Daylight in Self Sufficient Housing Units
Detailed Simulations of Lighting Conditions in Office Rooms Lit by Daylight and Artificial Light
Daylighting Systems for Core Illumination of Offices in Scandinavian Climates
The Impact of Light Including Non-Image Forming Effects on Visual Comfort
By Apiparn Borisuit, EPFL Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, Switzerland
Visual comfort at workplaces has often been considered in terms of discomfort glare, luminance distribution and task visibility. Besides visual effects, the lighting environment has also impact on human physiology and behaviour. These effects of light are transmitted via a novel class of photoreceptors in the mammalian retina, which was discovered only a decade ago. Since then, it has become evident that light also plays an important role in regulating Non‐Image Forming (NIF) functions such as circadian rhythms, alertness, well‐being and mood. In lighting design it is accordingly necessary to take into account not only luminous intensity, but also light’s spectral composition, since the novel class of photoreceptors is more maximally sensitive to different luminous wavelengths than the classical photoreceptors (e.g. rods and cones).
The main focus of this doctoral thesis is on visual comfort assessment at workplaces. It was hypothesized that the impact of light on visual comfort comprises not only luminance distribution and/or luminous intensity, but also other qualitative aspects of the lighting environment. Office lighting influences building occupants in terms of visual task performance, alertness, health and well‐being. The aim of this thesis was to assess the impact of office lighting on visual comfort including NIF effects.
Firstly, in order to monitor the luminance distribution within a scene, a new photometric device based on a high dynamic range logarithmic visual sensor (IcyCAMTM) was set up. After calibrations and validations, the photometric device was used to assess luminance distribution of office spaces in a very efficient way. Secondly, two experimental studies were performed with human subjects, aiming to test the acute effects of light on visual comfort variables, subjective alertness, mood and well‐being. Lastly, the novel device was also used during one of the studies to monitor the impacts of luminous distribution over time and under various lighting conditions.
The novel photometric device enables to assess luminous distribution also in circadian metrics with respect to NIF effects of light. The results from the two studies showed the effects of office lighting including different sky conditions and time‐of‐day changes on visual comfort and NIF functions. Inter‐individual differences, as assessed in extreme chronotypes, also had an influence on visual comfort. Interestingly, luminance distribution was not only found to impact on visual comfort but also on subjective alertness, mood and well‐being. To conclude, the results obtained with the new device provide a more comprehensive scientific framework and practical basis for indoor lighting design at workplaces.
Apiparn Borisuit defended her PhD thesis in December 2013. The entire dissertation can be downloaded at http://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/190815
Natural Light and Daylight Assessment. A New Framework for Enclosed Space Evaluation
by Barbara Gherri, University of Parma, Department of Civil Engineering, Environment, Land and Architecture, Parma, Italy
The multiple ways by which natural light can be enhanced to define a room can be improved by the conscious use of daylight, involving several topics that concur in outlining the role of natural light as a matter of fact, space and representation. This thesis explores the spatial qualities of built environments through the use of natural light, involving energy savings strategies and visual comfort definition, although in current architectural practice, daylight is a deeply under-exploited natural resource. A proper natural lighting system, tailored to the requirements of architectural form and customized to occupants functional desires is an essential support to modern climate control policies, as well as to energy-saving measures and in reducing thermal loads.
The first section is thus about architectural practices, its related traditions, customs and rules that are closely linked to the use of natural light. The perceptive and constructive dimension of architectural lighting is here outlined, through a detailed excursus of daylight praxis among different occurrences and environments, based on chronological and geographical order, in order to critically explore some outstanding examples of architectural works, across historical treatises, through modern study cases, in which the issue of daylight integration in building envelope is fully achieved. The first part, focused on historical architectural experiences, gives way to a comprehensive review of daylighting techniques, proper solar devices and other technological solutions, to be adopted in order to enhance daylight penetration and to shade any undue dose of light.
In the second part this thesis explores the current daylight calculation method, that relies on daylight static performance although, due to daylight changeability, a precise daylight evaluation cannot be thoroughly assessed using single-moment simulations, or single point in time method, as DF does. The most common daylight design methods and tools, based on DF or other geometrical appraisals are currently the sole quantitative performance metrics to implement daylighting in buildings, but they are quite inadequate, since each simulation represents only one time of year and time of day under a theoretical overcast sky condition.
