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Multibim SUN app, a convenient, intuitive tool for sunshine analysis

11 of February '22

Multibim SUN is a specialized application that extends Archicad's capabilities
From the series "Design, modeling, rendering tools - Overview 22".

Among the numerous parameters that the design team must take into account is the insolation of the premises. Its appropriate level is not only extremely important from the point of view of future users, but is also a legal requirement. Multibim SUN is a tool that supports architects in making accurate design decisions, allowing them to analyze the insolation parameter in an efficient way. It can be used for both designed buildings and those in the environment.

Hotel InteContinental w Warszawie - przykład formy architektonicznej ukształtowanej przez wymagania techniczne dotyczące zacieniania.

InteContinental Hotel in Warsaw - an example of architectural form shaped by technical requirements for shading.

© Google Maps

Although it's hard to believe, because the last decades have seen a real breakthrough in design methods, and 3D modeling is slowly becoming the norm, many insolation analyses are still based on, remembering drawing boards, the so-called Twardowski Sun Line. A method that is not only outdated, archaic even, but also labor- and time-consuming.
Surprisingly, even modern design tools like Archicad are not fully helpful here. Although they have relevant modules that model the sun's action and take full account of its position in the sky for a given location and date, most of the work still has to be done by the designer. The implemented function admittedly allows the creation of appropriate animations, but their subsequent analysis and interpretation still has to be done by a human. This is still a time-consuming activity and in no way subject to automation. It also happens that such analysis is subject to error.
Meanwhile, Multibim SUN is a specialized application that extends Archicad's capabilities. After installation, the program fully integrates with Archicad's environment and, based on the native sun model, automatically performs precise insolation analysis.

Ustawienia słońca w Archicadzie mogą być definiowane parametrycznie, bądź automatycznie dla określonej daty i czasu w lokalizacji projektu.

Sun settings in Archicad can be defined parametrically, or automatically for a specific date and time in the project location.


Multibim SUN operation

The module checks the insolation in the windows indicated by the user on the days of the spring and autumn equinoxes (the dates can be precisely specified) and generates a report based on the results. Its presentation is possible both in numerical form (with the accuracy of one minute) and graphically, on projections and in a 3D window. The set of attributes supplied with the application allows obtaining clear visualizations of insolation based on a colorful, intuitive scale.
The insolation measurement itself in Multibim SUN can be based on one of the methods selected by the user. The first is a basic measurement of insolation based on the window's center point. The second, more accurate method, is a matrix measurement that takes into account the extreme points of the glazing. With the second method, the user can precisely determine the width of the window frames, making the results very accurate.
Already this set of functions greatly facilitates and automates the analysis, especially since they are done virtually automatically, thus allowing to make the design process even more efficient. But that's not all that Multibim SUN offers.

Przykładowy arkusz dokumentacji zawierający zestawienie, widok perspektywiczny pokolorowany według czasu nasłonecznienia poszczególnych okien oraz legendę.

An example of a documentation sheet containing an overview, a perspective view colored according to the sunshine time of each window, and a legend.


Additional object properties

Another important functionality of Multibim SUN is the automatic expansion of the set of properties describing a window as an object. The program spontaneously adds sunshine time properties and then assigns them numerical values in minutes. This is the time derived from digital calculations and represents the length of solar exposure of a given window on the days of the equinoxes. These values can later be used for other purposes and analysis.

Analysis of the environment

Of course, the analysis can be done not only on the model of the designed building, but also on buildings from the immediate surroundings. This makes it possible to efficiently and correctly predict how the investment will affect the insolation of the already existing urban fabric. In times of increasingly dense development, this is of colossal importance. After all, a newly created investment must not have a negative impact on the fulfillment of technical conditions by neighboring buildings. This is a clear legal requirement and must be taken into account during the investment process.

Ustawienia lokalizacji Archicada pozwalają określić precyzyjne dane długości i szerokości geograficznej projektu, jak również kierunek północny, dzięki czemu uzyskujemy precyzyjną trasę wędrówki słońca po nieboskłonie.

Archicad's location settings allow you to specify precise longitude and latitude data for your project, as well as the north direction, so you get a precise route of the sun's journey across the sky.


Multibim Sun - summary

Multibim SUN application is a convenient, intuitive tool for sunshine analysis. Its functionalities are perfectly in line with the current legal requirements, and at the same time allow us to automate and speed up this stage of project development. Multibim SUN helps us architects shoulder the responsible task of designing buildings that meet the legal requirements for insolation.

For more information, visit the company's Multibim page on the PdA portal.

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