DIY solar study of the poor

Posted by jfyelle, 18 March 2011 5:00 pm

I needed to test the placement of the building on the terrain and optimize the windows/room placement according to the sun. I basically imported the FBX from Revit, set a sun & sky system and rendered a few frames. It was done faster than it took to write this blog (I exaggerate a bit but you get the idea).  Since I did not play with the materials I haven`t run in any material issues during this exercise.

  1. We could see that the “veranda” the side building with 3 windowed walls was getting light the full day. Result: this is we’re my office is nowadays.
  2. I got the summer sunset to light the place where I’ll have dinner outside on the gallery.
  3. I ensured that the tree cover in summer would shade the house during the day. Result: no air conditioning needed ever.

Have I calculated illumination inside my house? No need. But I dabbled sufficiently with this to get a sense of the knowledge value my fellow Pierre-Felix Breton has to offer (that`s a shameless plug if I’ve seen one).  If you need to consider light analysis in interior settings, you will need to ensure the windows have accurate physical properties - what you get from Revit isn`t even close.  Be sure to check his AU 2008 class on Daylight and lighting analysis (yes, it`s vintage but still highly valuable)

Why haven`t I used 3ds Max to do better renders of my project?

As I told earlier, the time to invest in producing first grade imagery was prohibitive to me. I only needed sufficient imagery to take decision. The size of this project didn't request any better: I wouldn't have to “sell” this to anyone using marketing material.

That leaves me wondering… I know the visualization departments of most architectural offices are small and have very short attention span to individual projects.  How are you guys able to cope with the tight deadlines? What can be done to raise your productivity?


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