Conversely, a Climate Based methodology and DDS performance metrics should help in carrying out high-quality lighting predictions along with building energy simulations. A new schema to assess daylighting potential, considering a multiphase approach is here introduced. In this context, a “Combined Dynamic Cascade Procedure- CDCP” framework is here defined to address all the DF impairments and to provide a holistic scheme to merge quantitative data –thanks to the CBDM metrics–with qualitative evaluation facts – inferred from POE investigation, carried out among building occupants. Thanks to the CDCP, any retrofit actions can be exactly estimated, in order to maximize the benefits of refurbishment actions and to promote effective environmental retrofit strategies, according to the actual users’ needs.
For the first time, the capability of the new CDCP merges the potentials implicit into CBDM on a larger scale, by focusing on multiple layers, according with a top down appraisal and thanks to software simulations. A complete case study is then examined to prove the benefits of such a procedure.
The entire dissertation can be downloaded at http://dspace-unipr.cilea.it/handle/1889/1880?mode=full or order it in the Italian book http://www.francoangeli.it/ricerca/Scheda_libro.aspx?ID=21433&Tipo=31
How Office Occupants Experience Intelligent (Day)lighting Control Systems
Light, Architecture and Health – a Method
by Carlo Volf, Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark
This thesis focuses on the relationship between light and health in architecture. Light and health is an area which in recent years has undergone major changes and gained increasing attention in architectural planning. However, it is still a relatively new area, which is why a lot of effort and work is put into defining the different health aspects of light and how to better utilize them in the architecture.
Much recent research reveals new beneficial aspects of light, while other research merely seems to confirm the ideas of healthy architecture in the early 20th century.
The point of departure of the thesis is based on historical sources. Through a literature study, the thesis unfolds what can be described as forgotten knowledge. Subsequently, the thesis reviews recent and evidence-based knowledge on light and health. Here the influence of light on health is conceptualized, also relating the role of architecture to various diseases.
This is followed by field studies of modernist buildings, all based on health aspects. The original intentions are described and subsequently evaluated with contemporary eyes based on the knowledge obtained about light and health.
The overall lesson to be learned is that a strategy of unilateral exposure to sunlight often fails, simply because it over-emphasizes the sunlight. Instead a balance between exposure to sunlight and protection from sunlight is suggested.
This balance is investigated through two practical light experiments. In the first experiment glass is examined, seen from a health perspective. Here the thesis presents a new concept, the unhealthiness factor of glass. The second experiment seeks to find a balance between exposure to and protection from the sun, based on studies of the geographical orientation, the weather and the circadian rhythm during the day and year. This is done through a setup of 8 scale models in controlled test and control trials comparing and representing the differences in light over time and place.
For this purpose the thesis develops a new method of representation, simultaneous-timelapse-photography, depicting differences in the light over time and space, according to E, S, W and N, depicting the differences in the light respectively at summer solstice, equinox and winter solstice.
Based on the light experiments the thesis introduces an overall architectural strategy for healthier light in buildings, a strategy that responds to the asymmetrical light of the sun. It does this by, in itself, being asymmetrical.
Thereby the thesis restores the importance of the geographical orientation, that is, the aspect of morning sun, evening sun, summer sun and winter sun and the fundamental importance of light for temporality, place and body.
The thesis emphasizes the importance of two factors, when we talk about light, architecture and health, namely the differences in light during the day and the clear, low-iron glass. Two factors, which in a healthy and sustainable architecture seem to go hand in hand.
In the thesis, a new method to better cater a healthier planning of light in the architecture is developed. A method, which can complement existing methods, such as the daylight factor, its greatest weakness being that it, overlooks both time and place, only working from the concept of a cloudy sky.
The conclusion of the dissertation is that it is possible to plan a healthier daylight, if the architecture is planned deliberately both according to E, S, W and N, and according to the circadian rhythm of the body. Architecturally, this is suggested done by differentiating the architecture according to the asymmetrical light of the sun. Be it in the form of an asymmetric planning of building form, facades, apertures or artificial lighting.
The entire dissertation can be read in the Library at the Aarhus School of Architecture, where it is available in both Danish and English.
