This Tutorial Section discusses in detail how Walls are modelled, used & some of their properties within Hero, including how they are integrated into the Visual & Data-Grid Views.
All Zones are completely bounded by Walls along their edges, and when a Zone is initially drawn, the Walls for that Zone are created automatically. If required, the newly created Walls will split & connect to nearby Walls from other Zones automatically. When two Walls are connected they are called Adjacent Walls in Hero.
Default Values & Previous Values
Newly created Walls are assigned either the Default Properties of Walls such as the Default Wall Assembly & Default Wall Heights, or if you changed an existing Wall away from these properties, the New Wall will use this Previous Value.
E.g: If you changed a Wall away from the Default Assembly to a Fibre-Cement Wall that is 2450mm high, then the next Zone created will have the new Wall Assembly as Fibre-cement at 2450mm height.
WALLS WITHIN THE VISUAL VIEW
Selecting a Wall
You can Select a Wall either within the Visual View or the Data-Grid.
Walls also share the common context-menu actions of Select Parent (which will select the Parent Zone of the Wall) which can also be called by
Double Left-Clicking the Wall.
The Send to Back feature can also be very useful for Walls particularly when special Floating Walls are aligned over the top of other Walls, so that you can select the desired Wall. Select the Wall on top and choose the
Right-Click Context Menu ->
Send To Back feature and the previously selected Wall on top will now be below any other Walls. You can now select the Wall on top.
Walls can be deleted by:
selecting the Wall within the Visual-View or Data-Grid and pressing
⌨ Delete; or
by using the
Deleteaction within the Visual View;
Right-Clickinga Wall Point & choosing the
When a Wall is deleted, the Walls to the left & right of the deleted Wall are connected so that the room remains contiguous. If you are deleting a Wall Point, it will be the Wall who has this Point as its right-point that will be deleted.
Walls can be moved in the Visual View by selecting them and then
Dragging them into their position.
You can also
Drag the corner Points of a Wall to move that Wall Point and extend or shrink the length.
Walls cannot intersect Walls of other Zones, and in these situations, Hero will block any attempts to move further.
You can move a Wall or a Wall Point in a straight or direction by holding
Walls can be split into new Walls by the Split Drawing Mode feature which is detailed in the Split & Merge Drawing Mode
You can also split a Wall vertically by the
Right-click Context-menu action Split Wall (Vertically). This will split the Walls & add a new Wall Point at that location.
Splitting a Wall (be it via the Split Drawing Mode or Context-menu actions) can be required to model situations such as when you have different construction assemblies side by side
E.g: If along a Wall length the Assembly type changed from a Brick-Veneer to a Weatherboard section; or if the Height, Insulation, External Colour or any other property of the Wall differed from the other you would split the Wall.
You may also need to split Walls to change the geometry of a Zone, such as when you extending a Zone or shrinking it. In certain situations, you need to split the Wall to insert a Wall Point before you move it into it’s new position to create the desired final geometry.
E.g: For a situation where we have an existing Zone and we receive new plans from the designer and which require us to then move the walls. We would use a Split Wall in the indicated position & insert Wall Points to be able to shift this section of the Zone while leaving the remaining portion.
You can also add further Walls to a Zone, that do not need to lie along the Zone edge, through the Special Floating Wall feature, which is discussed in more detail later.
Two or more continuous walls can be merged back into a single Wall using the Merge Drawing Mode as detailed in the Split & Merge Drawing Mode section.
Wall Width is calculated automatically and can be seen in the Data-Grid Width Column. Width can only be changed by moving the Wall Points within the Visual View
Visual View (not editable within Data-Grid)
Height (Total, Base & Top)
Walls have a Total Height, and a Base Height which represents the Height above the Level height that the wall starts, and a Top Height which represents the Height above the Level height that the wall ends. For a typical wall, the Base Height will be 0mm, and the Top Height will match the Total Height of the Wall. The Total, Base & Top Height of a wall are all visible under the Height columns of the Wall data-grid. Changing the Base Height will shift the Top-Height & vice-versa rather than effecting the Total Height.
Walls are modelled in Hero at a consistent Height due to this being how they are modelled within the Chenath engine. For Angled walls (i.e. those Walls whose Height changes across its length, the average Height across the Wall-length must be entered.
