Originally published on May 18, 2016 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog.
Eight years ago, Autodesk made a bold and decisive move toward prioritizing sustainable design tools when it acquired the assets of Square One Research, including their design performance modeling software Ecotect.
To that point in time, Dr. Andrew Marsh had incrementally built the Ecotect platform into a light, versatile energy analysis tool. Its playful graphic outputs and high degree of interoperability made it a favorite platform among the energy modeling community – especially visually-oriented design professionals.
Autodesk promptly re-branded the platform as Ecotect Analysis, adjusted the licensing and pricing framework for the software, and re-released it. At the time, I had high hopes that Autodesk would regularly update Ecotect, possibly designing it as a seamless plug-in with Revit.
Instead, Autodesk decided to migrate certain functionality from Ecotect to the Revit-based building analysis beta program known as Project Vasari. While a new platform was not ideal in my opinion, I was excited by the potential of Project Vasari (see Why Autodesk Killed Ecotect).
Project Vasari introduced several great tools to the Autodesk community, including an amazingly intuitive wind tunnel simulator – now available as the stand-alone program Flow Design.
Over the next few years, Autodesk continued to migrate functionality from Ecotect to Vasari. I eagerly awaited the day that some of my favorite Ecotect tools would make the jump to Vasari – and eventually to Revit and/or FormIt 360 via plug-ins and interoperable platforms such as Insight 360.
Then in March of last year, Autodesk announced that it would discontinue support of Ecotect Analysis. This meant that purchasing future licenses and obtaining technical support would be discontinued. Software downloads would be unavailable. Moreover, the Vasari public beta period was allowed to expire two months later. It felt like a double whammy.
On the Ecotect Analysis homepage, it does state that “Autodesk will integrate functionality similar to Ecotect Analysis into the Revit product family.”
I have faith that this statement is more than just lip service. So, Autodesk, on behalf of the design performance modeling community – and as someone who has relied on Ecotect for nearly a decade – please strongly consider migrating the following five Ecotect functions to Revit as soon as possible.