Contact: Carlo Volf, firstname.lastname@example.org
Optimization of Daylight in Buildings in Prevailing Clear Sky Conditions
The Impact of Light and Color at the Perceived Quality of Sustainable Dwelling Architecture
Influence of Presentation Modes on Visual Perceptions of Daylit Spaces
By Coralie Cauwerts, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Faculty of Architecture, Architectural Engineering and Urban Planning (LOCI), Architecture et Climat, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Virtual renderings are increasingly used in the architectural design process and in lighting quality research to assess the visual appearance of indoor environments. Thanks to imaging technologies continuously in development to improve the “realism” of these images, pictures can nowadays be presented in various ways. Regrettably, to date, few studies assert that such images replicate the visual appearance perceived in actual daylit environments.
The present research investigated the perceptual equivalence between actual daylit environments and images. Two types of images – photographs and virtual renderings – were studied as well as four modes of presentation – QuickTime virtual reality (QTVR) panoramas, 2D display, 3D display, and high dynamic range (HDR) display.
ight groups of 40 students viewed four daylit corridors and filled in a questionnaire about the appearance of lighting and space elaborated for the study. The corridors were presented in several ways: a first group of participants visited the actual rooms while the other groups visualized, in a lab context, their reproduction in sketches, photographs or virtual renderings.
This research provides some proofs that images can reasonably be used as a surrogate for the real world when studying the appearance of lighting (characterized by the perceived brightness, coloration, contrast, distribution, directivity and glare). On the other hand, the study suggests that images poorly reproduce the appearance of space (pleasantness and enclosedness were studied). As a result of the research, we determined precisely the media to use for studying each dimension characterizing the appearance of lighting and space.
Coralie Cauwerts graduated from the Louvain School of Engineering (EPL) at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) with a Master in Architecture and Engineering in 2007. She conducted her thesis between 2009 and 2013 as a research fellow of the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) and she successfully defended her PhD thesis in November 2013.
The entire dissertation can be downloaded at http://hdl.handle.net/2078.1/135934.
Natural Light, Lighting Qualities for the Design of Future Spaces
A Method for Holistic Evaluation of Sustainable Buildings of the Future
Exploiting Daylight in Industrial and Commercial Buildings
Health Consequences of Light Environment in Indoor Work and Night Work
Daylight and View
By Hester Hellinga, Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft, Netherlands
A window doesn’t only allow daylight to come inside, but also offers a view of the outside environment. View has a much bigger influence on the overall appearance of indoor spaces than people are generally aware of. Glare by daylight, for instance, is experienced as less disturbing when the outside view is of a high quality.
Aim of my PhD research was to develop a method for the analysis of the daylight and view quality of windows, the D&V analysis method. Initially, office workers in eight different buildings in the Netherlands were questioned on the quality of their workplace concerning the office, the lighting and the view. Subsequently, the D&V analysis method was developed based on scientific literature and the results of the questionnaire study.
The analysis method includes a rating system for view quality. It grants points for several aspects of the view. If you’re looking at nature, it’s plus four points, if your view is human-built there are no points to start with. This basis is refined by points for the amount of visual layers (depth of view), presence of water, vegetation, the amount of diversity etcetera.
In another set-up was studied how the appreciation of the daylight access and the outside view varied with different window size, shape and position. Participants in this study were asked to look outside through a miniaturised (1:5) office room. By varying the façade of the scale model, the influence of different windows and views was studied on the visual quality of the office room.
This latter study made clear that people wanted a window at least a quarter the size of the wall, but not a fully glass wall. The shape of the window was of secondary importance, but panorama was favoured above portrait. The sky component (what part of the view is sky) was a pretty good indicator for the amount of incident daylight.
I hope that my study will contribute in putting the view on the architect’s agenda. A proper placement of a building on the lot, respecting lines of sight and making the best of adjacent green can – for the same price – improve people’s appreciation of their views and thus of the spaces they occupy.
The dissertation can be downloaded from the website of the university library: http://repository.tudelft.nl/view/ir/uuid:2daeb534-9572-4c85-bf8f-308f3f6825fd/
Evaluation of Climate-based Daylight Metrics in Real Spaces, in Scale Model Spaces and with Simulation Tools
Integrated Energy Design in Masterplanning
by Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Henning Larsen Architects and Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
This PhD thesis considers urban structure and buildings in an energy correlation and use the knowledge to design energy- and comfort-optimized cities and buildings. The parameters are: the structure of nature, the city and the landscape, both in terms of geometry and interrelationships and in terms of opportunities and limitations with regard to light, shade, sun and wind.
