This is normal and is a helpful indicator that thermal properties need to be set for an element in the Revit model. It may be that a door or window has no analytical property set. The warning indicator (i icon) will appear beside the Façade or Surface name. Thermal Properties may be set in Revit by using the Edit Type tool. You may also override properties if they are missing by defined values under the Compliance area. These values will be used for calculations but do not change anything in the Revit model. Glazing material, if assigned, should have the required transparency set in the materials browser, to be identified as glass.
During onboarding of your model (set-up stage), the application will check if any glazed elements do not have properties and will suggest assigning a default basic glass type.
It is good practice to check that Revit’s Energy model is successful first and that there are no warnings. If there are warnings (under the Manage tab), try to resolve these first before launching FenestraPro. These options are for use with Detailed models only. Glazing material, if assigned, should have the required transparency set in the materials browser, to be identified as glass.
Please refer to Section 2.0.1 above for information on typical modelling issues and recommended Energy Settings.
If is still an issue, please contact us for support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, it is possible to share a Report with a colleague who also has FenestraPro (you may share the project Report with them from your online Account area.
Since changes to model conditions are written to the Revit model, once this is saved, it may be shared with a colleague and opened in FenestraPro. They will then get the same results. If you have calculated Shading Effects, this will need to be repeated. The model should be saved in Revit (before sharing with a colleague) so that any changes are baked into the Revit file and model conditions should not then be modified (Site Location, True North, project settings etc) since this will alter any future results.
Changes saved to the Revit model include using glass types from the FenestraPro Glass Database, adding windows or curtain walls using the software. If you have created an Energy Code for the project, you may also share this with a colleague(s) from your online Account area. If you have imported a custom glass type from a manufacturer's glass configurator online, you will need to ensure that this has been added to Revit's glass types list by syncing the FenestraPro database to Revit. Any new glass types will be saved with the model even if your colleague does not have them in their version of Revit. It is also possible to share a custom imported glass type with a colleague from your online Account.
Note: Applying Energy Code values to model elements to override existing thermal properties are not written to the Revit model and will have to be repeated during the onboarding stage (opening the model the first time on another computer). You wish to make a note of these or take a screenshot so these settings can be replicated by another user.
Results may always be shared normally using the Excel Report (Conceptual models only), 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 from your Account and shared with colleagues.
Yes, FenestraPro saves your custom Energy Codes in the online Account. You may share a Code with a colleague, a Team of which you are a member or another user who also has access to the application. The user will then get a notification by email that a Code has been sheared with them and will see it in their online Account. See Section 7.1.1 for more details on sharing reference Energy Codes. The process is identical whether you are using a Conceptual or Detailed model.
It is not possible currently to share Custom Groups but it is easy to replicate the settings here and advise a colleague of selected Surfaces. See Section 7.7.3 for more details.
Masses are typically analyzed separately. When you choose the Conceptual Mass option when loading the application, a message will appear to Select the Mass. If there are several masses in the project, analysis will occur on each one separately. If there is one mass in the project made up of several objects, these will all be analyzed together. Both types are explained below. In all cases, Mass Floors must be assigned to the required levels.
Project created with one Mass object with several parts
- You may have separate buildings in the project but they may be modeled as one conceptual mass (when you select one, all get selected in Revit). In this case all buildings are analyzed together.
Project created with several separate mass objects
2. You may also model each building separately eg. a campus type arrangement (when you select one building, others do not get selected in Revit). In this case, each building will be analyzed separately (one at a time).
Surrounding buildings may be modeled as separate masses and these can be used for shading effect calculations.
It is not recommended to overlap mass objects in Revit as this can confuse the Energy Model. Once the Energy Model is created, overlapping masses may be merged and you may see a warning message from Revit. Otherwise, if the Energy model is not successful, you may need to modify the model.
We recommend modelling floor by floor (storey by storey) as it gives more control over the surfaces in FenestraPro. Zones may then 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, select which model type you wish to analyse eg. Conceptual Mass or Detailed. There are separate Tools for analyzing Conceptual Masses and an option for Detailed models. Currently, you may analyze one model type at a time (either Conceptual or Detailed). To analyze a Conceptual model, you need to select the model when launching the application (the detailed model will not be analyzed but may be used to calculate shading effects on the conceptual model if it is in close proximity). To analyze a detailed model, use the Detailed Tool and the application will search for all detailed geometry in the project. Again, the concept model may be used to calculate shading effects on the detailed model (if it is in close proximity).
Note: When analyzing a Detailed model, where a Conceptual Mass also exists in the project, uncheck Mass Floors for the Mass building in Revit so that Surfaces for the Mass do not get analyzed in FenestraPro. Also, Recent Revit versions use the combined Energy Mode which analyze all objects in the project ('Use Conceptual Masses and Building Elements'). If the Mass object does not have glazing assigned and Surfaces from this object are included in the results, it will distort the results for the Detailed model.
Please ensure that the mode set in Revit’s Energy Settings is set to ‘Use Conceptual Masses and Building Elements’ in Revit 2023 so that the Energy Model will apply to all types. For Revit 2022 and 2021 versions, you may use 'Use Conceptual Masses' mode.
For both model types, ensure that basic modeling checks have been performed eg. for Conceptual Mass models – ensure that Mass Floors have been assigned and that guidance on modelling masses has been followed. Detailed models should have complete enclosures without gaps and elements should have appropriate functions ('exterior' or 'interior' etc).
Yes, simple curved geometry is supported for Detailed Revit models but currently not for Conceptual Mass models. Support for curved geometry in Concept models is in development and will be included in a future version. For Concept models, it may be an option to facet the curve (divide into smaller straight lines).
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 always be assigned Surfaces or produce results.
FenestraPro was developed to work with models created in Autodesk Revit. 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.
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