Autodesk Forma

Analysis you can trust.

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Analysis overview

Autodesk Forma’s analyses enable you to accurately test and understand your proposals during the early stages, planning in greater detail than ever before, especially when it comes to economic buildability, livability and compliance. They’re fast and easy to use, meaning you don’t need in-depth technical expertise to run an analysis. 

On this page you’ll find an overview of the analyses available within Autodesk Forma, their benefits, as well as links to any relevant documentation or articles. For more information, please visit our Help center*.

The benefits of Autodesk Forma's analyses

By letting you access a wide range of analyses capabilities, Forma allows you to optimize your designs and improve efficiency. You can further leverage the analyses to: 

  • See the hidden information of your site and visually understand your project's conditions and potential.
  • Cut down your waiting time as these cloud computed analyses yield instantaneous results based on data driven insights.
  • Minimize monetary and effort-based consequences by implementing results-oriented design iterations right in the early stages of planning.
  • Compare projects and make informed decisions that maximize the potential of your site.

Daylight potential analysis

Vertical Sky Component (VSC) is a measure of how much light reaches facades from the sky. Autodesk Forma uses this VSC to analyze and provide you with insights regarding the daylight potential of the buildings you design on your site.

Relevant links


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Area Analysis

Quickly calculate various area metrics that are relevant to your site. The metrics are customizable so that you can control how the calculations are performed and ensure the resulting numbers are in accordance with your specific needs. Additionally, there are location-based default calculations for many geographies so that you start off with metrics that are appropriate in the area where you operate. More details can be found in the Area metrics section within the technical documentation.

Microclimate analysis

Microclimate analysis provides a way to quickly, easily, and accurately evaluate the thermal comfort of outdoor spaces. It combines our sun, wind, and sky exposure, and numerous localised weather and climate data to create a comprehensive microclimate map of your site. Additionally, you can also perform disaster testing by creating future scenarios that might apply to your site. 

More information

To represent this “feels-like” temperature, the analysis uses the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), which is the most commonly used thermal comfort metric and widely considered to be both an accurate and respected indicator.  Weather data, which is obtained from the ERA5 dataset provided by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, includes information such as solar radiation, and cloud cover. Wind roses are retrieved from the Global Wind Atlas.

Noise analysis

Noise analysis is a powerful tool for decision makers to address problems related to environmental noise. 

More information

This noise analysis was developed and tested with input from Sweco. The noise analysis in Autodesk Forma is developed based on the Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe (CNOSSOS-EU).  This method is developed by the European Commission. It was also based on a preliminary version of the ISO 17534-4 (ISO 17534-4).  While still under development, the ISO 17534-4 standard contains test cases similarly to those in ISO 17534-3.

Rapid Operational Energy analysis

Rapid operational energy analysis predicts operational energy in real time, helping you design with energy efficiency in mind from day one.

More information

In the analysis you can modify a selection of key design factors for energy consumption – including geometry, window-to-wall ratio, and roof and wall construction types – and immediately see how those interrelated factors impact predicted energy use (kWh/m2/year). 

The analysis uses machine learning, whereby a huge dataset of building models was first analyzed with a complex energy simulation engine for energy usage (InsightX Energy Analysis) against a variety of building factors. These results were used to train a machine learning model that accurately predicts energy use. The energy predictions are ±5% from the actual simulations. 

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Sun hours analysis

Autodesk Forma has two main types of direct sun analyses: analyses of sun hours on building facades, and analyses of sun hours on the ground. Users can set specific dates for sun hour for their studies. The analysis takes into account shading caused by buildings and/or terrain surrounding the site to assess the hours of sun a site receives. Read an introduction here*.

Wind analysis

A powerful tool for early phase assessment of your site for various effects caused by wind. The Wind analysis was developed with consideration for the quality requirements in the London wind guidelines. These guidelines were chosen due to the high level of technical details relevant for early phase wind comfort assessment on urban sites, which agrees with relevant academic literature. To ensure reliability, the analysis has been benchmarked against several engineering consultancies as well as academic benchmarks.

More information

Autodesk Forma’s Wind Analysis leverages the following methods and sources:

  • 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • OpenFOAM
  • Steady-state RANS
  • k-Epsilon turbulence model
  • Global Wind Atlas (for wind roses)