Autodesk Research

Project Dasher

Part of the Building Performance Project

Project Dasher is an Autodesk research project using a BIM-based platform to provide building owners with greater insight into real-time building performance throughout the life-cycle of the building.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent model-based process that provides insight for creating and managing building projects faster, more economically, and with less environmental impact. Using meter and sensor data, Project Dasher extends the value of BIM to the life-cycle of the building by integrating BIM data and building instrumentation to provide building owners with more insight into how existing buildings perform in real time.

A sustainable building is not a fixed ideal, but a moving target that must be reassessed on an ongoing basis in order to respond to the ever changing patterns of its occupants and its context. While building performance tools have traditionally focused on the simulation and evaluation of a specific design, we are witnessing a growing need for tools that can help us to continuously evaluate and verify building performance. Today, most buildings are equipped with sophisticated Building Control Systems (BCS) that collect data from thousands of end-points. These systems help building operation managers maintain buildings by minimizing long-term operational cost ensuring occupants’ comfort. However, a key challenge is to define methods of organizing, studying and communicating data, while coping with perpetual changes inherent in any commercial building.

In this context, we need a more integrative approach to maintain the complex balance between our energy-saving measures and occupant comfort. Using BIM as in ideal platform for managing complex building information, Project Dasher aims to go beyond existing building dashboards to represent a comprehensive framework for monitoring building performance. Project Dasher acts as a visualization hub where collected data from various sources is intuitively aggregated and presented in 3D to enhance our ability to infer more complex causal relationship pertaining to building performance and overall operational requirements.

Pilot Projects


CanmetENERGY in Varennes, located near Montreal, leads programs in Buildings and Communities, Renewables, Industrial Processes and manages the world-leading RETScreen International Clean Energy Decision Support Centre. In support of R&D activities this building contains 6 analytical laboratories and 2 pilot plants with test benches to study and recreate industrial prototypes and buildings. It is also equipped with a wide range of analytical and experimental tools, such as climatic and psychrometric chambers, which allow device testing in controlled environment, using state-of-the-art instrumentation. One of the most important development activities at CanmetENERGY is demonstrating technologies under actual conditions. Facilities include an integrated demonstration project on intelligent buildings and photovoltaic technologies.

NASA Sustainability Base

Using NASA innovations originally engineered for space travel and exploration, the 50,000 square-foot, lunar-shaped Sustainability Base is simultaneously a working office space, a showcase for NASA technology and an evolving exemplar for the future of buildings. Sustainability Base is one of the greenest Federal buildings ever constructed. It is designed to go beyond ‘not hurting’ the environment to actually being beneficial to nature and humans. Through a combination of innovative design and leading-edge technology, Sustainability Base generates all the power it needs to operate and uses 90 percent less potable water than a traditional building of comparable size.

Autodesk Toronto

Situated in downtown Toronto, 210 King Street East is the current home of Autodesk's Toronto office. This eclectic workspace spans four historic Toronto warehouses, built between the 1930s and 1960s, with a total 145,000 square feet of office space. In 2009, growing out of an interest to foster awareness towards energy consumption and to promote more sustainable practices for existing buildings, the 210 King building was chosen as a living laboratory for Project Dasher.

Autodesk Waltham

Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, the LEED-CI Platinum certified facility accommodates Autodesk’s headquater for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Solutions Division. Right from the start, Autodesk viewed this project as an opportunity to implement several new trends in the building industry, including integrated project delivery (IPD), sustainable design, digital design-to-fabrication, and the technical process underpinning all of them—building information modeling (BIM).

For more information, please contact Ramtin Attar


Overview Video

Download Video



Let us know what you think about Project Dasher!

All Text and Imagery Copyright © 2015 Autodesk, Inc. All Rights Reserved.