Tracing Roof Faces

How to trace individual roof faces and specify roof properties

Updated over a week ago


  • Be in Site Definition mode. The Site button in the lower left corner of the workspace will be underlined when in Site Definition mode.

What is a Roof Face and why is it important?

Roof Faces are each a distinct plane that make up the roof. Without a Roof Face, there's no installation area for Lyra to place solar panels on! There must be at least one traced roof face to create a System Design. Alternately, you can skip the tracing steps by importing a 3D model from one of our recommended vendors.

We highly recommend using Smart Guides during the tracing steps. Read up on the Smart Guides here if you aren't familiar.

Tracing roof faces

To begin tracing a roof face, hover the mouse over the home in the toolbar and select the Trace Individual Roof Tool.

Next, click on the canvas to mark each corner of the roof face. Finish the tracing area by hovering over the first point and clicking.

After the roof face is traced, name the building that it belongs to or select a previously specified building.

If creating a new building, specify:

  • Presence of a sprinkler system

  • The ceiling height

  • The foundation height

  • The use and occupancy classification

After defining the building properties, specify the story level of the roof face (this only refers to the roof that was just drawn, not the overall story height) and type in a name for the new roof face, such as Southern Face 1, Western Face 2, Garage South Face, etc.

Note: The building name associated with the roof designed is displayed, although the name is not editable on this page. If you wish to change the name of your previously designed building, we'll cover that later in this article.

Defining roof face properties

After tracing a roof face, define its properties in the panel on the right. The roof face will be automatically selected after you complete the trace, but you can select any roof face using the Selection tool.

At minimum, be sure to define the azimuth and slope to continue on to System Design. However, it’s recommended to fill out all the properties if you plan to create a permit package.


Editing Roof Face Names

Roof face names can be edited from their originally specified name by choosing the Select Tool then look to the properties panel which will now show the previously drawn buildings and roofs. Double click on any name to edit it.

Accounting for imagery skew, and non-orthographic imagery

Occasionally Google Maps aerial imagery isn't perfectly orthographic so there is a skew to it. Below is an example of orthographic imagery and this is how most aerial imagery from Google Maps is. When imagery is more like the second example, perspective, we need to adjust our tracing as if it was orthographic.

Lets use a real world example, below is a home that does not have orthographic imagery (in this case, the building has a small amount of orthographic skew because we can see the eastern side of the building- if it wasn't skewed, we would only see the top-down view).

If we were installing solar on the center home then we'd need to compensate for the non-orthographic imagery. This topic is covered towards the bottom of the Roof Outline article.

Next steps

Continue on to add obstructions, trace the roof outline, or define other aspects of the site before moving on to System Design such as Adding Site Equipment, Complete Weather Data, and Complete Site Info

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