Knowledge Base

Modelur tools for faster and efficient design workflow

Randomize Building Heights

Using this functionality you can randomize selected Buildings number of storeys. Once Buildings are selected, click on this button and you will be presented with two options. If you select Absolute Number of Storeys all buildings will be randomized to number of storeys between min and max value. If you choose Relative Number of Storeys, selected Building’s storeys will be randomized based on their current Number of Storeys in the range between min and max values specified.

This option helps create dynamic urban solutions, avoiding too uniform look of the urban area.

Place Buildings on Selected Terrain

Using this will “drop” all Modelur Buildings to the terrain of your choice. This is particularly useful when working on sloped terrains and you need the buildings to sit nicely on it. In order to use this functionality, just select the
terrain in question and click this button.

Calculate Form Factor

Form Factor calculation is used to estimate the potential of Building’s energy efficiency. The lower the Form Factor, the more compact a Building is. And the more compact a Building is, the lower are the energy losses for a given floor space.

Modelur calculates the Form Factor in two ways that are most commonly used nowadays:

  1. Heat Loss Form Factor (FF) is the ratio between the Building’s envelope area (EA) and it’s Net Floor Area (NFA). Form Factor is calculated as FF = EA / NFA.Source: NHBC: Foundation Shape and FormThe Heat Loss Form Factor is a number generally between 0.5 and 5, with a lower number indicating a more compact building. Passivhaus buildings aim to achieve 3 or less (source).
  2. Surface to Volume Ratio (SVR) is the ratio between the Building’s envelope area (EA) and it’s volume (V). Surface to Volume Ratio is calculated as SVR = EA / V. Note: The numeric value of Surface to Volume Ratio is dependent on the units (metric or imperial) that are chosen.Source: Researchgate: The Impact of the Shape Factor on Final Energy Demand in Residential Buildings in Nordic Climates.The Surface to Volume Ratio for a typical single family house is 0.8 – 1.0 1/m. According to some sources, the recommended Surface to Volume Ratio for a passive house is ≤ 0.8 1/m; according to another source 0.5 1/m (source).
  3. Building’s envelope area is the sum of areas of external faces of the Building (e.g. walls, roofs, terraces). Form Factor Calculation is also available through Context menu. You can call Form Factor Calculation also via Context menu. To do so, just right-click on the Building and select Modelur → Calculate Form Factor.

Optimize Buildings for Google Earth

Once your urban design proposal is finished, you might want to export it to geolocated KMZ file, which can be opened by many programs, including Google Earth. Using this feature Modelur will automatically optimize all Modelur Buildings by removing all unnecessary faces. If you want, you can also tell it to export floor Edges, so that the Building’s storeys are visible inside Google Earth.

Massing Generator

This entry will open Massing Generator window that enables you to quickly populate existing City blocks.