Success Stories

Study – NYC Public School

AECOM NYC Carry Out Studies to Public School Envelope Proposals

“FenestraPro is a well-integrated Revit add-in which has been saving AECOM NY time and effort in analyzing building performance and making façade design decisions rapidly, with the client or design team.

It allowed us to automatically generate façade geometry and window types in both the conceptual and detailed design phases of this project, achieving quick and real-time simulation results on daylight and thermal balance.”

Xiaofei Shen

Sustainability Engineer, AECOM, New York

Conceptual Design,
Detailed Design

Key FenestraPro Features

Maintain code compliance

Informed decision making

Design parameters and exploration

Established workflow

Avoiding multiple redesigns 


The project designers required a sudden and efficient method of prototyping the envelope with a fixed total glass to wall ratio, while also validating outline thermal performances, and exploring solar heat loads and daylight factor values to the internal spaces. While compliance with NY SCA requirements were essential, it was also important that designers understood what code compliance meant for the aesthetic treatment of the building, and the potential effects to occupant comfort.

In the conceptual massing tools of FenestraPro, the designers restricted the total glass-to-wall ratio to a maximum of 25%, while also assigning outline thermal performances to the different envelope elements to ensure compliance. Designers began reviewing the impacts on internal heat gains and design daylight factor, and where the optimal design solutions lay.

Within the context of the 25% total glass-to-wall ratio, AECOM were able to distribute glazing around the building to meet program requirements.

When internal performance values did not achieve a satisfactory standard, designers modified and understood the immediate impacts through FenestraPro’s real-time approach.

AECOM NYC Metro were commissioned to design a school for the New York School Construction Authority. As the SCA strictly regulate design requirements around building fabric and fenestration/shading solutions, so that the minimum requirements of the NYSECCC are met or bettered, the design team used FenestraPro to explore alternative design options.

This allowed them to continuously ensure compliance with thermal performances and glass-to-wall standards as they developed design proposals in Revit. As an early stage exploration, FenestraPro was engaged from the outset at 30% DD on a Revit Conceptual Mass.

Figure 1: Daylighting analysis     

Glass-to-Wall Ratios and Daylighting

Where daylight performance was low to spaces to the North West (Fig. 1), AECOM increased the glass-to-wall ratio from 5% to 10%. FenestraPro sfotware automatically reduced the ratio to the South West to maintain the fixed glass-to-wall ratio for the entire building.

Figure 2: Shading Options

Shading Solutions

By providing a generous 40% to the South with suitable daylight values, AECOM had to mitigate a solar heat load issue. The designers were able to efficiently model shading solutions (Fig. 2) to manage this problem and have an understanding of design solutions moving forward.


FenestraPro allowed AECOM NY to strictly control the window-to-wall ratio (WWR), so that it did not exceed 25% as set out for a building classified as ‘school’. Actual WWR to different façades based on orientation and building program are optimized, to balance daylight quality and energy performance: 10% for east/ west; 40% for north; and 45% for south. Permanent exterior solar shades in various types are proposed for east (vertical) and south (horizontal) of the building.

FenestraPro allowed the designers to propose an optimized building envelope that meets and complies with the requirements of ASHRAE 90.1-2013. As a low building EUI is integral to the goals of this project, the effects of a thermally improved envelope is hugely beneficial as it moves in to the design of mechanical systems.

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