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Fall 2016




This research investigates methods for increasing the area of daylight autonomy in an adaptive reuse project with deep floorplates. The research employs DIVA simulation tool to assess daylight performance the early phases of design, quantified as Daylight Autonomy (DA), Spatial Daylight Autonomy (sDA) and Annual Sunlight Exposure (ASE). Findings from DIVA analysis reveal that light shelves decrease daylight autonomy but help to reduce glare.

Effective daylight design is critical in adapting a historic building with deep floorplates for office use. Activity-appropriate levels of daylight transmission can offset electrical lighting loads, provide comfortable conditions for occupants, and connect building occupants with the outdoors. This study defines effective daylight as compliant with LEED v4’s metrics of “Spatial Daylight Autonomy and Annual Sunlight Exposure.” This research identifies the implications of key daylighting design parameters on daylight autonomy levels. Within this study, floorplate depth, the presence of light shelves, future use, and external obstructions are factors influencing daylight level performance.

Sources gathered were organized into three categories: Daylight Design Metrics, Modeling and Analyzing Daylighting Data, and Daylighting Design Strategies. These categories transitioned to become methodology framework of this research. Online tutorials, forums and peer consultation were also referenced for the DIVA analysis tool’s effectiveness. This study seeks to provide a framework for identifying areas of daylight autonomy in the early stages of design. This research was conducted in parallel with the concept design and schematic design phases of the interior renovation of a historic building in the urban core of Portland, Oregon, USA. The adaptive reuse project is focused on providing appropriate levels of daylighting to the proposed offices in a building that had been previously utilized for retail. Existing restrooms, storage rooms, electrical rooms, elevators, stairs and mechanical shafts located about the perimeter of building leave central spaces severely underlit. To preserve the historic integrity of the building, the design team’s scope is limited to interior reorganization. This study aims to show that by identifying areas of daylight sufficiency in the early phases of design, proactive programming of a building may help mitigate the need for additional daylight design strategies to provide visually comfortable workspaces.

This research also seeks to provide design professionals a quantitative understanding of the impact that interior design decisions have on daylight autonomy levels. Spatial organization, paint reflectivity, and interior light shelves are examined as methods for increasing daylight autonomy, and the impact of each is quantified.


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Daylight Analysis: Analayzing Daylight Autonomy in the Early Phases of Design on an Adaptive Reuse Project

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