My friend Bill and I have been involved with several Vectorworks clients helping them to integrate Vectorworks into other aspects of their business.
In this case the client sells solar hot water systems and solar PV systems. The client would like to know the orientation of the house relative to the sun, how big the roof area is, and how many panels could reasonably be placed on the sloping roof. We can in fact do far more!
The answer is to get an image from the Internet showing the house and orientation to North. You then use the Vectorworks tools to create a 3-D model of the roof and walls. Using the 3-D model of the roof you place the solar water and PV panels. When you place the panels on the roof they align to the slope of the roof, so you know exactly how many panels you can place.
The panels are linked to a worksheet. With the panels in place, simply update the worksheet which will show the cost of each panel, the total cost of all the panels, cost of installation, council permits etc. So your 2D drawing has generated a quotation!
Bill and I have trained several clients to use these reporting and quoting functions inside Vectorworks. Clients like IceBreaker find that Vectorworks can change the way they do business.