Conceptual Energy Analysis inside Revit (7 of ?)

CEA Workflow 06 - customization properties

As I sit here listening to Let it Snow on my IPod and enjoying a peppermint candy cane chunk, my mind wanders…what is in that really big present under the tree with my name on it…elves pointy ears must never get cold since they are never tucked into their pointy hats…how do I customize the properties of surfaces and zones in Revit CEA?  Weird?  I don’t think so.  It’s Christmas…why shouldn’t I be thinking about elves?  Merry Christmas!

In the last post, we talked about how to customize the zones and glazing on our mass model using geometry.  There was a lot to cover and by the time we got to the end, we had all run out of steam.  So we didn’t talk about the other way to customize, by adjusting the analysis properties of individual surfaces and zones.  So let’s get into it now.

show mass surface-zones

First things to know is that to adjust surfaces or zones you need to have the appropriate Show Mass option selected.


There are a lot of new kinds of sub-categories courtesy of the CEA tool.  You can see them by expanding the Mass category in the Object Styles.  All but one of them are related to surfaces.  You get just one guess as to which one is not related.


To access the surfaces of your model, you need to switch your view to Show Mass Surface Types.  Once you get your model showing surfaces, the Tab key on your keyboard will be your buddy.  Use it to toggle through the different surfaces.  Now find and pick on Mass Exterior Wall and check out what is available in the properties palette. 


To access the customizable fields you will need to change the Values parameter from By Energy Settings to By Surface.  Now you can adjust the glazing and shading.  You can also change the Conceptual Constructions which allows you to affect things like the R-value, unit density and heat capacity.

Now tab to pick a window on your surface.  Oh, huh.  Weird.  All the windows on the surface are picked.  So now you can change the Conceptual Constructions for the glazing types for a surface.  But you can’t change it per window.  I hope that will be fixed in the future.

If you keep moving around and tabbing you can find the other surfaces like Mass Roof, Mass Interior Wall and Mass Floor, each of which will allow you to change various settings.  This is how you customize your surfaces.

And finally, on surfaces, if you happen to figure out how to make a Mass Opening, please let me know.  I have tried a bunch of different ways to see if I can generate a Mass Opening but with no luck.


show mass surface-zones selection

Just like with surfaces, to be able to customize your zones, you need to be sure you can see and select them.  To do this, change to Show Mass Zones and Shades.  Now I don’t know why it says Shades.  I can see the Shades (as in window shade projections) in both the Show Mass Surface Types and Show Mass Zones and Shades.  Maybe the word Shades should be removed.  Or maybe I am just splitting hairs or candy canes.


Now that I can see my zones, I can pick one and check out what is customizable in the Properties palette.  Not as much as for the surfaces, but you can change the space type.  This allows you to customize your zones to have different energy use values than the default building type set in the Energy Settings dialog.  To see what values change, check out the Reference for Conceptual Energy Analysis under Space Type Data.  There you will find 125 different space types and associated energy use data.

One last thing on the zone properties.  In case you haven't been following this series, you should not try to change the Graphical Appearance of a zone.  Or at least if you do, don’t try to change it back to By Surface Type.  For more info see my earlier post here.

Well that’s all I have discovered regarding customizing your energy model.  I hope you have been able to glean something.  And if you have something to share back, I would love to hear it.  I am all about the rigorous exchange of ideas.

And if I don’t write again in the next couple weeks, some seasonal wishes for you.  May you get everything you want for Christmas, except for one thing so you can have something to wish for next Christmas.  May you eat enough Christmas dinner but not so much your shirt and pants pop open (this isn’t Thanksgiving ya know!). 

And finally, may you find someone less fortunate than you and help them out, so you can get that true Christmas feeling in your heart.  Food, clothes, shelter, shoulder.  If you have it and they don’t, share!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

1 comment:

  1. Great posts you are doing on conceptual analysis...!! Keep up the good work! ;-)
    / Martin