REVIT to Radiance pipeline

At the last Radiance Workshop, there was some discussion regarding converting REVIT models to Radiance, with materials and named surfaces parsed into readable .rad datasets. As REVIT has essentially become the architectural industry modeling tool, the pipeline to Radiance is an important one. It seems that the latest version of Sketchup has some challenges with the very helpful su2rad, written quite awhile ago. I heard that others were using some other pipelines, perhaps integrating obj2rad, etc.
I would appreciate your sharing conversion pipelines which interface with the MOST CURRENT releases of REVIT, SKETCHUP, etc. Hopefully a generous and expert code person would consider writing a direct REVIT plugin for this purpose. There might be modest financial encouragement to fill this gap. I do realize that it may be short-lived as AutoDESK releases are moving targets, yet to engage the full Radiance tool kit for lighting design and analysis on REVIT generated models, will keep Radiance on the forefront and accessible to a broader audience.
Appreciatively,
Rob Shakespeare
[email protected]

Hi Rob,

I do not really like promoting myself, but there is another SketchUp plugin
out there (groundhog, www.groundhogproject.org) that might help you
overcome the challenges you are finding with su2rad...? I honestly do not
know, because I have not used su2rad in a very long time, but I can tell
you that I am using Groundhog succesfully on SU2015.

About the Revit to Radiance plugin, I actually thought on developing it a
while ago, after an important person on the industry recommended it.
However, I do not use Windows, do not have a Revit license and did not have
the resources to work on a project like that. As I mentioned, someone on
the industry asked about it, so I have to agree in that there are
incentives to do it.

Best,

Germán

···

2015-11-12 11:35 GMT-03:00 Shakespeare, Robert A. <[email protected]>:

At the last Radiance Workshop, there was some discussion regarding
converting REVIT models to Radiance, with materials and named surfaces
parsed into readable .rad datasets. As REVIT has essentially become the
architectural industry modeling tool, the pipeline to Radiance is an
important one. It seems that the latest version of Sketchup has some
challenges with the very helpful su2rad, written quite awhile ago. I heard
that others were using some other pipelines, perhaps integrating obj2rad,
etc.
I would appreciate your sharing conversion pipelines which interface with
the MOST CURRENT releases of REVIT, SKETCHUP, etc. Hopefully a generous and
expert code person would consider writing a direct REVIT plugin for this
purpose. There might be modest financial encouragement to fill this gap. I
do realize that it may be short-lived as AutoDESK releases are moving
targets, yet to engage the full Radiance tool kit for lighting design and
analysis on REVIT generated models, will keep Radiance on the forefront
and accessible to a broader audience.
Appreciatively,
Rob Shakespeare
[email protected]

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

Hello Rob,

I had developed a Revit plugin for a Revit -> Radiance workflow in my
Master's thesis, but it lacked the ability to convert materials since it
actually used the dxf2rad component.

If it could still help, feel free to contact me.

Best regards,

Bshara Rezik* |* B.Arch, M.Sc.

ARCHITECTURE | INTERIOR *| *SUSTAINABLE *|* DESIGN

Address: HaNasi 28A, Apt. 6*,* Haifa, Israel *|* Tel: +972-54-6314584
Website: http://www.bshara-arch.com *|* e-mail: [email protected] *|*
LinkedIn <http://il.linkedin.com/pub/bshara-rezik/20/726/981>

···

On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 5:01 PM, Germán Molina Larrain <[email protected] > wrote:

Hi Rob,

I do not really like promoting myself, but there is another SketchUp
plugin out there (groundhog, www.groundhogproject.org) that might help
you overcome the challenges you are finding with su2rad...? I honestly do
not know, because I have not used su2rad in a very long time, but I can
tell you that I am using Groundhog succesfully on SU2015.

About the Revit to Radiance plugin, I actually thought on developing it a
while ago, after an important person on the industry recommended it.
However, I do not use Windows, do not have a Revit license and did not have
the resources to work on a project like that. As I mentioned, someone on
the industry asked about it, so I have to agree in that there are
incentives to do it.

Best,

Germán

2015-11-12 11:35 GMT-03:00 Shakespeare, Robert A. <[email protected]>:

At the last Radiance Workshop, there was some discussion regarding
converting REVIT models to Radiance, with materials and named surfaces
parsed into readable .rad datasets. As REVIT has essentially become the
architectural industry modeling tool, the pipeline to Radiance is an
important one. It seems that the latest version of Sketchup has some
challenges with the very helpful su2rad, written quite awhile ago. I heard
that others were using some other pipelines, perhaps integrating obj2rad,
etc.
I would appreciate your sharing conversion pipelines which interface with
the MOST CURRENT releases of REVIT, SKETCHUP, etc. Hopefully a generous and
expert code person would consider writing a direct REVIT plugin for this
purpose. There might be modest financial encouragement to fill this gap. I
do realize that it may be short-lived as AutoDESK releases are moving
targets, yet to engage the full Radiance tool kit for lighting design and
analysis on REVIT generated models, will keep Radiance on the forefront
and accessible to a broader audience.
Appreciatively,
Rob Shakespeare
[email protected]

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

Hi Rob,

So this is interesting. I have been working with Revit for awhile now, both in terms of taking Revit models that clients have developed as well as using Revit for developing models from scratch. By far the best workflow that I have worked out is to use Revit->Max Design->Radiance via obj export from Max Design and obj2rad in Radiance.

There are a couple of workflow options from Revit to Max that are pretty tightly coupled in the software. There are also a variety of scripts already developed for exporting from Max to obj format in a variety of ways. The presumption here is that people who use Revit are in fact using one of Autodesk's Suites, such as the Building Design Suite which at one level includes Max. If you are using Revit within a suite via Autodesk subscription the cost for moving up to get access to Max is incremental.

