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EXTERNAL ENVELOPE


Shedding light on daylight modelling


Architectural journalist Gideon Sykes looks at the latest advances in daylight modelling and how it can help architects and specifiers determine the right light levels for their projects


D


aylighting is the art and science of managing natural light to minimise the use of artificial lighting, reduce


carbon emissions, and positively affect the performance, mood and well-being of people occupying a particular space. Designing, predicting and planning for the impact of daylighting in a space is often misunderstood however. Daylight modelling removes the design mystery and determines the daylight requirements for any building. It is not a new science, but one which is increasingly important as reduced energy consumption is a continuing major consideration – as well as statutory requirements (such as European workplace directives) and personal wellbeing.


Part of the design It’s often a mistake not to use daylight modelling as part of the original concept or design. Consequently, it is beneficial that this service is used early to help achieve the best possible results for the client and to form part of the overall building strategy and goals.


For example, the service can help with the documentation required to achieve BREEAM’s health and well-being credit for visual comfort (HEA01) which requires that 80 per cent of the occupied space meets a minimum daylight factor of 2 per cent (3 per cent for ‘exemplary’ level). It can help architects and specifiers with the following calculations: • Quantity of light transmitting materials • Location of light transmitting materials • Required transmission level of the light transmitting materials • Glare analysis.


Daylight modelling can help achieve an exact brief from the client – for example the lux level requirement or to address concerns about solar heat gain. It can help quantify


ADF NOVEMBER 2019


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daylight transmitting products, determine optimal light transmission and help with positioning on a building to prevent glare issues and provide interior lux levels. Reports can be looked at from a cost point of view, and recommendations can be made depending on the results. A good example of this is for ‘value engineering’, where daylight modelling examples may show that windows can be reduced in size to save money yet still achieve the desired lux levels. The report could include any or all of the following calculations:


Lux level


Lux is equal to one lumen per square metre. In photometry, this is used as a measure of the intensity, as perceived by the human eye, of light that hits or passes through a surface. For example, sports halls and classrooms would be expected to have lux levels of between 300-400.


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Daylight modelling may show that windows can be reduced in size to save money yet still achieve the desired lux levels


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