The VELUX Daylight Symposiums held in Budapest in 2005, Bilbao 2007, Rotterdam 2009, Lausanne 2011, Copenhagen 2013, London 2015 and Berlin in 2017 have set the scene. They have brought together participants from research and practice, fields who rarely meet at conferences and the symposium has today established itself as an internationally recognized meeting point for daylight research, daylight practice and policymaking.
The first symposium concluded that daylighting researchers, educators, designers and building users were not necessarily on the same wavelength – at least not yet. However, the willingness to collaborate clearly exists.
The second symposium had a strong focus on daylight conditions in schools and the relationship between daylighting and students´ wellbeing and achievements. The symposium concluded that architects and engineers must redirect their design work towards more and better daylighting. Also, that software with good rendering capabilities in daylighting was needed.
The third Daylight Symposium focused specifically on benefits in connection with energy use and health. Worldwide, the interest in daylighting has been renewed considerably to meet future challenges in relation to energy efficiency as well as towards human health and wellbeing. The symposium concluded that daylight and its effect on human health has evolved to a unified understanding that buildings, which provide daylight are healthier places to live in.
The fourth symposium focused on daylight in a human perspective and had specific focus on the effects of daylight on building occupants. A conclusion was that we receive too little daily light doses, and that low light exposure during the day is associated with diminished health and well-being, including reduced sleep quality, depressed mood and poorer social relations – effects that place a substantial burden on individuals and the economy.
The fifth Daylight Symposium had the theme “New Eyes on Existing Buildings”, and a specific focus on the opportunities and challenges we face, when considering the need to prioritise daylight in the retrofit of existing buildings and city structures. It becomes evident, that the need to prioritise daylight in the retrofitting of existing buildings is more relevant than ever, since the majority of the existing building stock will remain in use for decades. One conclusion was that a stronger dialogue between decision and policy makers is needed. They seem to be unaware, sceptical, or even indifferent to daylighting’s effect on human well-being.
The sixth symposium investigated “Daylight as a driver of change” and focused specifically on the challenges faced by today’s 24/7 society; how we live our lives with more than 90% of our daily routines happening indoors, and how it affects our synchronisation to nature. How can we ensure that our modern lifestyle is in balance with nature’s daily and seasonal cycles? How can spaces and occupants adapt to changing daily and seasonal conditions? How can architecture and daylight interact to stimulate our senses? How can we rethink our homes, workplaces and public spaces into healthier and more sustainable living environments?
The seventh and latest symposium was held under the theme “Healthy and Climate-Friendly Architecture – from knowledge to practice” and focused on the use of daylight – firstly to create buildings that promote human health and wellbeing, and secondly to minimize the negative impact of man-made structures and activities on climate change. The growing link between research and practice was emphasized by many of the 39 speakers present at the event.
All presentations from previous symposiums are available under this section.