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3D Analysis Overview

Feature summary of 3D building analyses, simulation types, settings, and results for SDA, ASE, Daylight, Glare, Shadows

Christopher Riddell avatar
Written by Christopher Riddell
Updated over a week ago

Explore the advanced 3D visualizations for evaluating Daylight, Glare, Shadow, Radiation, View Quality, COVID Occupancy Assessment Score, and Site-Context Studies.

What is the Daylight Modeling?

Daylight Modeling is the practice of using 3D simulation software to predict the pattern of controlled natural light to illuminate a space inside a building. Daylight quantity and quality is a critical part of any building performance assessment. analysis.tool uses the local weather file's Tregenza sky to project various climate conditions onto your model and building interiors. The analysis planes record the intensity and duration of conditions to generate your results.​ Full details, sources, and calculation methods for the daylight modeling and other analysis are located in the following articles:

Using the 3D analysis page:

3D Mode Setup

For your projects specified location, the analysis.tool automatically chooses the appropriate weather file and creates a 3D representation of the surrounding context within half a mile, using data from Open Street Maps. Within this 3D environment, you can orbit and pan through the view, set and save specific viewpoints, zoom, and adjust your perspective to align with True North. Further, the uploaded model can be moved and rotated to align with the site conditions. Review this detailed guide on navigating in the 3D mode.


Once the 3D model set is complete click on the "Calculate" button under "Settings" to begin running the 7 Building analyses simultaneously on your model.

3D Simulation Settings

  • Grid Size(ft or m):

    Indicates the grid dimension in feet or meters, where a smaller number results in a higher resolution, but a longer analysis time. The default grid size is 6ft or 1.82m.

    • Min - Max Range: 2ft -6ft / 0.60m - 4m

  • Glass/Visual Transmittance:

    Refers to the percentage of visible solar light that passes through the glazing material, such as glass (values from 0 - 1). The values for VT can vary depending on the type of glass, tinting, and coatings used. The default is set at 0.65

  • Rotation(°):

    Rotation factor in degrees clockwise

Results Export:

  1. Images:

    Click on the camera icon located at the top left corner of the model space to download high-quality .png snapshots of your simulation visualization. Review the steps listed here for more information.

  2. 3D Model

    Site context with the building can be exported through the download button at the top left of the 3D Analysis page to download your project geometry and the context geometry as an .obj file. You can also retrieve this data from Open Street Maps.

  3. LEED Room-by-room results:

    Download the LEED report for room by room sDA, ASE and Quality Views results when model geometry exported through drawing.tool . Find detailed steps on this process here.


    1 Why are the radiation and sun hours analysis tabs greyed out?

    Confirm that sDA analysis is complete by clicking on "Stop Calculations" and then clicking on "Calculate". Once complete, if the buttons are still greyed out and the model is a large model (30k-50k) triangles, we recommend waiting awhile as it might be slowing down the analysis. If even after waiting, the buttons are greyed out, confirm that your windows are facing outwards in the plugin that you used and you don't have an unusally large roof surface (compared to your building footprint).

    Happy Modeling!!

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