It may be possible to utilize a large amount of "free' energy, supplied by the Sun, which could power a number of devices. Controlled properly, energy from the Sun may reduce heating loads, decrease artificial lighting requirements and minimize cooling energy. However, the Sun also has the potential to hinder the energy performance of a building. Losses due to poor ventiation, inefficient materials and poor design may waste a large portion of energy. The data discussed below will aid in the decision making process regarding building retrofits and redesign.

General Data[edit | edit source]

General Information

  • Shading devices (existence, internal, external, shading coefficient)
    • Devices include:
    • louvers
    • reflective materials
    • diffusing materials
    • shades and drapes
    • awnings
    • blinds
    • overhangs/balconies
  • Building orientation (compass directions, Azimuth) <-
  • Absorption minimizing paints/coatings (condition, existence, age, emissivity)
  • Sheathing (existence, ventilation)
  • Attic ventilation (louvers, fans, inlet and outlet vents)
  • Vegetation shading


  • Reflective and absorptive properties
  • Opening mechanism (sealing properties)
  • Optical properties
  • Film treatments (solar control films)
  • cumulative area


  • Building usage (office, sales, etc.)
  • Skylights (existence, location relative to Sun, number, material, size to ceiling height ratio, slope of installation, configuration, sealing/water leakage prevention)
  • Illuminated surface area
  • Skylight frame gutters (existence)
  • Diffuser (existence, milky/prismatic)
  • Light pipes (existence, orientation, length-to-width ratio)
  • Sun tracker (existence, control)

Passive Solar Heating

  • Room blinds (use, operation)
  • Solar absorbers and reflectors (existence, condition)
  • BTU/square metre/day heat loss (from windows)
  • Glazed enclosures (existence, venting, cooling, insulation, use)

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