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I have multiple Revit buildings, should I model them at once or each one individually?
I have multiple Revit buildings, should I model them at once or each one individually?

A workflow from Revit to cove.tool with multiple buildings in one model. This method streamlines the export of layers for accurate analysis.

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

Projects which have multiple buildings like master planning or campus designs should be split into different projects for each building. This is because different buildings have inputs for zones, HVAC systems, material properties, etc. There are very few situations where all the buildings would have exactly the same inputs. For fastest run time and best decision making workflow it is best to split each building to a separate project. This will allow the designer to uniquely take advantage of the site of each building and maximize carbon emissions reductions and cost.

One Building = One cove.tool Project.

If you have multiple separate buildings this critically skews the results as those areas are from multiple buildings making the results inaccurate. This would also skew the optimization bundles when determining the best cost v. energy option for your project. It is recommended that cove.tool be used to simulate a single building at a time.

Example of bad results:

All buildings are being calculated and the total SDA results 27%. This is a weighted average of all buildings and renders the insights useless because you cannot determine which design elements are causing more or less for either building.

Example of a good result:

One building is being analyzed with the immediately affecting geometry of the adjacent buildings resulting in an accurate SDA value of 49%. Now we can start to deduce critical areas of the design from these insights specific to this building.

Best Revit Workflow

That being said, you can certainly import multiple buildings if they are coming from one Revit file. With the latest feature addition of automatic context for Daylight analysis, you don't need to import any existing context, but if you have multiple new buildings then you should follow the recommended method below. This method focuses on exporting multiple buildings from one Revit model by switching between cove.tool projects during the export process.

  1. Make a project for each building you want to analyze in cove.tool. Make sure to name them specific enough so you can recognize which building you're referring to when selecting them in Revit.

  2. In Revit, sign in and set up the cove.tool views as described in this article for the Ideal Revit Workflow.

  3. The newly created layer views may need to be cleaned up and should include the specified building elements for all buildings. Prep your views with the correct elements visible for all buildings before continuing.

  4. Duplicate each cove.tool layer view for the number of buildings you are exporting. Name the views by building so that it is easy to make sure the correct building is being uploaded to the correct project.

  5. In each cove.tool hide all elements not associated with the building for that view.

  6. Any shadow casting elements, such as adjacent buildings, you only need the geometry that is going to impact that specific building. This is often the closest element like walls and roofs. These elements should be visible on the shading layer. For graphical purposes you should only export the exterior elements of the adjacent buildings and focus on walls, windows, and roofs. No need for extreme detail on context as this will reduce performance.

  7. Switch to the first cove.tool project you want to export to.

  8. Export the assigned building layers for the chosen cove.tool project ensuring to select each view for the correct project and building layer.

  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for each building you are export.

  10. Once all geometry has been exported successfully, you can now move on to cove.tool to see the resulting performance for each building knowing they are all considering the relevant elements from each other.

One final note:

Make sure you switch projects when you're working through the upload process.

Happy Modeling!

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