Simplicity Vs. Complexity – Modeling for Energy & Daylighting Analysis in Sefaira

The geometry of your building is the first piece of information required to process an accurate energy and daylight simulation. As such, it is very important that the geometry you are feeding into Sefaira is set up properly for analysis.

When it comes to building performance simulation, there is a common misconception that the more detailed the building, the more accurate the results. Not necessarily true. Here's a short Sefaira article and a not-so-short USGBC article that explains why.

From an architectural perspective, models are typically outfitted with every detail of the building’s design with the goal of producing realistic orthographic and renderings. There are some details in your building that will have little or no impact on the energy performance, and in fact, will increase run times and can be significant sources of error. It is best, therefore, to leave them out.

Keep it simple... An energy and daylight model only needs a few pieces of key geometry to represent the building's performance. Forget furniture, people, lights, etc., we can (and will) simulate all other information in the building without having to model its geometry.

From the standpoint of getting valuable results quickly that guide your early design decisions, there is really no need to spend hours on end adding detail to your energy model. Once the exterior shell, internal surfaces, and shading elements are properly tagged, the model is ready to be analyzed. 

TIP: If you want to watch videos on how to prepare your model in SketchUp or Revit, visit these articles:

If you have any comments or questions, please check out the SketchUp + Sefaira Forum or contact

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  • Avatar
    Sultan Cetin

    Images and the video don't appear.

  • Avatar
    Alyson Hallander

    Hi Sultan,
    Thank you for your comment. The images do appear successfully for me. Are you still running into the issue?

  • Avatar
    Osama Khayata

    Two pictures don't appear for me, please check the uploaded screenshot:

    Edited by Osama Khayata