BIM Coordinator Program (INT) April 22, 2024

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Sustainable design
About EcoDesigner, Energy Evaluation, Life Cycle Assessment, etc.

Daylight Analysis

Not applicable

With a focus on PHPP Passive House (PHI Passivhaus) design, I am interested in design for daylighting. As you know there is a clear relationship between cost of glazing ($/sqm), annual solar heat balance, sky brightness and window design and internal daylight levels.
I want to optimize my daylighting while minimising my glazing area to manage heat balance and cost of triple glazed windows & doors,
in Canberra Australia. (PHI Warm Temperate climate zone)

I would like to be able to get a digital numeric calculation handle on daylight levels that is easy to use preferably on Mac OSX.
(If required I could recommission an old Mac as a PC or even go and buy new one).

I am architect, not a lighting designer, and lighting design gets complex rather fast.

Together with a colleague we have been doing a review of the available lighting design softwares based on the list published on the Daylight Site, which is a great resource.
We have also spend a lot of time reviewing the extensive information and demos available on You Tube.

I have tried the Velux Daylight Visualizer VDV. It works really nicely on their Villa Savoy model, but I find VDV is rather flaky in terms of how it handles imports, and file versions from SketchUp 2016 and 2017. And as far as daylighting goes I have so far I have not managed to get it to work on even my simplest models. Perhaps that's just me, but I suspect it needs a solid upgrade.

Posts on this subject seem to date from 2010. So now in July 2017 what has changed ?

We also looked carefully at DIALux EVO. This is an interesting software that extends into supplementary lighting, and reads IFC files. However, our tests so far using DIALux EVO have run in a virtualised environment, Windows 10 inside VMWare on a Mac where it struggles.
No doubt it would be better on a fast muti-core PC.

Also looked at IES VE software briefly. Still waiting for a response from them. Not sure what is going on there.

Also looking at AGI32, which has a license structure that allows for a 30 day period.

Once looked at Ecotect, but not going there since they sold out to AutoDesk.

So please does anyone know if there is a good daylight analysis package that can handle IFC file format (ie read ArchiCAD models without extensive editing) that experienced ArchiCAD users would care to recommend ?

What are Graphisoft's thoughts on this ?

I use ArchiCAD 19 - 21 with Design PH and PHPP on Mac.
While I agree with Miklos 'pushups metaphor' for energy analysis in ED*, I do not have an ED* license for the very simple reason that it is very expensive, has limited training support, and needs a clean simple model. In my experience it needs two models - one simple model with integrity for the energy analysis, and another model for the real project, as the real project models can get messy).

And while I'm on the energy topic, where have you hidden the AC20 output link to PHPP file format ?
Do I now need and ED* license to access it ?

Miklos, while I love the idea of ED* doing energy analysis inside the ArchiCAD model, I found it problematic getting it to work consistently.
And as Enrico Bonilauri, from Emu Architects noted it is best if the energy analysis has a relationship to known standards. This is why I choose to use PHPP. But I would really like to explore a direct path from AC20 and 21 to PHPP without using morphs into Sketch_Up 2016 or 2017 with Design PH extension, then exporting PPP file, then importing PPP file into PHPP which is rather laborious.

Is it not time GSHQ simply scrapped the ED* license fee, and opened up ED* in AC21 for all users ?
One could argue that with White House Administration trashing the EPA and abandoning the Paris Climate Accord this would be an appropriate response from Graphisoft. It would also enormously increase the number of potential users, which would help justify its development costs, and allow it to be better integrated with PHPP.

Enough for now.

I look forward to your responses.


Ian Brumby
Not applicable
Search in Google: Velux Daylight visualizer
Not applicable
Search in Google: Dialux

I have some more-less good expierence in exporting IFC from AC to Dialux
Agree entirely with both key points in this thread:
- an easy to use integrated lighting analysis engine with visual feedback/ reporting
- Roll ED* into AC licence...especially for UAS subscribers: it would then get better uptake (done previously with BIMx iirc)
AC27 Apple Silicon. Twinmotion.
16" M1 Max MacBook Pro 32GB, Apple Studio Display, MacOS14
What an underrated thread!

My thoughts on it:

1. Lighting analysis: currently I'm trying to implement Ladybug and Honeybee into my workflow. The above mentioned ones (Velux Daylight, DIALux, or Relux for that matter) are for lighting purposes. Some of them read IFC, others prefer gbXML, and those formats strip different parts of the model. On the other hand, I love the opensource concept, how LB+HB links your (easily parametricized) model to different engines: Radiance + Daysim for lighting, or Energy+ (OpenStudio) + Therm for energy simulation (more info:

My problem is the learning curve. I'm already getting a (kind of) grasp on Grasshopper, and the AC-GH live connection could be a workable solution: deconstructing zones, analyzing the model, getting physical values from the building materials, assembling the analysis model in LB+HB, and reading back the results in an alphanumerical fashion to properties in ARCHICAD. But it took even a few lines to write down what I would like to achieve, and without a decent community it is very hard for me to find the time to progress at an acceptable rate.

2. EcoDesigner *: I agree, it is quite closed, there isn't even an education version to it, and the pricing is quite steep. I don't know anyone who uses it, as it cannot be accessed at the university. I don't really get the point of it.

As a user, I see the problem in a greater context: ARCHICAD out of the box is a great design software, but it has very limited analysis capabilities, which e.g. Revit has attached to it (the precision and algorithmic correctness are beyond my current knowledge, but it gives you a lot of reports and shiny diagrams, let it be energy analysis or daylight analysis). The Ladybug Tools ecosystem linked to ARCHICAD could serve as a solution to this. I personally could use some help in this: automatically obtaining weather data based on the AC project location, automatically determining project north, deconstructing AC building materials/composites and reconstructing E+ ones from them, etc. Assigning other surface-related properties to building materials should be possible (e.g. reflectance, roughness, etc.), or these values could be stored in a "Surface" and linked to the "Building Material", as a lot of time is spent maintaining separate databases in different software.

As there is a section for "BIM content packages" on the GS website, I can see an "Analysis packages" section too, where Grasshopper scripts would be maintained with descriptions, what it does, and which parts you need to modify for your needs, or e.g. XMLs could store predefined values for different standards.

(I may have mixed the energy analysis with daylighting, and sorry for that, but I see no significant difference workflow-wise not to mention it here.) | actively using: AC25-27 INT | Rhino6-8 | macOS @ apple silicon / win10 x64
Not applicable
I agree, it could be utilised via grasshopper connection but that is really quite advanced workflow for some basic things like daylight analysis. I hope Graphisoft will implement it like revid did.
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