Software which provides 3D sunlight modelling for various house designs.
November 16, 2012 2:11 PM   Subscribe

I am designing a house and using the wonderful I have been able to view the daily path of the sun throughout the year, for a given set of co-ordinates. I would however like to go one step further and model how different 3D house shapes would fare for sunlight throughout the year at a specific place on the surface of the earth. I am willing to pay for this software if necessary.
posted by therubettes to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I am not sure, but I think HOT3000 (warning, clunky, beta, but free) will do this for you. It will do much more for solar and energy modelling as well. I don't think the previous non-beta version (HOT2000) will.
posted by ssg at 2:33 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

An object modeled in Sketchup can be placed in any location/time/date to explore its shadows. Sketchup plugins are available for more detailed energy modeling. Also: ECOTECT.
posted by glibhamdreck at 2:42 PM on November 16, 2012

If you have an engineer friend I know Microstation can do this. You just input the latitude and longitude and day and go at it. It also renders out beautifully.
posted by sanka at 5:09 PM on November 16, 2012

Maxwell Render allows you to do this with their physical sky system. I haven't really used the feature, but I've found the software to be easy to use as a whole.

They also appear to have a SketchUp plugin, but I'm not sure what features it has.
posted by highway40 at 6:30 PM on November 16, 2012

Sketchup can do this directly, no plugin needed. You can draw an object, situate it on the map, and simulate the track of the sun at any time of year. I've used it in exactly the way you envision.

There's a free version of Sketchup, which is good enough for your purposes. There are a bunch of tutorial videos on Youtube; I strongly recommend working through some of them.
posted by adamrice at 7:20 PM on November 16, 2012

Thanks all. Installed Sketchup. Getting to understand it slowly. Should do the job perfectly..
posted by therubettes at 7:27 AM on November 17, 2012

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