Architectural strategies to integrate wellbeing and health effects of daylight into the design of primary schools: a comparative analysis of exemplary case studies

Starting from an architect’s point of view, the aim of this research is to combine the daylight performance of educational spaces with a broader spatial, cultural, and historical approach. Through a rigorous study of school typologies, the geometry of their spaces, and their associated daylighting strategies, this work aims to connect design practitioners with aspects of health and well-being for the pupils, as far as these aspects are related to the quality of daylight. The proposed methodology seeks to analyse a range of outstanding case studies from the masters of modern architecture, embodying architectural strategies specifically designed to ensure adequate illuminance levels in learning areas throughout the day. A selection of some singular primary schools will be established through a historical analysis which emphasizes the impact of hygienists’ principles – legacies of Modernism – on the evolution of plans and volumes of different school typologies in Switzerland and Europe, from 1945 to the present days. An analysis of the selected case studies will be carried out using an innovative representation method of average illuminance received at eye-level and combined with a HLR model – currently under development at LIPID [1, 2] – which assesses the health potential of daylight using a dynamic approach. Through a validation of the simulated results using different in situ measurements and analyses following a specific protocol, we aim to accurately identify architectural criteria and propose strategies for achieving “circadian design”, more specifically those having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of occupants. We will also carry out a comparative critical assessment of the buildings selected as case studies in the initial phase of this proposed research. The goal is to positively influence decisions related to the design of naturally lit spaces, specifically in schools and according to their impact on health, wellbeing and student productivity. The methodology will be a complementary blend of observations, in situ measurements and qualitative and quantitative analyses, both in a simulated environment and in actual working conditions of the selected case studies.

Andersen, Marilyne
Presented at:
VELUX Daylight Academic Forum, London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, Sept. 2015

 Record created 2016-02-25, last modified 2018-03-17

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