Journal article

Unweaving the human response in daylighting design

Daylighting as a research topic situates itself at the interface between psycho-physiological and environmental factors, bringing together questions relevant to architectural design and building engineering, but also to human physiology and behavior. While daylighting has a strong impact on human health and well-being, and an undeniable association with (subjective) emotional delight and perceived quality of a space, it is also highly dynamic and variable in nature, based on a combination of predictable (sun course) and stochastic (weather) patterns. This makes it both a challenging and essential aspect of how “performative” a space can be considered. This paper aims to discuss selected research developments regarding how architectural engineering and other domains of science could be more strongly bridged to address the need for meaningful decision support in daylighting design: how can we better integrate the complexity of human needs in buildings into effective design strategies for daylit spaces? As a basis for discussion and to illustrate this overview, it describes a unified goal-based approach in an attempt to address the multiplicity of perspectives from which daylighting performance can – and should – be evaluated in building design. Through five very different perspectives ranging from task-driven illumination or comfort to human-driven health and perception, it proposes a simulation and visualization framework in which one can start approaching these from an integrated approach.

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