DOI: 10.3390/buildings13123120 ISSN: 2075-5309

A Method to Compute Shadow Geometry in Open Building Information Modeling Authoring Tools: Automation of Solar Regulation Checking

Charles Voivret, Dimitri Bigot, Garry Rivière
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture

Building solar protection regulations is essential to save energy in hot climates. The protection performance is assessed using a shading factor computation that models the sky irradiance and the geometry of shadow obstructing the surface of interest. While Building Information Modeling is nowadays a standard approach for practitioners, computing shadow geometry in BIM authoring tools is natively impossible. Methods to compute shadow geometry exist but are out of reach for the usual BIM authoring tool user because of algorithm complexity and non-friendly BIM implementation platform. This study presents a novel approach, dubbed solid clipping, to calculate shadow geometry accurately in a BIM authoring tool. The aim is to enhance project delivery by enabling solar control verification. This method is based on typical Computer Aided Design (CAD) in BIM authoring tools. The method is generic enough to be implemented using any BIM authoring tool’s visual and textual API. This work demonstrates that a thermal regulation, here the French overseas one, can be checked concerning solar protection, thanks to a BIM model. Beyond automation, this paper shows that, by directly leveraging the BIM model, designs presently not feasible by the usual process can be studied and checked.

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