Outdoor Floors

How to work with outdoor floors within cove.tool?

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

What is an outdoor floor?

The Building Analysis Model (BAM) defines Outdoor Floors Objects as site elements for site analysis. These objects are outside the thermal envelope and therefore non-conditioned spaces (exposed to outdoor air) and typically exposed to direct radiation.
Outdoor floor objects include grade-level elements like patios, courtyards, and landscaping elements like topography, walking paths, and even streets.

Why would I model an outdoor floor?

Once successfully imported into cove.tool, outdoor floor objects allow users the ability to look at the Shadows, Radiation Potential, and Sunlight hours on surrounding space. This is especially helpful while making integrated design decisions in terms of material selection, planning landscaping strategies, outdoor programming, and more.
Note that outdoor floors will not impact the energy results since they are not a part of the thermal envelope of a building. Also daylight metrics like sDA and ASE will not be ran for them since they typically are not within the building thermal envelope

Importing an outdoor floor from 3D plugins

Outdoor floor objects from 3D plugins can be exported to cove.tool for analysis by including such slabs/surafces in the covetool outdoor floor view. Modelers will need to manually unhide geometry in the outdoor floor view. Review the respective plugin processes here.

Creating an outdoor floor in drawing.tool

While modeling a project in drawing.tool, outdoor floors can be drawn by creating a 2D plane in the designated Level, and assigning it to the outdoor floor object type by clicking on the Outdoor Floor icon as shown below:

Viewing results for outdoor floors in 3d analysis

Sunlight hours analysis and Radiation Potential can be analyzed on these outdoor floor objects on the 3D analysis page. Check out the urban planning article here to see how this category can be used to better understand your street-level design.

What analysis features are not impacted by outdoor floors?

Including outdoor floors in your project will not have a direct impact on the baseline energy values, or load results in loadmodeling.tool since outdoor floors are not a part of the thermal envelope of a building.

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