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Archicad 18 - method for solar access query

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When we submit plans to council for a larger multi residential job we typically submit a solar study and or shadow diagrams. More and more the local council have been asking for what they call ‘View from the Sun’. I was hoping you could explain how to complete this.

The view from the sun is a view of the building angled so that no shadows are visible and if you are unable to see it in the view then it is assumed to be in shadow. My question is how do you know where to locate your viewpoint? Do you calculate and input the height/azimuth of the view etc. or do you manually rotate the view? I can’t seem to find a reference online that relates to it. Previously we have outsourced it to other consultants who say they use other software such as Sketchup or Vector works to complete it. We use Archicad 18. I can’t imagine that Archicad doesn’t have the ability to produce something similar.

In Vectorworks the View from the Sun function is built in to the software. To do this in Vectorworks a button associated with the light object called ‘set view to light’ is used. If the light is a sun position, it will set the view from this point.

I am able to create the shadows and solar study without any trouble and I have tried putting cameras in places that are close to where the view from the sun would be (I think) but I feel that this is inaccurate and would like to have a clear and accurate set of instructions that enables me to place the camera in the correct spot. The accuracy is very important as when the view from the sun is requested it is generally at a court level so it needs to be beyond doubt.

I contacted the Archicad office here in Sydney and they hadn’t come across the ‘View from the Sun’ issue before so were unable to assist me. They suggested using the cameras but were unable to tell me how to figure out what information to put into it in order to achieve the view from the sun.

If you know the method I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer or if you are able to direct me to someone else who may be able to shed some light on it, it would be most helpful.

I have attached an example of a view from the sun that was completed on Sketchup.


Not applicable
Good question. I was wanting to know how to do this as well. It really should be built in to Archicad.

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