The aim is threefold: (1) to unfold the link between building energy use and urban density, typology and fabric; (2) to analyse how technical scientific knowledge can be integrated in early urban planning and design decisions (IED); and (3) to show the architect’s responsibility and opportunities to rethink their architectural role based on new goals and knowledge.
The research results show an impact from urban form on building energy consumption which is much greater than previously thought, more precisely described, and more dynamic in character as daylight is taken into account. Furthermore the results suggest that there are limits to urban densification (200–300%) as an energy optimization strategy. The solar energy and daylight potential should be considered, and indeed protected, as a common resource in urban design.
The most important observation for qualitative design research is that the first step to improving energy performance must be taken with the architect’s first sketch on paper. It is here that the framework and preconditions for the city and the building’s performance will be set. Argued this way, optimization of the special properties of urban density, typology and fabric takes priority over the optimization of technical service systems. This means that in the design process the architect’s responsibilities outweigh those of the engineers. The research is reported in the main body of this thesis and in the papers for scientific journals.
Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Henning Larsen Architects, successfully defended his PhD thesis titled ’Integrated Energy Design in Masterplanning’ at the Technical University of Denmark. The research is based on a close collaboration between the Technical University and Henning Larsen Architects – with support from Realdania.
The PhD Thesis can be downloaded at http://www.byg.dtu.dk/english/~/media/Institutter/Byg/publikationer/PhD/byg-r254.ashx
Thermal and Visual Comfort from An Occupant Centered Perspective: Emphasis on the Influence of Socio-cultural Parameters
Design Parameters of Pleasurable Light Atmosphere
by Lone Stidsen, Aalborg University, Denmark
At the moment, the future of hospital design is a subject of interest and thereby also a subject of discussion. It is a fact that new hospitals have an increased focus on user perspectives and an interest for improving the physical environment in such a way it supports the user needs and preferences and thereby the experience of an admission to the hospital. Recent literature such as “Hospitals of the senses” and “Healing Architecture” presents research and design solutions focused on senses and experience of the design. The Danish Regions ask for Evidence Based Design to future prove the hospitals by research base the design of the buildings. The present PhD project expands the existing knowledge of lighting research by focussing on the experienced light atmosphere. The project uses multi strategies of methodology based on a flexible design to elaborate on the socio-cultural aspect of light and the sensory impact of light. To frame the work, the “Model of Light Atmosphere” is created and improved throughout the study, first as an abstract model and then it is exposed for detailed study. The detailed study first of all creates a theoretical and visual context. Then explorative studies seek to investigate unknown or tacit knowledge on how light is used in a Danish context, preferences for light in different situations and investigating the hospital ward as frame for a lighting concept. The concept is installed in a hospital ward at Odense University Hospital as a “real world” study and evaluated by the patients in the ward.
The project is based on the Danish Regulation for light in hospitals (DS703), which is a supplement to the regulation of artificial lighting in workplaces (DS700). The kick-off to the project was reading the DS703, second paragraph, chapter 2 about general requirements for lighting.
In general, measurable parameters such as the amount of Lux, the composition of CRI and degree of Kelvin is described precisely in a way so the designer can handle the requirements. But what does it mean to create a “home-like” and “pleasant or appealing” light in this context? Does the composition of CRI and degree of Kelvin tell it all? Is it enough information to provide an illumination, which the patient can experience as homely and pleasant?
This project seeks to highlight the design process of lighting a hospital ward and articulate visual as well as written what a homely and pleasant light atmosphere could be in a Danish context. Therefore, the study investigates the socio-cultural understanding and the geographical impact of the understanding of light atmosphere. “Model of Light Atmosphere” Ill: 12 describes four key aspects of light atmosphere and displays what is important when a light atmosphere is qualified. The four key aspects are: “Light”, “Space”, “Users” and “Time”.
The “Light” aspect describes, as shown in the figure below, the character of the light, light information and light effect i.e. function, aesthetics or symbolism. The “Space” aspect looks into the dimension of the space, geographical orientation, interior design, composition of the space, materials, surfaces and objects. The parameter “Time” elaborates on the time one is present in the space, the season and time of day. The “Users” aspect is split up into categories such as characteristics exploring the user group’s preferences and needs. The user group has quite diverse needs and preferences, while the staff needs task lighting and the patient a space experienced as homely and pleasant.
