Daylighting in the Public Realm

With Sefaira's daylight analysis and visualisation tools you can investigate and present the impact of design decisions on daylight in the public realm. However, the daylight analysis in Sefaira is currently optimised for fast simulations of internal spaces. This means that design changes may need to be quite significant to have much effect on the daylight analysis or the starting values should be read in the context of the analysis settings. See the example below for more.

Step 1 - Drawing the geometry

Draw the geometry under analysis and the context.

The floors currently considered for daylight analysis are these;


Step 2 - Changing the area under analysis from internal to external

This involves drawing a plane on the external area which you want to analyse. In this case, we will analyse the external courtyard between the two buildings. We need to draw the courtyard and turn off the internal floors so that the only plane being analysed is external;

After changing the internal 'floor' entities to 'shading' we draw the external plane and assign it as 'floor';


Step 3 - Analysing the current geometry

Here we can open the Daylight Visualisation window and set the date and time to match that of the shadow setting in sketchup. This will then show us the impact of the adjacent buildings and context on the external courtyard;

We can repeat this process for any individual hour in the year or look at the average across the whole year using the annual settings. in the case above we are looking at 3-4pm on March 8th and matching the shadows based on the sun's position at that time within sketchup.


Step 4 - Improving the design

Now that we have the geometry and context drawn and have looked at the impact of our current design, we are ready to look at different design options

Here is a canopy;

Here is what the courtyard's daylight would look like at that time if the west entrance were completely shaded - perhaps by changing the configuration of focus buildings or by raising the height of an adjacent tower.


Step 5 - Taking your results out of Sefaira

Once you have the analysis complete and you have been able to inform the design with realtime feedback you can take the images out to .png for inclusion in your daylight reports;

Here is an example ready to be included in your reports;


For more info on the analysis criteria in Sefaira see our FAQs here.

TIP: If you want to watch videos on how to prepare your model in SketchUp or Revit, visit these articles:

If you have any comments or questions, please check out the SketchUp + Sefaira Forum or contact

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