Embodiments may include systems and methods to create and edit a representation of a worksite, to create various data objects, to classify such objects as various types of pre-defined "features" with attendant properties and layout constraints. As part of or in addition to classification, an embodiment may include systems and methods to create, associate, and edit intrinsic and extrinsic properties to these objects. A design engine may apply of design rules to the features described above to generate one or more solar collectors installation design alternatives, including generation of on-screen and/or paper representations of the physical layout or arrangement of the one or more design alternatives. In some embodiments, metadata about the design process, including the process of classifying features and providing user input, generating layouts, and then modifying those layouts, may be generated. The metadata may include information about exceptional conditions in the project state information or design. A list of exceptions corresponding to exceptional conditions may be generated, and the designer may interact with these exceptions in a variety of ways, such as by complying with rules to remove an item from the exceptions list or overriding the application of the rules. The exceptions may be non-blocking relative to other user actions.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
 The invention described herein was made with governmental support under contract number DE-FC36-07GO17043 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government may have certain rights in the invention.