Solar Reflectivity Studies

Traditional building facade design takes into account sunlight/natural daylight that passes through transparent areas of the facade. The impact of sunlight reflected from building surfaces, and on surrounding buildings and landscapes, has recently been given equal consideration in facade design.

CDC performs detailed engineering analysis via Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to address the angle and intensity of reflected sunlight from a building's facade.

  • CDC applies CFD simulations to determine whether reflected glare will present problems for motorists, pedestrians and adjacent buildings.
  • Simulation extends through a solar year, identifying potential number of days, hours, and even minutes within an identified day that glare could present comfort issues.
  • CFD simulations also identify the path of solar reflections, shadowing and glare intensity.
  • Using this information, CDC applies its design expertise to help our Clients develop glare mitigation strategies that are sensitive to overall design goals and reduce negative impacts on adjacent buildings, motorists and pedestrians.
  • A study can be executed on a single building in isolation, or may target building/s including the surrounding neighborhood.


Until now, knowing exactly how the sun will reflect off a building has been, at best, gray.

• With CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations, CDC can determine whether or not, the reflected glare is going to be a problem for motorists, pedestrians, and adjacent buildings.

• The simulation is prepared for the whole year in order to identify potential days, hours, and even minutes in any given day.

• With this information, CDC can help designers in finding alternates and solutions to control any glare problem.

• From this study, we can also obtain additional information such as: path of the solar reflections, glare intensity, shadowing and solar data.

• The study can be executed on isolated buildings or target buildings including its surroundings.

CDC can now predict, quantify and assist in the design of how the building will react to the sun. CDC can model how the sun reflects off any building, built anywhere, and show the effects and intensity on the surrounding areas.

CDC can quantify solar reflectivity in airspace in order to determine if light reflected from structures at/or nearby airports is going to cause a problem for air traffic.  This analysis is done in compliance with requirements by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

CDC can obtain temperature increase/variations caused by light reflected from buildings.