Simulation tools
DAYLIGHTING SIMULATION TOOLS
VELUX Daylight Visualizer
http://viz.velux.com

VELUX Daylight Visualizer is a validated simulation and visualization tool for daylighting design and analysis. It is intended to promote the use of daylight in buildings and to aid professionals by predicting and documenting daylight levels and appearance of a space prior to realization of the building design.

The Daylight Visualizer intuitive modelling tool permits quick generation of 3D models in which roof and facade windows are freely inserted. The program also permits users to import 3D models generated by CAD programs in order to facilitate a good workflow and provide flexibility to the model geometry“.

Daylight Visualizer can be used to calculate luminance, illuminance and daylight factors for all 16 sky types defined in CIE Standard General Sky. Output from Daylight Visualizer include images and numerical values. Images are post-processed in a GUI, where pseudo colours and contour lines can be applied to obtain luminous values from the rendered views. VELUX Daylight Visualizer has an efficient workflow and intuitive design, which makes it accessible and easy to use. The program is freely available and can be accessed from the link below.

Daylight Visualizer is developed by LUXION​ in collaboration with the VELUX Group. LUXION has specialized in technology advancing state-of-the-art in rendering and computer based lighting simulations, and has expert knowledge in areas related to rendering technology, light scattering, light transport algorithms such as photon mapping, and spectral simulation.

http://viz.velux.com


RADIANCE
http://www.radiance-online.org/

Radiance is a suite of programs for the analysis and visualisation of lighting in design. Input files specify the scene geometry, materials, luminaires, time, date and sky conditions. Calculated values include spectral radiance (ie. luminance + colour), irradiance (illuminance + colour) and glare indices. Simulation results may be displayed as colour images, numerical values and contour plots. The primary advantage of Radiance over simpler lighting calculation and rendering tools is that there are no limitations on the geometry or the materials that may be simulated. Radiance is used by architects and engineers to predict illumination, visual quality and appearance of innovative design spaces, and by researchers to evaluate new lighting and daylighting technologies.” The program is continuously being updated.

For more information please visit http://www.radiance-online.org/

Useful links:

Alex Jacobs’ tutorials:
http://www.jaloxa.eu/resources/radiance/documentation/index.shtml

Windows, MAC and Linux versions of Radiance can be downloaded here:
https://openstudio.nrel.gov/getting-started-developer/getting-started-radiance


DAYSIM
http://daysim.ning.com/

DAYSIM is a validated, RADIANCE-based daylighting analysis software that models the annual amount of daylight in and around buildings. DAYSIM allows users to model dynamic facades systems ranging from standard venetian blinds to state-of-the-art light redirecting elements, switchable glazings and combinations thereof. Users may further specify complex electric lighting systems and controls including manual light switches, occupancy sensors and photocell controlled dimming.

Simulation outputs range from climate-based daylighting metrics such as daylight autonomy and useful daylight illuminance to annual glare and electric lighting energy use. DAYSIM also generates hourly schedules for occupancy, electric lighting loads and shading device status which can be directly coupled with thermal simulation engines such as EnergyPlus, eQuest and TRNSYS.

http://daysim.ning.com/


DIVA for RHINO
http://diva4rhino.com

DIVA-for-Rhino is a highly optimized daylighting and energy modeling plug-in for the Rhinoceros – NURBS modeler. The plug-in was initially developed at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and is now distributed and developed by Solemma LLC.

DIVA-for-Rhino allows users to carry out a series of environmental performance evaluations of individual buildings and urban landscapes including Radiation Maps, Photorealistic Renderings, Climate-Based Daylighting Metrics, Annual and Individual Time Step Glare Analysis, LEED and CHPS Daylighting Compliance, and Single Thermal Zone Energy and Load Calculations.

For more information please visit http://diva4rhino.com/.

 


DIAL+
http://www.estia.ch

DIAL+ is a continuation and an extension of the software DIAL-Europe. This new software suite is an unique tool aiming to optimize the global performance of bulding openings. DIAL+ is composed of 3 modules: Lighting, Cooling and Ventilation.

