Autodesk Research
Blog

Point Cloud Visualization of Autodesk Toronto
April 13, 2015

Kai Kostack has worked with the point cloud data to create a very artistic look at the building which you can watch below.
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Updated Digital 210 King Files (BIM, IFC, and XYZ)
February 7, 2012

These are complete versions of the Digital 210 King model in Revit, IFC, and XYZ formats).
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Electrical Model of 210 King
February 28, 2011

In this blog entry we briefly highlight some important aspects of creating our BIM electrical model for the 210 King building. In general, our electrical model includes the power, system, and lighting layouts that are based on our existing set of electrical drawings. Using these drawings we were able to quickly place components such as transformers, electrical panels, receptacles, and lighting fixtures throughout the building.
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Placing Thermostats in the Revit Model
January 14, 2011

To meet the ongoing business needs, our building has gone through many retrofits and the existing distribution of thermostats do not provide a high resolution sample of thermal values within each environment. When combined with our custom sensor network we can achieve a rich environment for sampling various environmental data.
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Placing Sensors in the Revit Model
November 5, 2010

Following our blog on Implementing a Sensor Network at 210 King, in this blog we describe how to place sensors within a Revit model, so we can make semantic links between physical sensors and their corresponding BIM sensors (Figure 1). In general, sensors are just like any other families found in a typical Revit file, although Revit currently does not include a native sensor family by default. Therefore, we created a custom sensor family for the purpose of Digital 210 King project. Our sensor family is called “Networked Sensor” and it appears by default under the Specialty Equipment category in Revit Project Browser.
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Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Modeling at 210 King - Version 1
October 4, 2010

Since our last blog post describing the 210 King Revit model we have made significant progress in incorporating mechanical, electrical, and plumping (MEP) information into our BIM model. The integration of MEP information with our existing architectural model introduced an additional level of complexity in managing the massive amount information found in a typical MEP scheme.
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Installing a Weather Station to Collect Microclimate Information
September 16, 2010

A key aspect of collecting data pertaining to building performance is to accurately measure both the indoor and outdoor environment. The correlation of these data may reveal behavioral patterns of interaction between the indoor and outdoor conditions. Therefore, in addition to our indoor sensor-network implementation we have installed a weather station to collect microclimate information.
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Implementing a Sensor Network at 210 King - Version 2
September 8, 2010

As part of our focus on collecting, mapping and analyzing building performance data within our office building, we have reached our first milestone by incrementing a total of 24 cubicles in addition to an office space all located in the research area on the 5th Floor (Figure 2). We are essentially treating each cubicle as a cell for sampling data within the floor space (Figure 2). The advantage of this approach is twofold: First, each cubicle essentially defines a meaningful local boundary for evaluating comfort and energy usage per occupant. Second, the cumulative effect of data collection at such a high resolution per square foot could itself result in the understanding of new qualities about the larger space and more detailed information for the building control system (BCS).
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Sensor Network Data Collection, Flow, and Monitoring
November 26, 2009

Our sensor network data collection system uses wireless outlet reporters to transmit power-usage data from a few selected cubicles.
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Data Set Research Paper as part of SimAUD: Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design
November 23, 2009

To better support the sharing of data amongst researchers working in the area of Building Simulation, the new Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design (SimAUD) has added a Data Set Track in addition to the typical full and short paper submission tracks. As the concept of a Data Set submission is new, the Digital 210 King project will be presented at the symposium in April 2010 as an invited Data Set paper, but is available now to show the intended content of this novel type of research contribution.
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Implementing a Sensor Network at 210 King
November 17, 2009

The next focus of the Digital 210 King project is to collect, map and analyze the energy performance of the office building. These data are crucial for gaining insights towards validating our future simulations and we are currently experimenting on how to implement and manage the real-time collection of building performance data.
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210 King St East Revit Model – Version 2
September 23, 2009

Creating an accurate model of the 210 King office will be an ongoing and iterative process. Our first attempt at modeling the existing 210 King office building in Revit was a tremendous exercise in filtering through the mountain of information we collected from laser scans, hand drawn sketches, AutoCAD drawings, and onsite inspections. We used the AutoCAD drawings of the building from the time of the renovation as a basis for the model and integrated measurements from the other sources to fill in missing information, such as wall thickness measurements and composition of brick walls.
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Green Building XML (gbXML)
June 26, 2009

