This tutorial explains how to assign materials and adjust colours of objects in an Ecotect model.
You will need about 5 minutes to complete this tutorial.
Training and Accreditation
Successfully completing this tutorial fulfills one of the practical skills required for completing Level 2 of the Daylighting training module.
To complete this tutorial, open the SimpleThermalModel.eco file located in the Examples folder of your Ecotect installation.
When you create a new object or zone in Ecotect, objects are assigned a default material based on their element type (eg. walls are assigned the BrickTimberFrame material by default). You can change this material assignment to more accurately reflect the construction materials to be used in your project.
- Select any wall plane, and then go to the Selection Information control panel. Under the first section of this panel, you will see that this object has two material properties - a Primary and an 'Alternate material. Select the Pri Material, currently assigned as BrickTimberFrame, and then click the button. In the context menu that appears, select Select Material...
For the selected wall, click on the Select Material menu item under Primary Material.
Select the required material and then click Ok. If you can't find something suitable, try looking under different element types. Otherwise, you may need to create your own materials.The new material assignment is displayed under the Selection Information panel.
Adjusting colour and other material attributes
Once you have selected a material, you can adjust its properties such as colour, transparency and U-Value to suit your specific requirements. These properties can have a significant impact on the way an object performs in a thermal or daylighting analysis, and naturally need to be set to realistic values in order to generate accurate analysis results.
- Let's say you wanted to change some of the properties associated with the BrickTimberFrame material. To do this, go to the Model»Material Library... menu item. This opens the Material Library dialogue box. Make sure you are on the Model - this means that any changes you make to a material will only affect this model, and not the Global library that is used whenever you create a new model.
- Expand the Walls section of the library, and click on the BrickTimberFrame material. The current properties for this material will be displayed on the right side of the dialogue box. Near the bottom right hand corner of this, you will see the Colour (Reflect.): fields, one being external and the other internal.
- Click once in the Internal field. The colour value currently assigned will be displayed in hexadecimal notation. If you now double-click in the field, a colour selection dialogue box will appear. Choose from one of the colours shown, or use the HSL or RGB values to specify a colour. Click Ok to return to the Material Library.
- The Internal property field will now display the colour you have selected, and will also adjust the reflectance to match the selected colour.
- If you change the external colour, the following message will appear on-screen. Generally, you should answer Yes, as this ensures that the Solar Absorption corresponds with the selected external colour.
- An alternative to using colour in your model is to specify just the reflectance for a material. To do this, first set the colour to white. Then click the button, and then choose which reflectance value you would like to adjust. In the new window, type in the value and then click Ok. The colour will update to the appropriate greyscale shade. This method is particularly useful if you haven't yet decided what colours will be used in the project, but have a general idea of brightness/darkness.
- If you wish to use the changes you have made to the material for all subsequent projects as well, click the Add to Global Library button. Then click Apply Changes and then Close to return to your model.
- You can assign materials to multiple objects simultaneously, however be careful to make sure that all selected objects are of the same element type.