DIAL+ Lighting allows you to take into consideration :

rectangular, trapezoidal or L-shape rooms
horizontal, single or double slope roofs
inside objects (obstacles, pilars, partitions, slabs)
external blinds systems

DIAL+ Lighting allows you to calculate :

Daylight factor values on the rooms surfaces
Daylighting autonomy values according to climatic data (160 cities in Europe)
Electricity consumption according to the Swiss standard SIA380/4

http://www.estia.ch/index.php?id=248&L=2


IESve
http://www.iesve.com/

IES performance modelling addresses the zero-carbon challenges faced by today’s building designers and managers. Our software allows you to design and operate comfortable buildings that consume significantly less energy and incorporate low-carbon and renewable technologies.

Whether working on a new build or renovation project, our software allows designers to test different design options, identify best passive solutions, compare low-carbon technologies, and draw conclusions on energy use, CO2 emissions, occupant comfort, light levels, airflow, Part L, BREEAM, LEED, EPC ratings, and much more.

http://www.iesve.com/


DIALux
http://dial.de/

DIALux can calculate electric light, daylight and the energy performance of electric light. The program is oriented towards the European market, and is widely used for calculation of indoor and outdoor electric lighting systems. It follows different national standard lighting calculations, and can import photometric databases directly from manufacturers. The daylight calculation capabilities within DIALux make use of German standard DIN 5043 and CIE Publication 110. Geometric input is limited to certain shapes. Sky choices are somewhat limited but acceptable for diverse ranges of weather conditions. There is an external radiosity and ray-tracing model, POV-Ray (Persistence of Vision 2010). It is used to produce images from calculation results and for presentation renderings. DIALux is available free of charge but is not open source.

http://dial.de/


Relux
http://www.relux.biz/

Relux is oriented towards the European market and the program can calculate electric light, daylight, and the energy performance of electric light. The program can import photometrical databases from  manufacturers. Relux applies both radiosity and ray tracing in its simulation engine. It is up to the user to decide what calculation engine to apply for simulation.

Relux is free of charge but not open source.

http://www.relux.biz/


AGi32
http://www.agi32.com

AGi32 is first and foremost, a Calculation tool for accurate photometric predictions: A technical tool that can compute illuminance in any situation, assist in luminaire placement and aiming, and validate adherence to any number of lighting criterion.

However, there is so much more that can be done to enhance the understanding of photometric results. Visualization is extremely important to comprehend changes in luminance for different materials and surface properties and predict the effect of various luminaire designs in real-world, light and surface interaction.

With the ability to see results clearly for an entire project, AGi32 becomes a mock-up substitute that can save time and money by creating a virtual model of a proposed design. It can reveal characteristics and effects that would be hard to detect in anything short of the completed installation.

http://www.agi32.com


Ecotect
http://usa.autodesk.com/ecotect-analysis/

“Autodesk® Ecotect® Analysis sustainable design analysis software is a comprehensive concept-to-detail sustainable building design tool. Ecotect Analysis offers a wide range of simulation and building  energy analysis functionality that can improve performance of existing buildings and new building designs.“ These simulations and analysis include energy performance of buildings, thermal simulations,  solar radiation, daylight levels and shadow diagrams.

http://usa.autodesk.com/ecotect-analysis/


Evalglare
http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de

Evalglare determines and evaluates glare sources within a 180° fish-eye-image, given in the RADIANCE image format (.pic or .hdr).

In the first step, the program uses a given threshold to determine all glare sources. Three different threshold methods are implemented. The recommended method is to define a task area by -t or -T option. In this (task) area the average luminance is calculated. Each pixel, exceeding this value multiplied by the -b factor [default=5] is treated as a potential glare source. The other two methods are described below [see -b].

In the second step the program tries to merge glare source pixels to one glare source, when they are placed nearby each other. This merging is performed in-between a search area, given by an opening angle (-r, default =0.2 in radiant).

If a check file is written (-c fname), the detected glare sources will be colored to different colors where the rest of the image is set to gray. The luminance values of all pixels are kept to the initial value. The color is chosen by chance, no significance is given by the color.

Luminance peaks can be extracted to separate glare sources by using the -y or -Y value option (default since version v0.9c). Default value (-y) is 50000 cd/m², can be changed by using -Y value.
A smoothing option (-s) counts initial non-glare source pixels to glare sources, when they are surrounded by a glare source.