In my mind the big challenge for workflow from Revit to Radiance is the fact that glass in Revit is modeled as a volumetric object (eg it has thickness). There are work arounds to this that leverage Revit's Family system however they are not without their catches. In brief, a Revit model that is going to be exported for use in Radiance must give careful consideration to how glazing elements are handled through a set of customized families that allow for extracting selected faces from the glass to create the surface glass geometry that Radiance requires. Again this can be done with some thought to modeling methods in Revit and coupled with an export pipeline that includes Max and exporting to obj format.

Another issue that requires some thought is managing lights that are deployed in Revit, which would be nice to manage as instances in Radiance. There are some similar strategies that can be used with careful thought to using the Family model in Revit.

This has been something I have been thinking about doing a blog post on, so perhaps this would be a good time assuming I can find the time....

As far as writing a custom exporter from Revit, I think this would really be dependent on what the desired functionality would be. If the functionality is really one way geometry export then, I think the (annual) incremental cost for upgrading from the standard building design suite to the premium suite is ~$250.

Best,

-Jack de Valpine

···

On 11/12/2015 9:35 AM, Shakespeare, Robert A. wrote:

At the last Radiance Workshop, there was some discussion regarding converting REVIT models to Radiance, with materials and named surfaces parsed into readable .rad datasets. As REVIT has essentially become the architectural industry modeling tool, the pipeline to Radiance is an important one. It seems that the latest version of Sketchup has some challenges with the very helpful su2rad, written quite awhile ago. I heard that others were using some other pipelines, perhaps integrating obj2rad, etc.
I would appreciate your sharing conversion pipelines which interface with the MOST CURRENT releases of REVIT, SKETCHUP, etc. Hopefully a generous and expert code person would consider writing a direct REVIT plugin for this purpose. There might be modest financial encouragement to fill this gap. I do realize that it may be short-lived as AutoDESK releases are moving targets, yet to engage the full Radiance tool kit for lighting design and analysis on REVIT generated models, will keep Radiance on the forefront and accessible to a broader audience.
Appreciatively,
Rob Shakespeare
[email protected]

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

Now, when I did this, I ended up using the export to DWG and working on the
resulting model in Rhino; a colleague did the same with SketchtUp. The
general problem I found with exports from Revit is that one gets hugely
more information than one needs, resulting in a large and unwieldy model
which must be simplified for effective simulation. For simple models,
sometimes it is easier to refer to plan and section drawings and rebuild
the model entirely!

An excellent custom exporter is most likely possible. Revit keeps a huge
amount of information about the details of its models, and it seems to me
that in principle it is possible to do a thorough and accurate Radiance
export of any part of a Revit model. Revit exposes some of its internals
with a Python interface, and there are also tools like BIMlink (Ideate
Software) which provides access to Revit's internal databases through
Excel. However, developing dedicated Revit <-> Radiance export tools seems
to me likely to be expensive and hence would probably have to be done as a
commercial product. At least, I wouldn't want to try it without good
funding — extensive knowledge of Revit would be required, and that
information is not available for free.

···

--
Randolph

I typically do what Randolph does, exporting to DWG and using Rhino to assign materials and convert to OBJ. A shortfall of this is that you get an exported DWG organized by layers, and possibly loose or confuse some material assignments from Revit in the process. There is an option in exporting the DWG from Revit to export options by one of the layering standards but with overrides for each unique property within a layer (getting layers like A-WALL, A-WALL-1, A-WALL-2 for different wall construction types).

I wonder if exporting from Revit to FBX preserves some of those materials or construction data for each surface more directly than the layer organization. I haven’t had luck with the FBX export workflow in the few times I tried it (long ago). The FBX file standard might remain more standard and stable with each new release of Revit because I think it’s meant to be something like a parallel to DXF (DWG is to DXF, as RVT is to FBX in my mind, but I could be wrong).

If we all were interested in making the first workflow more open source (aka less costly), could probably do the same with Blender (in lieu of Rhino or Max). But that’s still relying on DXF or DWG and the possible loss of material information. However the material information directly in a Revit model is probably not to be trusted anyway. Just because something is assigned “paint type 1” or whatever it might be, doesn’t help decide the material.

For possibilities of automation, etc., a strength of Rhino is that RhinoScript (and maybe Grasshopper) give a scripting possibility to do things like flatten glass assemblies in that software. I guess the same could be said for Sketchup and Ruby, but Rhino seems to be more prevalent with architects these days. Maybe the same could be done for Blender but I’m not particularly familiar with scripting possibilities in Blender.

-Chris

···

From: Randolph M. Fritz [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2015 9:06 AM
To: Radiance general discussion
Subject: Re: [Radiance-general] REVIT to Radiance pipeline

Now, when I did this, I ended up using the export to DWG and working on the resulting model in Rhino; a colleague did the same with SketchtUp. The general problem I found with exports from Revit is that one gets hugely more information than one needs, resulting in a large and unwieldy model which must be simplified for effective simulation. For simple models, sometimes it is easier to refer to plan and section drawings and rebuild the model entirely!

An excellent custom exporter is most likely possible. Revit keeps a huge amount of information about the details of its models, and it seems to me that in principle it is possible to do a thorough and accurate Radiance export of any part of a Revit model. Revit exposes some of its internals with a Python interface, and there are also tools like BIMlink (Ideate Software) which provides access to Revit's internal databases through Excel. However, developing dedicated Revit <-> Radiance export tools seems to me likely to be expensive and hence would probably have to be done as a commercial product. At least, I wouldn't want to try it without good funding — extensive knowledge of Revit would be required, and that information is not available for free.

--
Randolph
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