What is the impact of contextual overshadowing on vegetation potential at the ground plane and roof garden?



Submitted by:  Kristy Kwong

Firm Name:

What kind of graphic is this? 2d False Color


What are the primary inputs of the analysis that the graphic describes?  

Surrounding buildings, reflectance properties

List the primary outputs/metrics that the graphic describes?  

Monthly average daily photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) in mole/m2

What is this graphic showing? 

The graphic shows plan views of the average daily PAR at the ground level and podium for a typical day in each month. The results account for orientation, the building itself, and surrounding context.

How did you make the graphic? 

The analysis planes and geometry of the building and its surrounding context was created in Rhino. A Grasshopper script was used to parse the climate data to identify a day for each month with an average amount of solar radiation. The script then ran a daylight simulation and calculated the PAR on the ground plane and roof garden. The result meshes were organized and combined with a floor plan outline using InDesign.

What tools did you use to create the graphic?

What specific investigation questions led to the production of this graphic?

The designer and landscape architects were interested in better understanding the amount of sunlight the exterior space would receive, and the potential for vegetation and landscaping. They wanted to understand what type of plants they could have, and where to plant them.

How does this graphic fit into the larger design investigations and what did you learn from producing the graphic?

The script produced PAR results from massing volumes of the proposed building and context. The results for each month can easily be previewed in Rhino to compare the sunlight availability in different seasons, which can be used by the landscape designers to determine an appropriate plant selection.

What was successful and/or unique about the graphic in how it communicates information?

The graphic gives a clear indication of the areas with good amounts of sunlight for plants to thrive and breaks it out by month instead of an annual average.

What would you have done differently with the graphic if you had more time/fee?

If we could get information on the sunlight requirements for vegetation that the designers were interested, we can refine the results to show which plants would work and where they should be located.