The program calculates the daylight glare probability (DGP) as well as other glare indexes (dgi,ugr,vcp,cgi) to the standard output. The DGP describes the fraction of disturbed persons,caused by glare from daylight (range 0…1). Values lower than 0.2 are out of the range of the user acceptance tests, where the program is based on and should be interpreted carefully.

In the case of non-180° images, an external measured illuminance value can be provided by using the –i or –I option. The use of the –I option enables the filling up of images, which are horizontally cut.
If the option -d is used, all found glare sources and there position, size and luminance values are printed to the standard output, too. The last line gives following values:
1. dgp, 2. average luminance of image,3. vertical eye illuminance, 4. background luminance, 5. direct vertical eye illuminance, 6. dgi, 7. ugr, 8. vcp, 9. cgi, 10. average luminance of all glare sources, 11. sum of solid angles of all glare sources 12. Veiling luminance (disability glare) 13. x-direction of glare source 14. y-direction of glare source 15. z-direction of glare source.

The program is based on the studies from J. Christoffersen and J. Wienold (see “Evaluation methods and development of a new glare prediction model for daylight environments with the use of CCD cameras and RADIANCE“ , Energy and Buildings, 2006.

For more information and download:

http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/areas-of-business-and-market-areas/applied-optics-and-functional-surfaces/market-areas/lighting-technology/services/services/lighting-simulations


Lightsolve
http://lightsolve.epfl.ch

The general approach for Lightsolve is to inform well-balanced daylight design during early design stages through an interactive visualization and a pro-active, guided improvement of full- year time-varied daylighting performance. One of the underlying principles in terms of how daylighting performance is evaluated is to make it specific to the user’s own performance objectives and to his or her areas of interest, as well as to combine a synthetic perspective of full-year data with a visual impression of what the space looks like over time.

Lightsolve is an alpha software being developed by LIPID EPFL for academic and research purposes. The application bundle is provided for free, “as is” and without warranties to students, researchers and practitioners interested in testing the tool. It is intended primarily for academic use and to collect feedback as it has not yet been fully validated.

Lightsolve is available for Windows and MAC OS X on http://lightsolve.epfl.ch.


3DS Max Design
http://www.autodesk.com

3ds Max® Design software provides a comprehensive 3D modeling, animation, and rendering solution used by architects, designers, civil engineers, and visualization specialists. Validate and sell designs before they are built, and get rapid iteration of designs, accurate daylight analysis, and high-impact visuals and animations.

The software has been validated for the simulation and analysis of  diffuse light and daylight effects.

http://www.autodesk.com/products/autodesk-3ds-max-design/overview


Groundhog
http://groundhogproject.org/

Groundhog is a Free and Open Source SketchUp extension that allows quickly creating Radiance models and performing lighting analysis.

For more information and download:

http://groundhogproject.org/

 


THERMAL SIMULATION TOOLS INCLUDING DAYLIGHTING
VELUX Energy & Indoor Climate Visualizer
http://eic.velux.com

VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer is used to evaluate the performance of single-family houses with respect to energy, ventilation and indoor climate. It is intuitive to use and can be used by anyone with moderate to basic knowledge of building technology. It is based on a recognised and validated simulation engine to provide accurate and reliable results.

VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer focuses on windows and solar shading and their effects on the energy consumption for heating, ventilation, cooling and lighting. It has flexible control options for natural ventilation and solar shading.

Besides energy demands, other output includes ventilation rates for the building and each individual window as well as the air temperature in the building through the year. Based on the actual daylight availability in the house, the electricity consumption for lighting is calculated. The airflow through windows can be animated.

VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer works with specific orientation and location of the building and includes a library of locations from large parts of the world. The library of constructions ranges from poorly insulated and leaking buildings to well insulated and airtight buildings, so the tool can be used for new-built projects as well as renovation of existing houses – and based on predefined building geometries representing typical house types.

Simulation results are summarized in a printable report containing key performance figures and written guidelines. Hereby, it will be simple and fast to compare results between identical building geometries and different choices of windows, panes, solar shading, etc.

