BIM for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Curriculum


Analyzing the Daylighting Provided in a Design

Is it beneficial to have even daylighting across an entire room? When might darker or lighter areas be more advantages?

LEED requires a daylight factor of 2 percent over at least 75 percent of the regularly occupied area in order to get points.  

The amount of daylighting recommended for each part of a room depends on the types of activities performed there.

What characteristics of a space, besides the total glazing area and window placement, have the biggest impact on daylighting levels?

Several factors affect the amount of light that penetrates the glazed openings. For example the glazing material properties, shading features, or light reflecting features installed at the openings all impact the amount of light captured and reflected into the space.

Once light has entered the space, the reflectance of the surface it bounces off of (which can be affected by surface texture and color) and the distance from the glazed openings also affects the daylighting levels experienced at a specific location.

Adding Design Features to Improve Daylighting

Are there times when daylighting should be reduced? What kind of design features can be used for these applications?

Bright areas are not always needed. They can cause too much heat or provide an uncomfortable glare. To reduce these effects, window shades can be used, sun fins can be installed, or windows can be removed.

What types of interior design features can be used to disperse and reflect light?

Many products are used in interior spaces to bounce light and disperse it throughout a building. These products can help to reduce daylight directly in front of windows and increase daylighting near the center of the space by reflecting the light captured near the windows.