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Geographical Distribution of Carbon Emissions
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Solar Site Analysis
Radiation Impact on Surfaces
Fenestration and Shading
Daylight Analysis
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The Carbon Neutral Design Project:
Carbon Neutral Teaching: Curriculum Materials Development
Pablo La Roche
California Polytechnic State University

Fall 2007, 2008 graduate/undergraduate elective ‘Topics Studio’

Radiation Impact on Surfaces

Radiation Impact on Surfaces

Design Performance Objective

Solar Radiation Through a Shade System in an Exterior Space


Students: Jon Gayomali, Garret Van Leeuwen, Brandon Gulloti


Fall 2007, 2008 graduate/undergraduate elective ‘Topics Studio’

Radiation Impact on Surfaces

Incident solar radiation can have a significant impact in buildings by affecting the surface temperature of opaque materials and increasing heat transfer by conduction or by radiation through windows.

Building surfaces receive varying amounts of solar radiation depending on the climate and latitude of the site and the orientation and tilt of the surface. This incident radiation affects the shading requirements and potential uses of the surface. Surfaces which receive more solar radiation might require additional shading during the summer, or would be suitable for placement of a solar hot water collector, or photovoltaic systems, or to place a window to provide solar gains to the interior of the building.

The objective of this exercise is to quantify and compare incident solar radiation on exterior building surfaces. Students will use this information to make more informed design decisions.

Investigative Strategy

1.1. Using Ecotect select the option for solar access analysis under calculate and analyze the irradiation over the exterior surfaces of the building.

1.2. Calculate radiation on building and site surfaces to determine solar impact and shading requirements. The 3d models describe the incident radiation on external surfaces. Fig 1 is the analysis of of a shading system for an exterior space for underground dwellings, which must block direct solar radiation in the summer and allow it in the winter. Fig 2 describes the effects of solar radiation on building massing in a city block. The colors define different amounts of solar radiation. This analysis can be used to refine the design of the massing, exterior colors, fenestration and shading systems.

Evaluation Process
Numerical analysis of the information. Class discussions and presentations of the information.
Information about the Project and Studio

• course outline

• project outline

Evaluative Criteria
Incident solar radiation must usually be minimized during the cooling season and maximized during the heating season. Comparison of solar radiation values permit the student to continue envelope design with a better undestanding of the effects of the sun on the building. This information is not used directly in the calculations of heat gain and losses, because energy modeling software is used for this. However it serves as a starting point for design ideas that respond to more than solely solar geometry, they also respond to the actual amounts of incident solar radiation.
Cautions/Possible Confusions
Student must understand the effect of the seasons. Simulations should be performed for the whole year, and for the cooling and heating seasons. Mid seasons and extreme months could also be considered. The student must understand what he is looking for in each season and for each building surface.
Range of Applicability in terms of CLIMATE
This type of exercise is valuable for all climate zones but should be noted to produce different results for various locations.
Range of Applicability in terms of TYPE
This can be used for any building type.
Reference Material
Duration of Exercise
One studio session to explain and do the exercise and another session to analyze the results.
Degree of Difficulty / Previous Knowledge Required

Radiation studies for a residential block

Solar radiation in exterior mass in Palm Springs
Jonathan Reimann, Nick Pierotti, Greg Ladjimi

Total Radiation

Radiation Impact Analysis
Student: Ryan Cook




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