Solar control: a general method for modelling of solar gains through complex facades in building simulation

Tilmann Kuhn, Sebastian Herkel, Francesco Frontini, Paul Strachan, Georgios Kokogiannakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)
292 Downloads (Pure)


This paper describes a new general method for building simulation programs which is intended to be used for the modelling of complex facades. The term ’complex facades’ is used to designate facades with venetian blinds, prismatic layers, light re-directing surfaces etc. In all these cases, the facade properties have a complex angular dependence. In addition to this, such facades very often have non-airtight layers and/or imperfect components (e.g. non-ideal sharp edges, non-flat surfaces, ...). Therefore building planners often had to neglect some of the innovative features and to use ´work-arounds´ in order to approximate the properties of complex facades in building simulation programs. A well-defined methodology for these cases was missing. This paper presents such a general methodology. The main advantage of the new method is that it only uses measureable quantities of the transparent or translucent part of the facade as a whole. This is the main difference in comparison with state of the art modelling based on the characteristics of the individual subcomponents,
which is often impossible due to non-existing heat- and/or light-transfer models
within the complex facade. It is shown that the new method can significantly increase the accuracy of heating/cooling loads and room temperatures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • solar control
  • sun shading system
  • venetian blind
  • building simulation
  • solar gain
  • daylighting system
  • thermal comfort
  • cooling load

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Solar control: a general method for modelling of solar gains through complex facades in building simulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this