Pollination Roof windows not being transferred correctly to IDA ICE

I am getting an error when exporting a pollination model with roof windows to Ida Ice. I’m not sure why the error is happening and I have just redrawn them in Ida Ice. But thought I would report the issue in any case.

I can send over the files, however am unable to upload them as a new member
(I changed to an account to one with my work email after we got a set of pollination licenses)


What the skylights are like in pollination:

Hi @donald-otterson, thank you for reporting this issue. Can you share your file or part of it with us to recreate the error? You can send it to me in a private message if you don’t want to share it publicly. I made your account s basic user so you should be able to do that now.

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Hi @mostapha

No problem at all. I see I am able to upload the files now, here they are:

20240507_Project.hbjson (942.3 KB)
20240507_Project.idm (55.8 KB)

Cheers for looking into this!


Thanks for the files, @donald-otterson .

I am pretty sure that I know part of the reason why the skylights are failing. I can see that your Pollination Rhino model doesn’t really use a project North that is different from true North. Your entire model is rotated ~5 degrees from the world Y-axis:

I think our export routines for skylights in horizontal Faces might be written with a bug right now that assumes the model is using the World XY axes as a guide to organize the building geometry and that you will just change the North in IDA-ICE to reflect that the project North is different from true North. This would explain why the skylights look rotated in your screenshot:

So I’ll try to push a fix for this case soon.

In the meantime, a quick way to work around this might be to just rotate your whole model by ~5 degrees in Rhino before you save to IDM. Granted, we should still be able to support models rotated 5 degrees from North and I’ll look deeper into this later. But let me know if you try this route and it ends up improving anything on your end.

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@donald-otterson, just a quick update on this. We know why the error is happening but we will need some help from @maxtillberg to be able to try writing the model on our end and debug the issue.

Meanwhile, is it possible for you to send the fixed version of the IDM file after drawing the skylights manually? That will give us a point of reference to understand how IDA ICE expect us to write these cases.

Finally, are you and your office planning to migrate to IDA ICE 5.0 soon? I’m trying to get a sense for changing the exporter to the latest version of IDA ICE which supports non-rectangular windows natively.

Hi @donald-otterson ,

We came to the realization that this might not be 100% fixable in IDA-ICE 4.8 because we could not find a way to specify the azimuth of the rectangular skylights in order to rotate them 5 degrees from the Y-axis. Maybe there’s a way to do this, which we just could not find but, whatever the case, this should all be theoretically addressable when we upgrade to IDA-ICE 5.0, which supports non-rectangular windows. All of this is to say that we still need @maxtillberg 's help if we want the original model you gave us to be translate-able to IDA-ICE.

In the meantime, I just pushed several fixes to our code base after realizing that IDA-ICE 4.8 seems to always use to Room origin to place horizontal skylights. I also realized that Rooms with changing ceiling heights need to be written as protected even if they are otherwise just extrusions. This is because IDA-ICE will just extrude the entire floor plate to a single height if the room is not protected. All of the changes that I made have been merged here:

These fixes mean that, as long as I rotate your HBJSON model 5 degrees so that the skylights align with the world XY axes, I can get all of the skylights to translate to IDA-ICE correctly and the model opens with no errors:

Here is the HBJSON and corresponding IDM that was translated with the fixes if you want to verify this for yourself:
20240507_Project.hbjson (980.6 KB)
20240507_Project.idm (49.0 KB)

@mostapha or I will let you know when there is an installer available with the fixes. Thanks, as always, for pushing us to make the IDA-ICE translators better.


Also, @donald-otterson .

If you have a fixed version of your project with the skylights correctly rotated from the World XY system, please still send that to us. That would mean that we just did not find the right way to specify the azimuth of horizontal skylights. With a sample file like that, we should be able to support your original model.

Otherwise, we’ll be blocked on that issue until we can upgrade to IDA-ICE 5.0.

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In IDA ICE, windows and other objects can not be rotated relative to the coordinate system but in IDA ICE 5 objects can be non rectangular so then this is not a problem. The only way I know to fix this in 4.8 is to create roof parts in the building with the same shape as the roof windows and fill the roof with windows since they will take the shape of the roof part.


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Thank you for the response and the suggestion, @maxtillberg .

I think I understand what you are saying for 4.8 that you can create a roof-part with any shape and this can be used to auto-trim a rectangular window that is placed within it. It sounds like IDA-ICE 5.0’s support for non-rectangular windows might still be the better way to address this but the roof-part solution is a good thing to fall back on.

Assuming that @donald-otterson is comfortable with moving to IDA-ICE 5.0 and we at Ladybug Tools are able to start experimenting with version 5.0 on Monday, let’s give the non-rectangular window solution a try first. If we hit some challenges, I’ll ask for a sample file with roof-parts so that we can implement it in our current translators.

Hi @chriswmackey @mostapha and @maxtillberg

Thank-you all for jumping on this issue and finding a solution. Also apologies for my very late reply!

Yes we arebe moving over to IDA ICE 5.0 so a solution there will be most useful. But if you can look into it for 4.8 while you are developing 5.0 translator that would be much appreciated.

@chriswmackey I will send the fixed IDA ICE file in a private message later today

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Thanks @donald-otterson ,

FYI, we decided that we’ll do the IDA-ICE 5.0 translation in stages just to give people time to update from 4.8. The full order will be:

  1. Make sure that the .idm files exported by Pollintion can be opened in both IDA-ICE 4.8 and 5.0. (Currently, there is some issue that prevents them from opening in 5.0).
  2. Once we’re confident that everyone is comfortable working in 5.0, we will officially drop support for 4.8 so that we can…
  3. Implement a solution that translates the non-rectangular windows (and rectangular skylights that are not oriented to the World XY plane).

@mostapha should be taking care of item 1 soon so I’m going to re-assign this issue to him for the time being.

If I’m right that rotating your model to the XY plane unblocks you for now for this project, this will give us some time to do a good job with items 2 and 3.