Personal Blog Post:

Workshop: Mastering Performative Design with Ecotect

I will be presenting a research workshop at the ACADIA 2009 conference in Chicago on the 20th-21st of October 2009, to be held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). The aim of this workshop is explore the boundaries of generative and performative design using Autodesk Ecotect Analysis, Green Building Studio and Revit.


The workshop will take the form of a series of directed research projects carried out over two days in four sessions. Each session will be introduced with a seminar and tutorial describing the processes involved, followed by supervised lab sessions working on each project in small groups.

Research projects within the workshop will include:

  • Using iterative techniques and performative feedback to optimize and refine building geometry.
  • Using inter-process communications techniques and simplified analytical abstractions to control and transform more complex BIM models.
  • Undertaking detailed site analysis using amenity mapping and optimization techniques to generate, locate and orientate building forms.

Most workshop projects will involve some scripting in Autodesk Ecotect (and optionally VSTA), at least one group member must have some end user scripting or programming experience with languages such as Lua, Java, Visual Basic for Applications, etc. Scripting in Autodesk Ecotect is actually quite easy and the fundamentals can be picked up during the course of the workshop.

Whilst it will be possible to form ad-hoc groups during the workshop, participants are encouraged to consider organizing their groupings beforehand, enrolling together either with people from their own practice or others with similar interests. Also, whilst example models will be available for groups to work on, participants may use their own schemes as the basis of their research.


Participants must bring own laptop with Microsoft Windows XP or Vista operating systems. If you choose to pre-load your laptop with some of the Autodesk trial software, please do not do so more that 30 days before the workshop or your trial period will run out. CDs with the required training material will be available on the day.

Day One (20th Oct)

Morning Session

Session outline

  • Workshop Overview.
  • Performative and Generative Design.
  • Introduction to Scripting in Ecotect.
  • Scripting Exercises and Setting Up.

Afternoon Session

Session outline

  • Project Discussion and Goal Setting.
  • Planning out an achievable strategy.
  • Working on Projects...

Optional Concurrent Seminars

  • Beginners Guide to Using Ecotect
  • Shading and Solar Radiation Analysis
  • Lighting and Daylighting Analysis

Day Two (21st Oct)

Morning Session

Session outline

  • More Working on Projects...

Optional Concurrent Seminars

  • Custom Report Generation
  • Visual Impact and Acoustic Analysis
  • Ventilation and Air-Flow

Afternoon Session

Session outline

  • Brief Presentation of Progress and Group Discussion of any Problems.
  • Finalising Project Work...


Web addresses to find additional information:

For more details, see:

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Lighting Perception Research

Dear Dr. Andrew Marsh,

I am a first year PhD student. I am currently analysing the lighting quality and quantity of a complex building. I exported my model to Radiance in examining the luminance and illuminance levels of the building. For this particular project, I only have to examine the artificial lighting quality in night time environment. The Radiance/Ecotect-calculated luminance (cdm-2) levels appear to be quite similar to my on-site measurements. The luminance distribution/pattern is very accurate too. However, the illuminance levels (Lux) appear to be 10 times higher than the actual measurements. I ran the simulation again and again. I also ran the simulation with different lamps being switched on/off. However, the illuminance values are still 10 times higher. If I were to estimate the Lux level at a particular point, it would seem that I had to divide the Ecotect/Radiance's lux level by 10?! It doesn't sound right.

I am not sure, if by chance, you can advise what might go wrong with the simulation?

I tried to email you and leave you a message through the Contact page of this website. However, I received an auto reply saying that my messages are undeliverable. That's why I try leaving a message here instead.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Many Thanks!

Best Regards

Ecotect wiki disappeared

Andy, have you realized that Ecotect Wiki with its hundreds of valuable resources you created has gone? I guess you have.
What I think you or anyone else (especially in Autodesk) haven't realized is the great, great absence this means for those thousands of users, people really interested in reliable, free information, and sometimes more pleasant (even funnier) than books, especially for students. It used to be my prime resource to teach my students at Architecture and Civil Engineering school the basics of Environmental Design.
Have you ever heard about cities like Hermosillo, Guaymas or Nogales in Mexico? Surely you haven't, as you haven't heard of many other places around the world. But in those three small cities I mentioned you could gather hundreds of students that benefited from that forum and the resources and explanations especially you posted there (I wouldn't lie if I called them your fans -included me-).
Andy, I don't know the extension of the agreement between you and Autodesk, but I wonder if there's something you can do before Autodesk in order to set that site back. We understand that Autodesk owns now Ecotec's rights, but there must be something to do. Or at least, it is easier for them to listen to you than us. Just take a look to the new site posts:
We hope you can do something. However, thank so much for holding the site when it depended on you.
Oscar Preciado
Mexican PhD Student in United Kingdom

Ecotect wiki is back

Hi Oscar,

As the wiki was an unfinished project it was sort of left dangling in the aquisition. However, Autodesk agreed that it could become part of the Natural Frequency site so, as pointed out above, its new home is:

As and when I get some time, I will endeavour to complete the missing images and generally fix things up.


I used the Google cached

I used the Google cached pages.. You can also use

Algorithm for Natural Ventilation


I want to use Ecotect in my MS thesis, therefore, for literature survey I need some reliable evidence of Ecotect's algorithm.
Can you name some published research paper or any PhD theis has done on Ecotect?
I've seen almost all of your research papers but could not find any detailed ones!
Thanks for helping.

Arunabha Sau