“Model of Light Atmosphere”
Categories such as “pleasure” and “activities” are also a part of the user aspect. The space is divided into subcategories as ”location of the space” and “geographical orientation”. The interior design, surface and spatial composition of the space are also parameters of importance.
The model “Light Atmosphere” is the focal point of the project through iterative process and also developed through the study. First the model frames the study and later serves as a design tool for creating light atmosphere in hospital wards.
The project is performed through four cycles of iterations. The first cycle describes the “State of the art” in the research field “Atmosphere”. Here the study find its theoretical foundation based on Gernot Böhmes’ concept of atmosphere. It also finds its visual understanding by studying the architects’ way to design atmosphere. The second cycle explores the users’ preferences and trends of light atmosphere in four exploratory studies. First presented is a study of light preferences in Danish homes. Then, the trends of light atmosphere in Denmark are investigated and light zones at the hospital ward defined in order to optimize the illumination. Lastly, an observation of ward atmosphere is presented. The third cycle of iteration is an experimental study testing a lighting concept developed and grounded in the knowledge gained through the first and second cycle. The fourth cycle evaluates the effect of the light atmosphere at the ward. Here the patients are admitted to two similar wards not including the artificial illumination. The evaluation uses Semantic Environmental Description developed by environmental psychiatrist Rikard Küller, in order to evaluate the light atmosphere.
The thesis can be downloaded from http://riverpublishers.com/book_details.php?book_id=246
Further information at www.lostdesign.dk
Light Space – the Spatial Potentials of the Facade
Modeling View Direction – Towards the Objectification of Discomfort Glare
by Mandana Sarey Khanie, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
In this work the fields of architecture, building technology and psychophysics come together in search for objective relationships between perceived comfort, occupant response patterns and lighting conditions in office spaces. Depending on the occupants’ seating position and view direction, light distribution in the field-of-view (FOV) can range from interesting highlights to visually discomforting situations, commonly known as discomfort glare. There are several discomfort glare metrics that can be used at the design phase to predict discomfort glare risks. A major limitation, shared by all known glare metrics, is that the dependencies of glare on view-direction are ignored and the calculated glare is only valid for a specific view-direction and seating position. This study seeks to eliminate this limitation through a deeper understanding of the dynamics of view-direction as a result of light distribution across the FOV.
The methodological novelty in this study relies on experiments in which the eye movements of human participants are measured in a parameterized office-like environment. Concretely this implies using an eye-tracking head-mount camera while the participants are exposed to different light conditions. Photometric quantities, which are relevant to visual comfort, will be recorded continuously during each experiment trial. The hypothesis is that there are clear view-direction distributions patterns under different lighting conditions which will ultimately have a significant effect on evaluations of discomfort glare and lead to better integration of glare-free daylight solutions in buildings design. This endeavor will ultimately foster a factor in visual comfort prediction models, which will enable the accounting for one’s actual position and view direction in space in a work environment.
Integrated Energy Design of the Building Envelope
Integrated Energy Design of Larger Buildings
Selection of Glazing and Shading Devices for Office Buildings
Sustainability – Energy Optimization – Daylight and Solar Gains
This thesis discusses how energy optimization focused on daylight and solar gains may be qualified as an architectural design method, which does not just increase the energy efficiency of the built environment, but may potentially increase its overall qualities by offering new insights into the complex interrelationships between urban and building design, environmental performance, human needs and behaviour, technology and energy use.
The main hypothesis is that a hierarchy of scales related to energy optimization and environmental performance may be used to guide and support architectural design decisions in the earliest design stages. The hypothesis is examined through literature studies, empirical observations, interviews with practitioners, a series of simulation studies focused on energy optimization, solar gains and daylight, and a final case study applying derived design principles in an architectural design competition.
The aims are:
- To situate energy optimization and environmental performance as qualitative architectural design issues which should also be understood in quantitative terms, by discussing these in a wider cultural and social context of sustainability.
- To investigate the impact of basic urban and building design decisions on energy use and environmental performance in Northern Europe, using the central city districts of Copenhagen as references.
- To combine the insights gained into a theoretical framework, relating the various aspects of energy optimization focused on daylight and solar gains into a coherent methodology.