E.g: An angled Wall with Height at one end 2700mm and 2100mm at another should be modelled as 2400mm (2700 + 2100 / 2) within Hero
Wall Data-Grid Height Column
The Orientation of the Wall is shown in the Orientation Column of the Data-Grid and show the orientation of the Wall in terms of what direction the external side of the wall is facing (i.e it’s Normal Direction).
Visual View (not editable within Data-Grid)
The Thickness of the Wall is determined by the Assembly & Insulation of the wall. This is the Thickness that is shown in the Visual View, as well as in the optional Thickness column of the Wall Data-Grid (which by default is hidden from view).
Due to the limitations of the NatHERS Insulation Materials, Walls can sometimes be different Thickness to their actual construction Thickness for the given R-value & Insulation Type.
Hero are working on a solution to this but in the meantime this difference can either be:
Not editable directly (based on Assembly + Insulation)
A Wall has a Construction or Assembly which is the construction build-up of that wall, including its external cladding, internal surface & any other materials within the assembly.
Walls also have an optional Insulation Option which is the insulation materials specifically for that wall section that get added in addition to its Assembly materials.
In Hero the function of Assembly & Insulation is separated so that the User has flexibility to change & test various Insulation types quickly for each Assembly & quickly optimise the passive design aspects of the house; as well as for its use as an important reporting metric.
The Wall Construction Library tutorial provides further detail on Wall Assemblies & Insulation Options, and how Assemblies & Insulation Options can be edited or custom created.
A Wall’s Construction in the Project is shown & can be changed within the Wall Data-Grid’s Construction column. The Currently Selected Wall Assemblies from the Construction Library will be shown within the Drop-down of this column’s entries and a new type can be selected.
Default Internal Wall Assembly
When a Wall connects to another Adjacent Wall such as for Internal Walls, the Assembly usually gets automatically changed to the previous Internal Wall Assembly, which by default is an Plasterboard stud wall. Likewise when a Wall disconnects from another adjacent Wall it will reset to the previous external wall assembly.
Insulation Change on Assembly Change
When changing an Assembly, if the new Assembly contains an Insulation Option similar to the current insulation of the Wall, this will be selected. However if there is no similar Insulation Option on the new Assembly then the default for that Assembly will get applied.
E.g: If the User was changing from a Brick Veneer wall with R2.0 insulation to a Single Brick Wall that has no Insulation Options in its list.
When we change the assembly to Single Brick, the Insulation gets set to the default “No Insulation” option for that Single Brick Assembly.
Wall Data-Grid Construction Column & Wall Construction Library
The Insulation Options available for that Wall Assembly will be shown in the Insulation column. You can select an existing Insulation Option by using the combo-box drop-down menu or you can type in the desired R-value in the table’s cell and hit enter; or for more complicated options you can create a New Insulation Option within the Wall Builder for that assembly. When typing in a R-value into the insulation column, if there is an existing Insulation Option for that Assembly that matches the entered R-Value it will use that Insulation Option, otherwise a new Fibreglass Insulation Option of the desired R-Value is created, assigned to the wall and added to that Wall Construction’s Insulation Option List.
E.g: in a Project with a Brick Veneer with Non-Reflective Sarking Type Construction. The standard Insulation Options for this Assembly are shown in the Insulation column of the Wall Data-Grid. However if the Insulation Option was desired to be a R2.7 Insulation Batt (not contained within the standard Insulation Options), we could model this by typing “2.7” within the Insulation cell and hitting
Alternatively if the insulation was a complicated combination of Insulation materials such as a Reflective EPS board insulation (requiring an air-gap + bulk insulation), we would need to:
Insulation Column & Wall Construction Library
Walls can have their External Colours changed to model the different Solar Absorptances of different finishes.
This is changed within the External Colour column of the Wall Data-grid which shows a Colour’s name and its solar absorptance. The first three options are the standard Light, Medium & Dark, and then there are variety of custom colours that relate to various other colours such as typical Colorbond colours etc.
External Colour Column
Energy-modelling is heavily concerned with heat-transfer, and the External & Internal conditions on either side of the Wall, along with the materials of the Wall determine its heat-transfer. Similar to many energy-modelling programs, Hero allows the user to specify different Adjacency or externality conditions for a wall. This is primarily viewed & assigned through the Wall Adjacency column of the data-grid.
