No-sky Line Extension


The No-sky Line (NSL) divides areas of the working plane which can receive direct light from the sky, from those which cannot.

DL-Light extension No-sky Line

The No-sky Line indicator is mostly used in UK policies, both for new constructions assesment and to work out whether a proposed new building will affect the 'Rights of Light' of an existing building:

If, following construction of a new development, the No-Sky line moves so that the area of the existing room which does receive direct skylight is reduced to less than 0.8 times its former value, then this will be noticeable to the occupants, and more of the room will appear poorly lit.

Measurements must be made on a working plane located 0.85m above the floor. The distance of 0.85m is the default setting of the virtual surfaces for this extension (value configurable in the preferences). For the use of virtual surfaces, see page: Create virtual surfaces.

Calculation method

The traditional method of evaluating the no-sky line uses "Waldram diagrams". This extension uses a different method to determine the areas that have a direct visibility of the sky: raytracing.

A grid of sensors is arranged on the working plane. Raycasting determines if a sensor "sees" the sky. By default, the extension uses a grid of 25 sensors / m2, a precision sufficient in most situations. The calculation uses an uniform sky model.

The two rays represented are at the limit of the sky visibility from the working plane:

DL-Light extension sketchup No-sky line principle tab

Consequently, this extension does not claim to replace the method of Waldram if use of that method is required. The following elements do not constitute a comparison with Waldram's method but are intended to present the advantages and disadvantages of the raytracing method.

Known problems of the method:

For early project design phases, the raytracing method has some advantages:

How to use No-sky Line Extension

Important: layers corresponding to glazing must be hidden.

  1. Open SketchUp model. Follow recommendations to prepare your model for DL-Light calculations.

  2. Open NSL dialog from toolbar nsl_icon_24 or menu Extensions -> De Luminae -> No-sky Line -> No-sky Line calculation and enter the parameters of the calculation.

    DL-Light extension sketchup No-sky Line General tab

    Fields description:

  3. The palette of color is fixed with 2 values: 'sky' and 'no sky'. The default colors can be changed.

    DL-Light extension sketchup No-sky Line Panel tab
  4. After entering the parameters, select surfaces and press Render or run_selected button.

    DL-Light extension sketchup No-sky Line selection

    The model shown contains openings on 3 sides and complex obstructions:

    DL-Light extension sketchup No-sky Line result 1

    Calculation time depends on number of selected surfaces and model complexity.

  5. When results are imported, selected surfaces will have appropriate false colors and Palette and Report dialogs will be opened.

    DL-Light extension sketchup No-sky Line result 1
    DL-Light extension sketchup No-sky Line result 2
  6. Results analysis.

  7. For further calculations in the same model:

    Since version 8.0, DL-Light uses a calculation cache algorithm. It automatically detects if a surface requires recalculation or if a previous result can be reused. By default, the cache keeps the information of the last 10 calculations (value configurable in the preferences).

  8. Archiving results:

    DL-Light allows to archive all the results of a calculation: reports, textures and calculation steps (exported Radiance model ...). This archive can be reloaded on the model, subject to using exactly the same model as during the calculation.

    See the page Archiving results for more informations about this feature.

    See the page Comparison of results for more informations about comparison of several archives.

  9. Snapshots:

    Current SketchUp model view with imported results can be exported with palette snapshot_with_palette_icon or without palette snapshot_icon to png format. Open the folder of images with open_snapshot_folder_icon.
    This option is not supported in trial version of the extension (see licence information).

    DL-Light extension sketchup No-sky Line snapshot image