Designing for daylight is a complex process of balancing the use of available natural light with artificial light through the use of daylighting systems such as architectureeffective lighting solutions, and daylight/shading devices. When used properly, daylight modeling can inform design decisions, optimize solar exposure, and create well-lit interior spaces that occupants can enjoy throughout the life of the building. The following are tips to implement on your next project:

USE INTEGRATED PROJECT TEAMS

Daylight modeling is an excellent tool to identify daylight strategies, but it is ultimately a software simulation. The real success of daylight modeling comes from the collaboration between design team members. This can include the daylight modeler, architect, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and lighting designer. A well-designed daylighting system combines  daylight-responsive lighting controls, interior surfaces that reflect light or reduce glare where needed, mechanical heating and cooling systems to supplement solar heat gains, etc.

DESIGN DAYLIGHT FOR ALL DAY AND ALL SEASONS

Sunlight is an ever-changing and dynamic source of light that must be planned for when designing an effective daylight strategy.  A point-in-time analysis can be used for a micro study to investigate and resolve a particular scenario which might be a potential issue in designing.

CONSIDER DESIGN OBJECTIVES

A crucial tip is to consider design intent – each interior space will have its own function and lighting needs. Who are the occupants of the space? What kind of activity is performed in that space? What times of day will they occupy the spaces? How can the interior layout of a space be designed to maximize daylight potential? Will some spaces have a greater need for daylight than others?