User Preference

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Application Specific : Daylighting

Building typology and specific user group can have a large impact on the success of daylighting strategies. Depending on the application, glare control, visual comfort, thermal performance and other guiding principals may vary.

For users that have a defined position within a space, direct solar control glare and thermal comfort are very important elements to address. For these users, greater control of these elements is necessary since they do not have a choice of their location within a space. Direct view of the sun, high glare, and thermal attributes (radiant heat or cool) can make workstations uncomfortable and difficult to use. Common applications where these aspects should be carefully considered are in office workstations, reception desks, classrooms, gymnasiums, and hospital patient rooms among others. These users have a fixed location/orientation and cannot move themselves to more comfortable conditions within the space. If designed without consideration to these elements, the user will often draw a shade. Once the shade is drawn, it is common that it will stay down far past the time when visual or thermal discomfort has passed. This results in less natural light coming into the space over time, limiting the view potential, decreasing the quality of the space overall, and greater energy use if electric lighting daylighting controls are in place.

For users who have the ability to move within the space, direct solar control, glare control, and thermal comfort have a wider range of acceptability. Users can move out of uncomfortable positions and create a visual or thermal environment that suits their personal preference. For example, depending on the application, a user may prefer to be in direct sunlight and another user may move out of direct sunlight for greater personal comfort. Applications where these aspects of daylight and thermal control are less defined are in library common spaces, break rooms, waiting areas, and corridors among others.

Section Key Resources
  • Boyce, P., Hunter, C., Howlett, O. (2003). The benefits of daylight through windows. Troy (NY): Lighting Research Center.
  • Huizenga, C., Zhang, H., Mattelaer, P., Yu, T., Arens, E, and Lyons, P. (2006). Window Performance for Human Thermal Comfort. Final Report to the National Fenestration Rating Council. Center for the Built Environment, Berkeley and ARUP, Melbourne Australia.
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Lead Author(s): Heather Burpee

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