Autodesk Polishes its Green Thumb

It seems like this is the year for industry consolidations in the technology field. After Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo and their purchase of Caligari it is now time for Green Building Studio to be acquired by a much larger company, Autodesk in this case. In an announcement that just fluttered into my inbox, GBS acknowledges the acquisition and pledges their commitment to easy-to-use and efficient BIM-based energy evaluation of building designs.

I am looking forward to what comes from this. GBS is currently quite well implemented into Revit, which I teach here at UMass. gbXML files can natively be exported and then separately uploaded to the GBS web service. Their pricing scheme is also very conducive for teaching because each project gets a few free runs. Nevertheless, I would like to see GBS tighter implemented into Revit, maybe even in a form where the analysis runs in the background and the analysis results are directly sent back to the Revit model, maybe even with a color coding of suggested improvements (window sizes etc.).

On another note, it is important for other BIM or CAD software to be able to access the GBS service and I hope Autodesk will continue to offer this. For example, Greenspace Research (UK) developed the nice (and sleek flash-based) Demeter GBS interface plugin for Sketchup. Given Autodesk’s words from the press release my wish appears to be the fulfilled:

“The gbXML schema will remain an open industry standard, and the GBS web service will continue to be available to any other BIM software.”

So let’s see if any of this can still make it into the new Autodesk product versions, which should be released in March if the last years can serve as a guide.

P.S.: A day after I wrote the above lines, information about the new Revit lineup (and all other Autodesk products) appeared. Here are some links:

I’ll add more links here as they come through.