In this introductory course to daylighting simulation, architects and designers will learn the fundamentals of daylight simulation and how analysis workflows can help create healthy, comfortable, and energy-efficient environments.
Required Foundational Course in the Executive Program in Design for Sustainability (XDS) or as Stand-Alone Course.
8 hours per week to complete all aspects of the course.
AIA 3 LU|HSW
Location & Delivery
Online and Asynchronous (Recorded videos with weekly live interaction)
Who should attend?
This entry-level course is ideal for architects, designers, and engineers with a strong design background, but limited experience with environmental simulation workflows.
Level of Instruction
This is a non-credit course for working professionals taught at the graduate level.
The course will be taught using Pollination plugins, amongst other web-based tools. Students will receive a temporary license to use Pollination during the class. Students will also need to purchase an inexpensive light meter for the class. Pre-constructed base models in Rhino, Revit will be provided. Knowledge of one of these platforms is required to participate in this course.
Course Schedule and Learning Objectives
Explain how light is measured and how it is stimulated.
Understand key industry drivers and benefits of daylight simulation.
Identify appropriate daylighting and shading design strategies for different orientations and massing.
Select appropriate tools for simulating daylight.
History of Daylighting
Daylighting Incentives and Applications
Daylighting Strategies and Rules of Thum: Side, Top, Clerestory, Atrium Lighting
Shading Strategies by Orientation
Types of Simulation: Energy, Quantity, and Quality
Recall the earths movement around the sun as it relates to building geometry during early design phase.
Formulate precise simulation questions for design inquiry.
Execute iterative sunlight, shading, and solar radiation analysis to evaluate design parameters.
Compare and contrast results from early design phase studies to arrive at an optimal design solution.
Latitude, Longitude, Altitude, Azimuth, Sun Path
Sunlight Hour and Shading Studies
Outputs: Metrics and Units of Measurment
Sunlight Study Applications: Zoning, Massing, Orientation, PV Analysis, Material Selection, Passive Strategies (Shading/Solar Collection), Daylight Modeling
Daylighting Design: Quantity and Quality
Define units of measurement for daylighting quantity and quality.
Execute daylight quantity simulations for points in time and annually.
Evaluate daylight simulations to identify areas of darkness, excessive brightness, and adequate lighting.
Design architectural solutions for problem areas revealed by daylight simulation.
Point-in-Time Case Studies, Understanding Benchmarks
Understanding the Outputs: Metrics and Units of Measurment
Daylight Meter Readings
Annual Analysis Case Studies, Understanding Thresholds
Understanding the Outputs: UDI, DA, sDA and % of Time
Design Iteration for Glare and Increasing Light Level
Full Course Description
Early-phase design decisions made by architects and designers have an everlasting impact on a building's embodied carbon, lifetime operational energy use, and daily comfort for building occupants. While modern buildings with all glass facades meet aesthetic preferences, more glass doesn't necessarily mean better daylighting. Large spans of glass poorly oriented require additional materials for shade and glare control, which in turn requires heavier structural systems, increasing not only overall building cost but also its embodied carbon. High window-to-wall ratios also contribute to harmful energy loss/gain through the envelope which requires larger mechanical systems that run for longer periods of time to maintain thermal comfort. Daylight simulation-guided design helps architects and designers identify problem areas in a design to reduce materials, cost, and operational energy use; all while increasing occupant comfort.
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