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ElumTools 2015

The growth of BIM (Building Information Modeling) software is exploding and in many architectural design and engineering firms, it is almost completely replacing CAD software for the purposes of architectural and building system design. To date, the industry standard illumination design software programs lack the ability to easily exchange information with models in the BIM environment. The reason for this is two-fold; current illumination software utilizes a complete environment approach to the calculation of illuminance which is burdened by the large size of the BIM model, and the complexity of exported geometry from BIM is beyond the needs of practical calculation of workplane or surface illuminance. With today’s illumination design software not getting the job done, there remains a need to quickly compute basic illuminance from electric and daylight sources within individual environments in a BIM model, and tabulate the results in a way consistent with the behavior of the BIM software.
Introduce ElumTools
ElumTools is a calculation Add-in used to predict the performance of electric lighting systems and daylight within the Autodesk® Revit® Architecture or MEP software. With ElumTools the need to utilize external software to compute illuminance from light sources placed in Revit is no longer necessary.
When ElumTools is installed in Revit, it appears with its own tab on the top menu bar. Selecting the ElumTools tab reveals the icons for the various ElumTools commands.
How does ElumTools work?
The entire concept of ElumTools as a Revit Add-in is based around the ability to leverage content that is already present in the Revit model. Utilizing existing content from Revit allows the lighting software functionality to be simplified to only those tasks necessary for the accurate modeling of light.
The accurate calculation of illuminance on a workplane or surface requires the following components: surface geometry, surface reflectance/color, luminaire locations and luminaire photometry. ElumTools is able to extract surface geometry in the form of “Rooms” or “Spaces” as defined in Revit Architecture or MEP, or if necessary, the user can simply select the surfaces to be included in the calculation using Revit commands. Surface reflectance and color can be interpreted from the Revit “Graphics Shading” properties of the surface and “mapped” to more suitable reflectances and/or colors if desired. Luminaire locations already present in Revit can be consumed by ElumTools and photometric file associations created if not already present.
With these elements known, ElumTools has the information required to utilize a radiosity process to compute the selected geometry and present an interactive visualization depicting the luminous exitance of all surfaces. However, there is an additional fundamental need to allow the user to assign calculation points to any surface or workplane to verify illuminance present from the Revit layout of luminaires. This is easily accomplished using ElumTools Calculation Points command.
With materials mapped, luminaires defined and calculation points placed, ElumTools calculation commands enable the computation of the selected geometry.
Revit defined Rooms or Spaces can be computed alone or as a group if they contribute light to one another. The computed results can then be examined in an interactive visualization window (a separate window for each Room or Space). The point-by-point illuminance results can be seen in the visualization, as well as directly in the Revit model views of your choice. Finally, all statistics are available to Revit’s scheduling tools for summary and inclusion in the BIM model.
Product:ElumTools 2015