Professional version

VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer is available in a professional version. The Pro version allows completely free and flexible building geometry. Either by changing the dimensions of the generic building or by importing geometry from various formats of 3D models. Currently the following formats are supported: 3D Studio Max (3ds), AutoCAD 20XX (dwg and dxf), Google SketchUp (skp), OBJ (obj) and VELUX Daylight Visualizer exports (exp).

For more information please visit http://eic.velux.com.


IDA ICE
http://www.equa.se

IDA Indoor Climate and Energy is a new type of simulation tool that takes building performance to another level. It accurately models the building, its systems, and controllers – ensuring the lowest possible energy consumption and the best possible occupant comfort.

IDA Indoor Climate and Energy (IDA ICE) is an innovative and trusted whole-year detailed and dynamic multi-zone simulation application for study of thermal indoor climate as well as the energy consumption of the entire building. The physical models of IDA ICE reflect the latest research and best models available, and the computed results compare well with measured data.

While serving a global market, IDA ICE is adapted to local languages and requirements (climate data, standards, special systems, special reports, product and material data). IDA ICE licenses and services are provided by the EQUA Solutions companies, which are available on selected markets.

For more information please visit http://www.equa.se


VASARI
http://autodeskvasari.com/

Autodesk® Vasari is an easy-to-use, expressive design tool for creating building concepts. Vasari goes further, with integrated analysis for energy and carbon, providing design insight where the most important design decisions are made. And, when it’s time to move the design to production, simply bring your Vasari design data into the Autodesk® Revit® platform for BIM, ensuring clear execution of design intent.

Vasari is focused on conceptual building design using both geometric and parametric modeling. It supports performance-based design via integrated energy modeling and analysis features.

You can download the beta version 3 of Autodesk Vasari for free at the address below.

http://autodeskvasari.com/


DIAL+
http://www.estia.ch

DIAL+ is a continuation and an extension of the software DIAL-Europe. This new software suite is an unique tool aiming to optimize the global performance of bulding openings. DIAL+ is composed of 3 modules: Lighting, Cooling and Ventilation.

DIAL+ Cooling allows you to calculate :

The solar gains as a function of the glazings properties and the shading devices
The indoor temperature (dynamic calculation, hourly step)
The annual number of overheating hours
The cooling needs of the room
The heating needs of the room

DIAL+ Ventilation allows you to calculate the air flow crossing the windows as a function of :

The temperature difference between inside and outside
The windows dimensions
The respective position of the different openings
The openings type (slide hung, sliding, fanlight or swinging window)

http://www.estia.ch/index.php?id=248&L=2


IESVE
http://www.iesve.com

IES performance modelling addresses the zero-carbon challenges faced by today’s building designers and managers. Our software allows you to design and operate comfortable buildings that consume significantly less energy and incorporate low-carbon and renewable technologies.

Whether working on a new build or renovation project, our software allows designers to test different design options, identify best passive solutions, compare low-carbon technologies, and draw conclusions on energy use, CO2 emissions, occupant comfort, light levels, airflow, Part L, BREEAM, LEED, EPC ratings, and much more.

http://www.iesve.com/


DIVA for RHINO
http://diva4rhino.com

DIVA-for-Rhino is a highly optimized daylighting and energy modeling plug-in for the Rhinoceros – NURBS modeler. The plug-in was initially developed at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and is now distributed and developed by Solemma LLC.

DIVA-for-Rhino allows users to carry out a series of environmental performance evaluations of individual buildings and urban landscapes including Radiation Maps, Photorealistic Renderings, Climate-Based Daylighting Metrics, Annual and Individual Time Step Glare Analysis, LEED and CHPS Daylighting Compliance, and Single Thermal Zone Energy and Load Calculations.

For more information please visit http://diva4rhino.com/.

 


OPENSTUDIO
http://openstudio.nrel.gov

OpenStudio is a cross-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) collection of software tools to support whole building energy modeling using EnergyPlus and advanced daylight analysis using Radiance.  OpenStudio is an open source project to facilitate community development, extension, and private sector adoption. OpenStudio includes graphical interfaces along with a Software Development Kit (SDK).

For more information please visit http://openstudio.nrel.gov.