With the construction industry moving rapidly toward building information modeling (BIM), pursuit of sustainability in buildings will require the use of renewable energy analysis tools in the early stages of building design, as well as establishment of BIM-compliant practices. Planning for sunlight is essential to obtain sustainable benefits from the sun in and around buildings, which process requires understanding and making allowances in building attributes that affect how sunlight can be used. This chapter presents a model for simulation of sunlight’s effect on building design under BIM technology while calculating the potential energy capacity of roof- and façade-mounted photovoltaic solar panels. For this purpose, it is suggested in the study to use statistical construction data as well as 3D digital models obtained from BIM software (Revit and THSWARE) to measure the useful sunlight duration and derivable energy of representative sample of buildings. By measuring the solar energy absorbed by the building facades, the electricity converted from solar energy and collateral savings can be calculated. Taking the cost of solar panels and feasibility of the project into consideration, this study shows using solar panels of a certain quality contributes greatly to social, economic, and environmental benefits.
Part of the book: Emerging Solar Energy Materials