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NBBJ uses Insight to gain ground on implementing Building Energy Models for over 50% of projects

by Deepika Khowal, Customer Success Manager and Heather Howe, Marketing Editor on October 02, 2018


The architects and designers at NBBJ continually work to minimize carbon emissions, conserve natural resources, and pioneer new strategies to raise the bar across fields of design. The firm also seeks to create healthy places with fresh air, daylight, and green materials—elements that are proven to encourage better cognitive performance, reduce chronic disease, and promote greater well-being.

To advance its commitment to the 2030 Challenge and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Commitment to reduce energy consumption and implement more sustainable workflows, NBBJ adopted Autodesk® Insight software as one of its key sustainability solutions. NBBJ then collaborated with Autodesk on company-wide training. Following that effort, the firm has now modeled the majority of its active projects in early design using the tool. 

Challenge and Customer Background

A leading multi-disciplinary design firm, NBBJ provides planning, design, and consulting services to a range of clients worldwide. Founded in 1943, NBBJ now has locations in Boston, Columbus, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Pune, San Francisco, Seattle, and Shanghai. Its global network of “renaissance teams” includes more than 700 architects, strategists, nurses, researchers, anthropologists, planners, and interior designers who generate ideas that make a profound and lasting impact.

NBBJ’s participation in the AIA 2030 Commitment embodies the AIA’s mission to offer “architects a way to publicly show their dedication and track progress toward a carbon-neutral future.”

NBBJ’s current goal is to meet or exceed the AIA 2030 Commitment target of a 70 percent reduction in energy consumption—below the regional average in that building type.


After committing to the 2030 Challenge, NBBJ began a discovery process to standardize their energy design workflow. The firm collaborated with Autodesk to present the building performance analysis tool Autodesk Insight to NBBJ teams in Seattle, as well as to 25 additional key leaders in Columbus and New York.

After the success of this training effort, NBBJ standardized its workflow with Insight for early energy analysis and specified that every appropriate project should be modeled using the program—enabling NBBJ to develop a workflow that honors its AIA 2030 commitment. Nick McDaniel, who leads the performance analysis team for NBBJ, developed additional resources and trained more than 100 professionals across NBBJ’s more than 15 design studios in Boston, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Shanghai.

During this engagement, NBBJ focused on achieving its AIA 2030 Commitment goals, improving its sustainability ranking, and providing its project teams with an easy-to-use tool.

NBBJ is now among the top 20 greenest design firms, according to Building Design + Construction magazine.

Images Courtesy NBBJ


Since putting these initiatives in place, NBBJ has modeled 70 percent of its active projects in Insight—encompassing 23 million square feet in 2017. NBBJ also expects its next round of AIA 2030 reporting to include all its remaining active projects currently in early design.

"Insight provides instant, sustainable feedback that we can use to make our projects better. Our goal is to design every building to be energy efficient, to conserve natural resources and to benefit the environment and human beings alike." 

- Nick McDaniel, Senior Associate, Performance Analysis Team Leader, NBBJ

Learn more about NBBJ’s sustainability initiative.

Learn more about Autodesk Insight.

Learn more about how Autodesk supports AIA 2030 Commitment.

Learn how to conduct your own energy analysis with the Revit and Insight Workflow.

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