Bring Back the Planar Solar Radiation in Vasari!

By my title I don’t mean that Autodesk Labs should bring back the entire Ecotect Planar Solar Radiation analysis (which duplicates the functionality offered by the current-release solar radiation tool used with ). In case you are new to Vasari, the planar solar radiation was a tool that looked like this back in the day (Vasari 1.1):

The part from the tool that is really valuable, and that is now lost, is showcased in the video around 0:47. This was a brilliant visualization tool that helped you select the Date/Time Range and is very similar looking to the one available for the wind rose dialog.

So basically instead of this in 1.1:


in Vasari 2.5 we now have this:


If I am trying to find and explore different time/date ranges for my solar radiation study, I prefer the old dialog available in Vasari 1.1. Similarly, if I am trying to understand the weather of an unfamiliar place where I am designing, I would like to know if they have cloudy periods throughout the year. How do you do that in Vasari 2.5? How do you know if winters are sunny in a particular location? Overall, what is the use of having access to high quality data from the Climate Server if it is not used beyond carrying out the simulation? What do you think? Perhaps there are reasonable answers to these questions and I’d love to hear them. But what I would really like, is if we at least had the option to chose between the two dialogs.

In fact, one of the greatest weaknesses I find in Project Vasari is the lack of pre-design tools to understand a region’s climate, a necessary pre-requisite to identifying appropriate green building strategies and opportunities.

So I have made this plea to the Vasari team before, with little success. I hope that this post communicates the pre-design / climate understanding value of this neglected date/time range visualization tool. I hope they bring it back someday…

Edwin Guerra


Edwin is a BIM Consultant focusing on Building Performance and Structural Design with Summit Technologies, a leading provider of BIM consulting services based in Vancouver, BC. Edwin’s extensive knowledge of Revit, Dynamo, Navisworks, Bluebeam, Ecotect, Green Building Studio and Autodesk Vasari, is complemented by a passion for Green Building Design.

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