There are a variety of options that can be assigned to a wall depending on it’s state, however some wall adjacency types are locked and cannot be changed. See the Adjacency Type table below for further details.
Editable within Data Grid
The Wall is directly adjacent to External Environment.
Standard / Default Adjacency Type for Walls
Wall adjacent to another Wall from the same Dwelling
Neighbouring (Actual Connection)
Wall adjacent to another Wall from a different Dwelling.
Neighbouring Adjacency Types are simulated as Adiabatic boundaries in the Simulation meaning that no effective heat transfer is modelled between them.
Neighbouring (Manual Selection)
Wall adjacent to a Conditioned Space that is not part of the Hero Project model (i.e. Adjacent Buildings, Commercial Spaces etc).
Neighbouring Adjacency Types are simulated as Adiabatic boundaries in the Simulation meaning that no effective heat transfer is modelled between them.
Roofspace (This Level)
The Wall is adjacent to a Roofspace Zone from Ceilings of the same Level.
A Roofspace Zone must have at least One Ceiling connected to it via a Roofspace Adjacency for any Wall to be able to have a Roofspace Adjacency otherwise an Alert will be shown
Roofspace (Level Below)
The Wall is adjacent to a Roofspace Zone from Ceiling of the Level Below.
E.g: A Wall on Level 2 of a House is connected to the Roofspace that is formed by Ceilings on Level 1. This Wall should use the Roofspace (Level Below) Adjacency Type
Subfloor (This Level)
The Wall is adjacent to a Subfloor Zone from Floors of the same Level.
A Subfloor must have at least One Floor connected to it via a Subfloor Adjacency for any Wall to be able to have a Subfloor Adjacency otherwise an Alert will be shown
Subfloor (Level Above)
The Wall is adjacent to a Subfloor Zone from Floors of the Level Above.
E.g: A Wall on the Ground Floor of a House is connected to the Subfloor that is formed by Floors on Level 1 (above the Ground Level). This Wall should use the Subfloor (Level Above) Adjacency Type
Walls adjacent to an actual Carpark Zone
Walls adjacent to an actual Corridor Zone
Retaining / Ground
Wall is adjacent to the Ground or a Retaining Wall
A Retaining / Ground Adjacency Construction has a 5000mm Soil layer added automatically by Hero to it during Simulation as per NatHERS Protocol. The User does not need to create a custom Wall Assembly with this Soil layer.
A Internal Thermal Mass Wall completely within a Zone. Can only be applied to Floating Walls.
Yes (Floating Walls only)
Walls can have Shading Objects that can affect the way they are Simulated, these include:
Screens: Being screened by up to 3 Vertical Shading objects or Screens in front of the wall
Eaves : A single horizontal shading object or Eave over the top of the wall
Wing Walls (Left & Right): Shading objects projecting from the left & right edges of the wall.
It should be noted that any Shading objects connected to a Wall likewise shade any Windows or Doors upon that Wall in a similar manner.
Walls can be attached to Screens & Eaves using the Attach Screen and Eave Drawing Mode which is detailed further in Screen & Eave Drawing Modes. Alternatively you can also Attach a Screen or Eave to a Wall by accessing the
Right-Click context menu on a Wall and selecting
Connect to Screen or
Eave and then
Left-Click the desired Screen or Eave to connect the Wall to the Screen or Eave.
Internal walls and many other types of Wall Adjacencies such as Neighbour & Roofspace Adjacent Walls cannot have any Shading applied to them.
INTERNAL/NEIGHBOURING WALLS WITHIN THE DATA-GRID
Adjacent Walls such as Internal Walls between Zones, or Neighbouring Walls between Zones of two different dwellings have several unique features in Hero.
When Selecting an Internal Wall in the Data-Grid, if you have the Zone Group-By button selected, the Data-Grid will show both sections of that Wall selected under each respective Zone. These Walls are the linked sections of each-other within each Zone and basically represent the same object. Editing one of them within the Data-Grid automatically updates the other as they are linked together into a single unit.
DIRECTIONAL INTERNAL/NEIGHBOURING WALLS
While External walls have the External Side of the Construction facing outwards, Adjacent Walls are Directional, in that the External & Internal Sides of the Construction (as shown in the Wall Construction Library) can be changed within the assembly.