The thesis demonstrates that not just one, but several functional and cultural hierarchies of scales can be found from practical and theoretical studies and combined into a coherent theoretical framework. It confirms that the most basic architectural design decisions – urban density and pattern, building form and material choice, window to wall ratio, colour and insulation properties of facades, have great impacts on energy use and environmental performance, which is described with more detail and greater precision than previous studies, by adding climate based daylight analysis to thermal and energy simulations.
Design issues related to urban density receives particular attention as the bottom level of a hierarchy of scales, in addition to addressing the trend of increased urbanization and urban densification which is seen internationally as well as in Denmark. It is found that an optimal range of urban densities can be defined balancing building energy efficiency with access to sun and daylight depending on regional climate. In Northern Europe this density can be described as plot ratios between 100 – 300%. But great environmental performance differences among building typologies within this range indicates that there is plenty of design opportunity to improve environmental performance of buildings by working with urban design, building form and orientation and the geometry and properties of the building skin.
It is argued that it is more important to see energy optimization as a creative opportunity to create better, diverse and stimulating environments using urban and building design as the key instruments, rather than focusing on narrow optimization of technical subsystems. The results demonstrate that daylight and solar access is more dependent on urban scale design decisions than energy use, and should therefore be considered primary design objectives in the very beginning of the design process in the context of Northern Europe.
Spectral Modulation of Melanopsin Response – Role of Melanopsin Bistability in Pupillary Light Reflex
By Petteri Teikari, Université Claude Bernard and Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, INSERM U846, France
In addition to the canonical photoreceptors, rods and cones, a novel melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cell (mRGC) was recently discovered. The novel photopigment melanopsin in the human retina has been shown to express invertebrate-like bistable properties both in vitro and in vivo. In bistable photopigment systems, light elicits photosensory responses and drives photoregeneration of the chromophore to restore photic responsiveness. These studies have shown that prior light exposure can modulate the amplitude of subsequent photic responses of melanopsin.
In this thesis, the putative bistability of melanopin in humans is examined. The bistability was studied using 1) pupillary light reflex (PLR) as a tool, 2) developing a method for quantifying the effects of lens density for melanopsin-mediated photoreception, and 3) providing a quantitative mathematical framework for modeling bistable pigment systems and non-image forming (NIF) visual system.
Exploiting the bistable properties of melanopsin could allow for optimization of spectral light distribution in experimental, industrial, domestic and clinical phototherapy applications by appropriate use of the photoregenerative effects of long wavelength light.
Further information at http://www.petteri-teikari.com/
Algorithmic Optimazation of Visual Comfort and View Out in Office
Energy Efficiency in Lighting – Daylighting Design for Energy Saving and Visual Comfort Purpose
Parametri i Praksis – Generative Performance i Arkitektur
by Tore Banke, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Denmark
This PhD project examines the development of parametric sketch tools that integrate multidisciplinary knowledge into the creative architectural design process. Done in collaboration with the Danish architecture office 3XN and Centre for IT and Architecture (CITA) at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation. The project investigates how daylight quality, solar radiation control, and visual and thermal control can be design parameters in the initial design phase. The research is based on practical experiments performed in the competition department at the architecture office 3XN. These experiments are carried out in close collaboration with daylight consultants at Esbensen Engineers, DTU, and the Danish Technological Institute.
Today 80 % of vital design decisions are made during the first 20 % of the design process [Theßeling et al. 2008]. These early decisions concern the work of architects involved in the initial design phase. Today the architecture profession is facing increasing demands for sustainable solutions and so, daylight conditions and indoor comfort have come into focus as never before. The design processes and creative work methods of architects are challenged by the technical processes involved in calculating daylight. The digital toolsets for analysis and simulation have for years been used primarily by engineers and have been applied very late in the design process. At this stage it is costly and often too late to change the overall building design [Liebchen 2002]. Developments in recent years have made analysis and simulation tools for daylight available for architects. In spite of this, these tools are rarely being used in the early design phases, where decisions mainly rely on “rule-of-thumb” methods and past experience.
In recent years programs like Grasshopperand Generative Components2 have made parametric tools with visual programming interfaces accessible to architects at low cost. This gives the opportunity to produce customised toolsets where simulation and architectural design can happen simultaneously. This research project investigates if parametric tools can be used to simulate daylight thereby increasing communication between members of the design team and improving early design decisions.
The entire dissertation can be read at http://issuu.com/parametri/docs/afhandling_tore_banke_web (Thesis in Danish, English Summary)