What is LIDAR Shading?
LIDAR shading allows you to expedite the design process by automatically accounting for shading from trees or neighboring structures in the irradiance map and performance simulation. An example of LIDAR shading being used is below. Notice the difference between the Irradiance values in the top right corner.
Aurora Design with LIDAR Shading
Aurora Design without LIDAR Shading (trees not being taken into account)
Notice the model without LIDAR shading enabled has higher irradiance potential as a result of not taking into account the trees and obstructions that are indeed present.
How to use LIDAR Shading
To successfully use LIDAR shading, follow these steps after drawing the roof:
- Make sure that the feature is enabled on your design.
- Make sure that LIDAR data is available for this project.
- Make sure the LIDAR looks right. If it’s poor quality (doesn’t look correct or up to date with what you know of the site), you’ll have to disable the feature and manually place trees and neighboring structures.
- Make sure the LIDAR is aligned with your buildings (length and width) and the ground (height). If it’s not aligned, you can adjust the LIDAR offsets (x, y, and z) in the LIDAR menu. For more information on how to use LIDAR, check out this article.
- Next, click on the “Fit Buildings to LIDAR” button.
- Add any roof obstructions. Note: any obstructions (or trees/structures) that you add on your own will supplement the LIDAR shading.
- Lastly, click to run the irradiance map or performance simulation.
How to disable LIDAR Shading
In certain situations, you may want to disable the LIDAR Shading feature. For example, your customer has had shade-producing trees on the property removed, but the LIDAR data was collected before the tree removal. Once disabled, you can manually add in trees as you typically would and Aurora will calculate shadows only based upon the trees you added to your design.
To disable LIDAR Shading follow these steps:
- Click on the gear icon below your name in the upper right-hand corner.
- Click on the word 'Simulation'.
- Toggle the 'LIDAR Shading' toggle to the off (left) position.
Can I change whether the LIDAR Shading feature is set to off by default? Yes, the default setting for this feature can be turned off by clicking on your name in the upper right-hand corner > Settings > Performance Simulations and toggling the setting to the off position.
Please note that this will only affect designs that are created moving forward and will not affect designs that have already been created.
Will I still need to add in obstructions?
Yes, LIDAR shading excludes any obstructions on the surface of the roof.