twitter youtube facebook linkedin email
Connect with:


Fun with Dynamo for BPA – Automatic shading design

August 12, 2013

Who is this for:  Architects and Revit tinkerers

Author:  David Scheer – Product Owner, Architect - BPA, Autodesk, Inc.

Instructions:   This is a proof of concept piece looking at automating design in relation to environmental variables affecting building energy use.  Revit and Vasari users can try out the attached family model and Dynamo 'program' on their own models.  Add the family to your model, open the Dynamo plugin and the DYN file, choose the family from the dropdown in the top left node of the Dynamo workspace, and start playing.  Be sure to turn on Sun in Revit and select it from the SunPath Direction node in Dynamo as well.

Files can be downloaded
Download Parametric Window v3.


Dynamo is a visual programming environment for Building Information Modeling with Revit and Vasari.  One of the most exciting things about Dynamo is its ability to set up feedback-and-response scenarios between building components.  Responding to environmental conditions is also one of the key characteristics of building performance analysis and low energy design.


Shading Design

In this example, I set up a simple parametric window family with two shading devices and type parameters for the main window form variables.  I wired this up with Dynamo so that the shade depth and number of shades are automatically generated to completely shade the window vertically depending on two variables:  the Window Height and the Solar Postion.


This is based on the value of the profile angle, which most architects learned about in school, but haven't used much since.  It's simply the angle of the sun in relation to the profile of the window plane.  Sun may sneak in the sides, if the shades are not wide enough, but if you look carefully, you can see that the edge of the shadow of the shading devices falls right on the bottom of the window.  The device is just long enough but not too long.


Design Assistance

The idea is that this tool could be used to determine shading device depth for the critical time periods of the year.  If the hot periods of the year in your climate are May to September, choose the lowest solar angle and your shading device will follow suit.

What do you think?

Tell us what you do with Dynamo.  What other analysis features would you like to see in Dynamo?