One of my favorite activities is taking existing architectural drawings for projects under development and rendering solar panels on the plans. These renderings can be simple two dimensional layouts showing available space for solar panels, or rich three dimensional drawings and visualizations. Either way, visualizing solar panels and sizing systems is an important part of any new construction solar project.
I am usually using aerial imagery from existing buildings sourced from free resources like mapping websites or property appraisers to complete solar panel layouts on roofs. The measurements are usually very close – close enough to size a system very accurately about 90% of the time. The nice thing about taking an architectural drawing or construction document is that I can rely on the measurements and size systems perfectly. After accounting for typical setback for things like ridge and hip caps and taking aesthetic issues into account, I can come up with a realistic rendering of what we can fir and what the owner would likely want to install.
This week I was handed plans for multiple model homes that are being built in a new community by a single builder. These homes will have various orientations on lots, so I’m tasked with sizing solar panel systems based on available suitable roof space for each likely situation. That can be quite the task given the number of possibilities, but having the architectural drawings for each model reduces the burden. I can prepare a 3D computer model of each home, and then orient it in every likely way based on the layout of the community.
While this latest task is simply a sizing exercise to provide budgetary pricing for solar panel builder options, the computer models can later be used for architectural renderings to show home buyers what they can expect when they exercise the option to have solar panels installed at their new home. This is a powerful and valuable tool for both the home builder and the home buyer.
For my model home, luckily it was just 2 different models each with a few variants for a total of 7 home model options, so I was able to show solar panels on the left and right elevations of each model variant quite easily. In all cases, they can fit eight solar pool heating panels comfortably on the roofs.
If you are seeking to have solar panels shown on an architectural drawing, we can help! Contact us today!