Floor to Floor Height

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Introduction

Source: Daylighting Rules of Thumb, Christopher Reinhart
Source: Daylighting Rules of Thumb, Christopher Reinhart


Sky angle (θ) = 90º – arctan(y’/x) – arctan(y/d)


The optimum floor to floor height of a building may be derived from a number of variables- maximum depth of daylight penetration, desired exterior wall and window area. The maximum daylight penetration is about 2.5 times the head height of the window without shades and about 2 times the head height of the window with shading devices. The window to daylit-floor area for optimum performance ranges from 20%-25% (without including window area below task height). The energy codes also restrict maximum allowable window to wall area ratios. Given daylight zone depth will require certain window head height, which will determine the ceiling height; depending on structure and other systems that may be required above the ceiling, a floor-to-floor height may be determined. Note that there are tradeoffs between thermal penalty and increased daylight access as the exterior wall area increases. Advanced simulation tools with both thermal and luminous capabilities help


Section Key Resources
  • Daylighting Rules of Thumb, Christopher Reinhart, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2009
  • Daylighting in Every Building, The Weidt Group, 2007
  • Daylighting Guide for Canadian Commercial Buildings, Public Works and Government Services, Canada, 2002
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Lead Author(s): Vinay Ghatti

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