Adequacy of current design tools and methods for solar architecture – results of IEA-SHC Task 41’s international survey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Task 41: Solar Energy and Architecture gathers
researchers, academics and practicing architects from 14 countries in a project pursuing the objectives to
identify and address obstacles that architects are facing in solar design. Part of this three-year project is the
development of an international survey -intended for practicing architects- addressing a broad range of issues
from passive and active solar design to the availability and adequacy of existing digital tools. This paper
presents parts of the results of this international survey related to Task 41 Subtask B: Tools and methods for
solar design. The results show that there is still a need to improve tools and methods for architects such as
increased support needed for decision-making and for solar design in CAAD tools. The results also state that
architects’ skills with regards to solar design in tools are ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Furthermore, results indicate that
decision-making for the integration of solar technologies in the conceptual phase is mainly handled by the
architects alone. Finally, the results show that tools need to be simpler, that the interoperability between
software needs to be improved, that tools should provide key data about solar energy aspects as well as explicit
feedback to the architect, and that tools need a better visualisation especially for active solar energy systems.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Building Technologies


  • visualization, simulation, solar architecture, early design phase, survey, CAAD, digital tools, design methods
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication[Host publication title missing]
EditorsMagali Bodart, Arnaud Evrard
PublisherPresses universitaires de Louvain
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2011
EventPLEA 2011 - Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium


ConferencePLEA 2011
Period2011/07/13 → …