Solar Tool

Solar Tool logo.

Makes the process of accurately sizing and positioning overhangs, shading devices and louvers easy. This software is a must for architects, planners and building services engineers, anyone who needs to quickly determine the extent of solar penetration into buildings, overshadowing or the most appropriate means of shading a window.

The program uses a flexible, parametric model on which can be placed any number of horizontal, vertical and detached shades. You can select any date, time or location, seeing immediately the resulting shadows whilst interactively manipulating the geometry to show immediately the effects. You can also choose to automatically optimise the size and shape of any shading device over any range of dates and times you require. Screen Shots


overhang sizing and position, shading devices, louvers,



Expertise Required

Minimum level of computer literacy required.


Over 200 worldwide


Architects, engineers & building designers.


Parametric model of a single window and wall. Allows any number of shading devices or overshadowing objects.


The displays feature both shading and solar penetration as well as sun-path diagrams, sun angles, shade dimensions, solar tables, sun-path diagrams with percentage shaded option, stereographic, orthographic and tabulated data.

Computer Platform

Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 & XP (Can also run on Virtual PC for the Mac)

Programming Language



The Solar Tool is quick little program for interactively experimenting with shading devices and solar angle relationships in a simple model, in order to quickly attain a conceptual understanding of sun angle relationships without having to take time set up a more specific model.


The OpenGL 3D graphics may not work on some older machines. Help file is limited at this stage. Tutorials are on their way.



C/O Centre for Research in the Built Environment


Cardif University
Bute Building, King Edward VII Ave
Cardif, Wales CF10 3NB
United Kingdom


+44 (29) 2087 5977


+44 (29) 2087 4623




A shareware version of The Solar Tool can be downloaded from the Square One web site. Go to SOFTWARE > STORE > Price List in the main menu of the Square One web site for the latest price/licensing information. Prices start from US$40 for a student licence.