Modeling an Atrium in Sefaira

Hi - I’m working on a simple (real-world) project to teach our students about the advantages of passive solar design. We’re trying to show the impacts of an atrium space. Per this article, it sounds like this isn’t really an option to accurately portray an atrium space in a design.

The article was written in 2017, however, so I just wanted to check to see if this has been addressed in Sefaira in more recent versions? I have asked this question to Sketchup support, but they said to ask it here instead. A search for ‘sefaira atrium’ on the forum here only showed one previous conversation, which didn’t seem to be related.


Hi Tim,
Thanks for your question. The limitation is fundamentally lies with EnergyPlus, at least with the version we are still using although I don’t think it’s been addressed yet in the latest version either.
Sefaira uses EnergyPlus to do all of our energy / comfort calculations. Setting an EnergyPlus model up to do buoyancy ventilation flow is really complicated and not practical for us to do automatically unfortunately.
You can do it with bulk air flow modeling software and I actually wrote a paper about how to do it years ago.
Of course you probably want to be thinking about where the air from the top of the atrium goes and how you use it.
But no, I’m afraid you can’t simulate this with Sefaira. Sorry!