With recent emphasis on energy efficiency in buildings, energy and environmental analysis are becoming increasingly important aspects of design consideration. Within this context, gbXML is becoming a defacto industry standard for defining thermal models, with support from various industry standard CAD tools.
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210 King St East Revit Model
June 17, 2009

The development of a BIM model for 210 King required a different approach than what could be expected from the BIM process for new construction. Critical elements needed to be discovered and identified rather than drawn and detailed, structural ambiguities had to be resolved empirically rather than inferred from construction drawings, hidden wall sections had to be assumed rather than be assembled. In the case of 210 King which involves the interaction of 4 buildings built at different times, the interaction between the buildings themselves had to be understood beyond simple connecting blocks. But above and beyond this, the nature of the approach to understanding this heritage building in terms of BIM was very unique.
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Building Information Modeling (BIM)
June 8, 2009

Many types of geometry can be used to represent the shape of a building. We have previously shown how simple point cloud data can be collected from a laser scanner to display the locations of points on surfaces and objects in the building. A more common way to represent three-dimensional geometry in a digital file is to connect a few points together to create simple polygons like triangles and rectangles. In this way, a large surface can be represented by just 3 or 4 points. Typically, the geometry is tagged by a user to further describe its properties such as the color and transparency level of the surface. To properly describe a model of a building, additional properties are needed to describe the real physical materials that will be used when the building will be constructed. For example, a rectangle may be tagged as being a "wall" or as a "door". In this way, the building model can be made of known objects with known properties. When a model contains these higher-level building-specific tags, it is called a Building Information Model (BIM).
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Validating measurements
June 2, 2009

Although elevation plans exist for the building (see Backgrounder entry), the accuracy of those plans is unknown. Normally, a number of physical measurements can be made. However, there are many situations where it can be very helpful to have point cloud data for a site, especially for very large sites.
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Working with point cloud data
May 26, 2009

Point cloud data is conceptually quite simple. There is no structure to the points; they all exist independently of each other in an unordered list. Each point is specified by three numbers indicating the distance from the Origin point which is simply written as (0,0,0). Each number indicates the distance from the origin along the x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis, written as (x,y,z).
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Some sample datasets
May 11, 2009

We are in the process of anonymizing the complete dataset, removing identifiable objects, license plates, etc. The full dataset is coming soon. In the interim, we are releasing a subset of the scans.
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Combining the scans
May 7, 2009

We spent several days setting up for and capturing the scan data for the fifth floor and exterior of 210 King East. Our next task was to combine all of these into a single data set.
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The 3D scanning process
April 29, 2009

The first digital dataset we want to provide for 210 King Street East is a 3D laser scan of the office. As the name suggests, laser scanning employs a laser to determine the distance from the scanning device to surfaces around it. This real-world spatial data is collected as points in 3D space relative to the position of the scanner. Carrying out a full scan of the entire building would have been a huge task, so we limited the scope of the scanning to the entire fifth floor and the rooftop terrace, as well as the lobby and the exterior of the building. In total, the dataset contains over 1.3 billion data points.
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Backgrounder: 210 King Street East
April 22, 2009

Situated in downtown Toronto, 210 King Street East is the current home of Autodesk's Toronto office. This eclectic workspace spans four historic Toronto warehouses, built between the 1930s and 1960s, with a total 145,000 square feet of office space.
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Azam Khan keynote at SpringSim 2009
April 2, 2009

At the ACM SIGSIM SpringSim 2009 conference in San Diego, California on March 23, 2009, Azam Khan, head of the Environment & Ergonomics Research Group of Autodesk Research, gave a keynote talk called Systems Architecture. The focus of the talk was the great complexity involved in architecture and urban design which has led to the problem that buildings are the largest Green House Gas emissions problem.
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Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design
March 30, 2009

We are happy to announce the Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design! This is a new event designed to bring together the architecture research and simulation research communities that will be part of the ACM SIGSIM SpringSim 2010 multi-conference in April 2010 in Orlando, Florida.
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Website launch
March 23, 2009

Welcome to the launch of our new site documenting the process of creating an advanced Building Information Model (BIM) of our building and offices of Autodesk Research in Toronto, Canada.
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