AECOM, Building Performance and FenestraPro

29 April 2020All, FenestraProDesign, Performance



Multinational engineering firm AECOM, based in Los Angeles, California, has been described as the  world’s premier infrastructure firm, partnering with clients to solve the world’s most complex challenges and build legacies for generations to come.

Two projects that AECOM has engineered, an airport terminal in Kuwait and a public school in New York, came with unique requirements. For these diverse projects, AECOM relied on FenestraPro for analysis and design. FenestraPro provides architects and designers with advanced performance analysis, enabling building data to be integrated directly into the project. This allows the design of a more green and sustainable building model. In addition, FenestraPro seamlessly integrates into BIM workflows and has a proven track record of streamlining the design workflow by up to 30%.

“FenestraPro is used by AECOM on a variety of projects internationally, from façade design in the Middle East to public buildings in the United States,” stated Simon Whelan, COO of FenestraPro. “Our working relationship has evolved into collaboration on how FenestraPro, as a design innovator, can continue to bring more value to each of our partners and increase the benefits we provide.”

As described in a case study by FenestraPro, AECOM designed an airport support terminal in Kuwait with a footprint of over 430,000 square-feet. FenestraPro was used in order to “examine the implication of the substantial glazing” and assess the impact that the glazing would have in its hot, sunny climate. The software calculated that heat gain would be detrimental to the planned glaze and recommended the use of solar control glazing instead. The key features of this project included Revit add-in and model support, real-time analysis of thermal, solar and daylighting performance in Kuwait’s extreme climate, and an intuitive use of glazing and frit specifications.

Yifan Zhang, Façade Engineer at AECOM, explained that FenestraPro can provide a continuous feedback loop during the design process to optimize the environmental response. He explained, “In [the] design stage of this project, FenestraPro gave us a high-level overview of the implications of the use of excessive glazing in such a sunny climate.” AECOM was therefore able to make a well-informed decision, reducing risk and design flaws.

In another case study, FenestraPro details AECOM NYC Metro being commissioned to design a school for the New York Construction Authority. Because the design requirements around building fabric and fenestration/shading solutions are strictly regulated, FenestraPro was utilized by the design team to “explore alternative design options.” It helped AECOM strictly control the wall-to-wall ratio of the project; it also allowed the designers to propose an optimized building envelope that meets and complies with ASHRAE requirements.

By using FenestraPro on this project, AECOM was able to design a project that was within its specs and followed the regulations and guidelines. The key FenestraPro features of this project included maintaining code compliance, informed decision-making, design parameters and exploration, establishing a workflow, and avoiding multiple redesigns.

Xiaofei Shen, Sustainability Engineer at AECOM in New York, reiterates how FenestraPro benefitted this project. “[It] is a well-integrated Revit add-in which has been saving AECOM NY time and effort in analyzing building performance and making façade design decisions rapidly, with the client or design team,” he says. As a result, AECOM achieved “quick and real-time simulation results on daylight and thermal balance.”

Whelan added, “FenestraPro has an excellent working relationship with AECOM, and engaging with the expertise they possess allows us to constantly explore how our tool can bring more value to each of our partners. From features such as daylighting and glazing specifications, FenestraPro is always looking to increase our functionality to create more sustainable building façades.”

If your company is interested in performing early stage massing, site location and orientation, glazing specification, daylighting analysis, and thermal performance, it’s time to check out FenestraPro, used by global architecture firms such as AECOM, NBBJ and Skidmore Owings and Merrill. Contact Applied Software today for a quick discovery call to determine how FenestraPro, with its user-friendly platform, can help you understand and fine-tune energy performance.



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