The Painless Way to Design the Most Sustainable Projects

22 February 2024BIM, Design, Revit, Sustainabilityadd-in, digital transformation, efficiency, energy conservation, Generative Design, iterative design, Sustainability



in collaboration with Frank Lemus, GRAITEC AEC Technical Implementation Consultant


If you’d like to create more efficient and environmentally sensitive projects, you can take advantage of a special interoperability that provides you with an improved iterative design workflow.

Take advantage of Autodesk’s analytical tools by creating conceptual designs in Autodesk Forma, where analytics can be run against a proposed model under various conditions. Review results for lighting, noise and wind studies directly within a web browser before loading the conceptual model into Revit for continued development.

Graphic of building proposal, Revit and Forma interoperability, sustainable design


As described in an article on, the coordination that a design-build-operate platform enables can directly affect sustainability efforts before a building is constructed, rather than having owners make the best of the default energy features a building comes with at handover. Using a tool like Forma, energy efficiency can be experimented with through iterative design as part of the building’s initial concept, design and planning.

When Forma is used to create conceptual models, the building’s site, terrain, geolocation, polar orientation, utilities, and other details are taken into consideration to produce analytical studies. Multiple proposals for building configurations can be created, and the user can choose the most appropriate proposal from the list of options. The model within the selected proposal can then be sent to Revit to continue developing the model.

Graphic of gold building shaped blocks showing Send to Revit, Revit and Forma interoperability

how it’s done

Forma works with Revit to enable planning and design teams to digitally manipulate projects using conceptual design, predictive analytics and automations. With Forma, users can start analyzing early in the design phase to create sustainable solutions for any given project.

The Forma service allows users to run many different scenarios for a building’s site orientation, shape and room layouts.

After a proposal is created in Forma, more details about the project can be included by sending the conceptual design into Revit. Changes in Revit can then be transferred back to Forma for further analysis.

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forma to revit connection

The Forma feature that makes this workflow possible is the “Add-in for Revit,” which enables designers to use Revit to further the design.

The interoperability turns a Forma proposal concept into a Revit project using “Send to Revit.” The Forma add-in helps filter which elements will be imported into Revit and what they will look like. The process converts terrain, site limits, buildings, and buildable portions of a proposal into Revit elements that can then be edited further.

After any updates are made in Revit, they can be sent back to Forma for more analysis and validation using the “Update Proposal” feature in the add-in. Before updating a Forma proposal, the user can speed up the process by minimizing the level of detail, for example excluding furniture, equipment, railings, and other elements not needed for the analysis. View filters may be used to limit the elements visible in the Revit view.

task bar for Load Proposal, Revit and Forma interoperability, sustainable design


Forma uses the site UTM coordinate system aligning with the Revit project base point. The Forma geolocation settings will supersede existing location configurations in Revit, ensuring an accurate match. If that is not desired, the Forma proposal may be imported into a new project and linked into the existing site.

There are two directions of data synchronization:

    • Forma to Revit Transfer: The content of a Forma proposal is sent to Revit. Then, from the Revit project, the geometry of the Forma proposal may be loaded. A Forma proposal may be sent to Revit one time and have modifications made in Forma auto-update in Revit.
    • Revit to Forma Updates: Modify, add or delete elements to the Revit project, then ‘Update a Proposal’ in Forma. With content edited in Revit, refine the design iteratively. Update a Forma proposal multiple times.

conversions (november 2023)

  • Basic buildings and line buildings are converted to walls, floors and roofs.
  • 3D sketch buildings are converted to loaded mass families with mass floors.
  • Vegetation, context buildings, ShapeDiver elements, and all other geometry become generic models.
  • Parking is converted to parking families.
  • Terrain is converted to Toposolids in Revit 2024 (Toposurface in previous versions).

Want to create more sophisticated proposals for more sustainable projects? Contact GRAITEC Group today to start your interoperability journey with Revit and Forma. 



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