BPA Research Partnerships

The Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Research Partnership Program is our way of formalizing mutually beneficial, research-based relationships in academia and industry. We are developing Autodesk tools as platforms that others can extend and contribute to. It is through these external relationships that Autodesk can stay on the cutting-edge of building performance analysis. By the same token, those working in academia can use a relationship with Autodesk as an avenue for their work to impact industry.

This program is meant to provide a consistent and relatively low touch relationship between Autodesk and research teams working specifically on building energy performance. The intent is to make sure those teams have the support and knowledge they need, and to keep Autodesk in the loop with external developments.

For researchers looking for a shorter-term and more intensive relationship, the Autodesk IDEA Studio is a residency and grant program.

Through the Autodesk BPA Research & Education Partnership Program:

Autodesk intends to provide…

  • A forum for sharing your work with the company, and other research partners in the program (via quarterly meetings)
  • Access to software and the Autodesk Developer Network
  • Development support on our APIs and programming platforms (GBS, Revit, Dynamo)
  • Access to subject matter experts and development teams to answer questions
  • Educational programs (BPA Certificate, online curriculum, webinars)
  • Support for grant writing and other proposals (but not grant money itself)

Research partners can…

  • Use Autodesk platforms in their research efforts: Develop plug-ins, extend tool functionality through APIs, push the tools to their limits with innovative projects
  • Provide quarterly updates to Autodesk via conference calls, in a forum with other research partners
  • Write about their work on Autodesk platforms like the Autodesk BPA Blog and the Sustainability Workshop website.
  • Use Autodesk software in their classrooms, using tools like the BPA Certificate program and Excellence in Analysis Awards


Specific research interests

Current Autodesk BPA research interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Daylighting & energy cost optimization.
  • Analysis results presentation and context to aid decision-making.
  • Validation studies to compare analysis tools against real datasets.
  • Using energy modeling tools to identify retrofit opportunities in a portfolio of buildings (i.e. on a college campus).

If you are interested in this program, please contact ecoworkshop@autodesk.com.

This is a new program as of May 2013. We are still finalizing our list of initial partners…

Academic Partners




Wei Yan 
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Mark Clayton
Ph.D., Stanford University
Mohammad Rahmani Asl
Ph.D. Student, Texas A&M University
Wei Yan is an Associated Professor at Texas A&M University College of Architecture. He has been working in the areas of Computer-Aided Architectural Design, Visualization, Parametric Modeling, Building Information Modeling, Building Science, and Computational Methods in Architecture. More on Wei.
Mark Clayton is a Professor at Texas A&M University College of Architecture. He is an expert in Building Information Modeling, housing design and construction, facility management, information technology, building energy systems, and management of technology. More on Mark.
Mohammad Rahmani Asl is a Ph.D. student at Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University. His research focus is on BIM-based parametric design, building energy simulation, sustainable building design, and building energy and construction cost optimization. More on Mohammad.

BIM-SIM Group   

BIM-SIM Group is a research team within the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University that focuses on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Simulation (SIM). The group’s research projects cover various topics and scales.
There are many graduate students and visiting scholars working on their research under the supervision of Wei and Mark in this group. See the list of the people in BIM-SIM group here
BIM-SIM Group has published many papers related to BIM, parametric modeling, and building simulation. They can be found here.


Karen Kensek
MArch., University of California, Berkeley
SB, Massacusetts Institute of Technology
Praveen Sehrawat
Masters of Building Science
Student researcher
Karen Kensek is an Assistant Professor at the USC School of Architecture and teaches computer applications for architecture.  Her research work applies BIM to sustainability, the virtual reconstruction of ancient places,  solar envelopes, and digital design. She has been teaching for over 20 years in the transforming field of computer applications. More on Karen.
Karen’s current research project with Master of Building Science student Praveen Sehrawat is to explore GIS, BIM, and quick energy modeling – methodology, accuracy, and sensitivity.  The goal is to inform the Los Angeles 2030 District project and meet the energy performance targets set out by the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Planning

Recent Papers (* = student researchers)

Kensek, Karen and Winston Kahn*, “Integration of Environmental Sensors with BIM: Seven Case Studies,” BESS 2013. 
Kensek, Karen; Martinez, Andrea*; Tucker, Tyler*; and Singh, Sukreet*. “Comparing building performance trends in three energy simulation programs,” ASES 2013.
Lanning, Tighe*; Kensek, Karen; Kohut, Tim; Choi, Joon Ho. “Designing for the human factor: economizer efficacy and the consideration of the user,” ASES 2013.
Singh, Sukreet and Kensek, Karen. “Multi-disciplinary optimization in the early stages of design,” ASES 2013.

Industry Partners



Matt Grinberg
Mechanical Engineer
Adam Rendek
Virtual Design Specialist

Stantec’s research group is creating tools and processes to better manage their energy modeling workflows.

To meet more aggressive energy targets, there is a growing demand for energy analysis on projects. These targets will only be achieved if energy analysis tools will be utilized better than they are today. Stantec’s research explores the interactions between architects and engineers from the perspective of the present state of BIM and energy modeling tools. The resulting workflow maps identify pitfalls and technicalities that often derail projects. The tools they’re building are meant to set realistic expectations among the design team, better communicate with stakeholders, and help teams more comfortably adopt better processes. 


Building Seminar Series presentation: “Architecture, Cartography, & Energy” (skip first 2 minutes)

Autodesk presentation: “Stantec Collaborative Workflow

Greenbuild Autodesk booth presentation: “Energy Modeling Workflow Maps

Design Realized program: “Architecture, Cartography & Energy for Improved Workflow



What could completing Autodesk BPA Course do for you? 


Designing a Sustainable Future

Autodesk is committed to helping designers and engineers create a future where we all live well and within the limits of our planet. We’re excited to lead the way with sustainable, forward-thinking business practices. Together, let’s design a sustainable future.

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