Solar Analysis in BIM

You can understand and quantify the amount of the sun’s energy on your site and building with solar load analysis (solar radiation analysis). 

Before doing solar radiation analysis, you should do: 
  • Climate Analysis: Know what passive design strategies are best, and how much total radiation is on your site.
  • Sun and shadow studies: Help you harness both energy and light because it tells you how the sun moves through the sky and what shades your site
  • Energy Loads Analysis: Know where heat is being gained or lost, and when you need to heat and cool.
Solar radiation analysis should also be done in conjunction with daylighting analysis (the sun’s light is shortwave radiation, heat is long wave radiation).

The workflow below will help you strategically use these analysis tools. 


See this short case study from Henning Larsen Architects used solar radiation to improve the massing and orientation of a hotel and housing project in Denmark.


Before you can effectively use the radiation values reported in the software, it’s important to know what the numbers represent. See the Solar Radiation Metrics page. 

Using Vasari and Revit, you can calculate incident solar radiation. Using Ecotect you can calculate absorbed and transmitted radiation, given the material properties assigned to your walls, roof, and windows.