I have to say, the more I use Ecotect Analysis, the more amazed I am with it. The technical analysis that this software is doing behind the scenes is phenomenal, but the way that it visualizes this data into an understandable and graphically interesting way to get the point across to non building science engineers is a thing of beauty! While the interface is quite different from other Autodesk native products, I find that getting used to the difference in navigation and such was pretty simple.
That being said, I have run into a few things that seem not to function quite the way you would expect them to. The Shading Device Wizard is one of these items. To begin with, it is a wonderful to help create a shade structure that is specifically designed to shade a window (or anything, really) during a specific time of the day. It’s fast and easy to use. Here’s one thing you should be aware of though:
The “What type of shade do you want” question in the wizard seems to be completely ineffectual. Instead, make sure to set the Project Details ‘Shading Device Type’ option in Step 5 of the wizard and you’ll be good to go.
Here are some pics to illustrate the point:
Here you see that we’ve selected option 4, ‘Surrounding Shade with Verticals’ as our shading device method. Hit the ‘Next’ button, though, and you’ll see that this choice doesn’t stick.
Yup. We selected option 4, but option 3 gets used, instead. No worries, just make sure to always adjust your choice here by using the drop down.
Here’s what we get: a perfectly optimized shade with vertical sides.
A thing of beauty in only a few seconds. Have fun, everyone!