For the default internal plaster stud-wall, which is a symmetrical assembly with plasterboard on each side & an air-gap or insulation in the stud cavity, the direction of the Wall is unimportant. However if the adjacent Wall Assembly is non-symmetrical, you can ensure the correct direction of the Assembly by the Direction Arrow on the Wall in the Visual View. The Arrow points towards the “External” side of the Assembly (as per the Wall Construction Library). If the direction needs to be changed, you can Flip or Reverse the assembly by
Left-Clicking the Direction Arrow within the Visual View.
Modelling the correct direction of a Wall is particularly important where the Wall has a heavy thermal-mass material with insulation on one side such that the thermal-mass material can have reasonable Simulation effects.
There are modelling situations where we need additional Walls to those created automatically on Zone creation & that bound the edges of a Zone. In Hero we call these Floating Walls, in that they are not tied to the Edge or perimeter of the Zone. Floating Walls can generally have the same attributes as normal Walls, they can have Windows on them, and be attached to Screens, Saves & Wing-walls etc.
To Draw A Floating Wall use the Floating Wall Drawing Mode
Special Floating Walls can be used to model situations such as:
Horizontally Split Walls, such as a wall that changes Assembly, Insulation or External Colour etc half-way up the Wall or similar. In this situation we would create a new Floating Wall over the top of the Wall below, and set the Base Height of the Lower to 0mm, the Height of the Lower Wall to the height where the transition occurs above the Level reference, and then set the Total Height of the upper wall section.
Where there is a local Eave a portion of the way up a Wall and an unshaded section above. An Eave that has a negative vertical offset would be incorrect in this situation as it means all the Wall above that vertical offset will be shaded in the model, whereas in this situation there is a portion that is unshaded that we may want to model. A split wall with an Eave attached to the lower portion, and the Upper Wall having no Eave would be the appropriate solution for this situation.
Clerestory Walls that lie above the Ceiling of the Zone. In this situation the Base Height of the Wall may need to be increased to the Ceiling Height where the Clerestory begins. Eaves & Windows can be added to this Floating Clerestory as per normal Walls.
Walls that are adjacent to Special Zones such as Roofspace Zones or Subfloor Zones. Floating Walls can be used in this instance with the adjacency type changed to Roofspace or Subfloor type in the Data-Grid Wall Adjacency column.
Walls or Wall-like objects completely within the Zone that provide sufficient Thermal Mass that you would like to model their effects. We call these Internal Thermal Mass walls within Hero, and they can be modelled using a Floating Wall & the Thermal Mass wall Adjacency option in the Data-grid.
E.g: In the image above, the Living room has a small spine wall of solid brick completed within the Zone that due to its high thermal mass, could effect the Simulation results. To model this Wall we create a Floating Wall, change its Assembly to the correct Single Brick assembly type and assign the Adjacency as Mass Wall.
Remember Floating Walls are drawn from Left to Right in a facing outwards direction (i.e. to the exterior). A Floating Wall with an External Adjacency requires the correct Orientation for accurate modelling. See Floating Wall Drawing Mode for further details.
EXTERNAL WALLS FOR ROOFSPACES & SUBFLOORS
Special Zones such as Roofspace Zones & Subfloor Zones also can have their own Walls that are automatically generated by Hero and appear in the Data-Grid. This is discussed in further detail in the Special Zone section of this tutorial series.
NULL WALLS - WALLS WITH NO ADJACENCY
The Chenath thermodynamic calculation engine that underpins Hero is based on 2D heat-transfers through surfaces. Therefore there are situations where Hero cannot properly model the true thermodynamic situation of walls where there are 3D heat transfer interactions.
The most common example of this situation is walls that are facing adjacent to the cavity of a stud-wall such as created between two internal walls. In this situation the heat transfer into the side of the stud cavity cannot be accounted for (as the heat transfer through the wall from wall face to other wall face is already being modelled). Hero will attempt to auto-detect these situations & if detected, will remove the Wall segment in this location.
There are some occasions where these Walls are not properly Auto-detected by Hero, and you may see a "real" wall in the model adjacent to one of these conditions. In this case, Hero recommend setting these walls as having Neighbouring Adjacency so that there is no heat transfer modelled on that segment.