Solar radiation analysis is one of the ways architects can consider ecology when creating their designs.
"Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it's all right."
"Here Comes the Sun," George Harrison, The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969.
Product Manager for Sustainable Design in the AEC community, Vidisha Salunke, got me a new utility for Revit users. I was happy to place it on the Autodesk Labs site. She also gave me the following blog article. Read on.
Designing for sustainability requires many analyses, and an understanding of the incident solar radiation on a building façade is one of those analyses. It is particularly compelling to be able to do this analysis from within Revit. The new Solar Radiation Technology Preview allows users to study incident solar radiation on a building form within the conceptual massing environment available to all Revit Architecture and Revit MEP users. There are many examples of how the information can be used, but some of the common ones are:
Studying how incident solar radiation on the façade of a specific form differs by orientation. This could be as simple as analyzing a basic rectangular form. It is easy but important to look at incident solar radiation on pitched roofs to understand the impact of various roof pitches and nearby shading elements early in the design process if solar panels are being considered.
To understand the relative importance of glazing for daylighting and solar heat gain of the building, it is useful to quantify the difference between the incident solar radiation that occurs on the lower floors vs. the higher floors of a tall building. This is especially significant in an urban context. Studying incident solar energy is one step towards understanding what types of glass might be appropriate different façades or floors. If the solar radiation on the north façade or lower floors is much lower than the flux on the southern or high floors, varying glass type and performance by face may be appropriate.
Much of the analysis associated with low carbon building design and sustainability is very numerical and not visually compelling. The solar radiation add-in is a great way to provide visual feedback within the context of a design whether as a means to communicate a design choice, or as part of a presentation.
To help get you started, there's a video that accompanies this release:
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfv1eEvnAas
- non-YouTube: http://labs.autodesk.com/files/1801_1900/1811/file_1811.mp4
Thanks Vidisha. So take the solar radiation add-in for a whirl and let us know what you think at [email protected].
Looking forward to your feedback in regards to our sustainability efforts is alive in the lab.