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Daylighting – Maximising Natural Light

Daylighting is the practice of controlled admission and maximising of natural light into a building by placing windows or openings and reflective surfaces so that during the daytime natural light is able to provide effective internal lighting. Daylighting also has an affect on temperature regulation in a building. Particular attention is paid to daylighting while designing a building when the aim is to maximise visual comfort or to reduce energy consumption. And Natural light is necessary for our health and well being making for a more productive environment.

“Beyond adding windows or skylights to a space, it involves carefully balancing heat gain and loss, glare control, and variations in daylight availability.”

(World Building Design Guide, National Institute of Building Sciences)


(The Seona Reid Building at the Glasgow School of Art – Steven Holl Architects)

“Successful daylighting designs will carefully consider the use of shading devices to reduce glare and excess contrast in the workspace.”

(World Building Design Guide, National Institute of Building Sciences)


The source of all natural daylight is the sun and there are many ways of maximising natural light within a building which can include the installation of; windows, clerestory windows, skylights, sawtooth roof, atrium, remote distribution, light reflectors and shelves, daylight redirecting window film (DRF), light tubes, fibre-optic concrete wall.

How does Daylighting relate to my Project?

I would really like to use as much natural light in my design as possible as I am designing a creative business and hospitality hub and natural light is important for visibility in the “creative” and “business” side of the design as the user needs to be able to see what they are doing. It may not be so important in all of the “hospitality” side of the design, however I would like to include it where possible. Additionally, the building that I have chosen has south facing windows on the third floor which also has window around north and east facing sides. I am planning on extending the building using glass and another material in conjunction that will help to manage the heat entering the building and regulate the temperature. I am also planning to enlarge some of the windows to allow more natural light to enter.

Some useful links about daylighting:

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