Exploring Lighting and Energy Analysis Tools for Revit Part 1

November 5, 2019 IMAGINiT Technologies

Recently in a webinar for a client about Insight, the energy analysis tool embedded inside of Revit. Being an old hand at Ecotect and Green Building Studio as well as Visari, I ran into some questions about analysis tools in general and more specifically what is currently available at little or no cost.

This had me thinking about the nature of energy analysis in general as well as the 2nd and 3rd generation tools that are now available.

Get started using Insight with Revit
Insight for energy performance analysis is now built directly into Revit. You will find the tools available under the Analyze tab. These tools can help architecture firms meet sustainability goals, including the Architecture 2030 Challenge if they have subscribed via their local AIA.


The Insight tools for Heating, Cooling, Lighting and Solar are available via the Insight Download from your subscription web portal. If you have a Revit subscription, these tools are free add-ins.

These can help architecture firms meet sustainability goals, including the Architecture 2030 Challenge.
Out of the box, the Insight tools are set up for ease of use and analysis with one or two clicks. However, there are some settings you might want to look at to give you better results.

Selecting the Energy Settings will give you options to customize your analysis with more specific information. To understand how these settings are affecting the results, click here the link in the dialog box.


You will notice that the mode is set to Conceptual Masses and Building Elements. This is the default and recommended mode. The other settings are for legacy models and inputs.

By Selecting Edit, the user can access the default assemblies and exchange them for other options. You cannot add or delete these assemblies at the present. They are the out of the box options for those seeking a quick “how are we doing” analysis.


The intent of Insight out of the box is for those new to energy analysis or for those seeking some quick ball park numbers to guide their design intent.

Ideally, these tools are to be used during schematic design to help guide designers to more energy efficient outcomes.

Users can change the default assemblies by selecting the Edit button next to Conceptual Types.
Users can also edit the Schematic Type (and assemblies) directly below Conceptual Types.


The Schematic Types options lets the user define a building type and choose the defaults for analytical construction.

As an exercise, create a simple mass model to test the results. To get started with Insight you only need a few things in the model:

1. Levels – Defining your floor to floor heights
2. Location: Set your project’s location under the Revit Manage Tab.
3. Create a simple mass shape using the Revit massing tools.
4. Create mass floors.

That’s it.
From here you can get instant feedback on your design.

Mass model
By adjusting a few of the settings within the Insight interface, I can see that my building can be designed to meet the 2030 Challenge.


Insight is primarily as pre-design tool for architects to get instant feedback on their initial designs. It is not intended as a post occupancy type of tool for measuring your final buildings energy use. At that point your metaphorical ship has sailed.

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