UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Retrofitting Tokyo’s existing office buildings with natural lighting Urano, Kazu


The objective of this thesis is to propose strategies to increase the market value of Tokyo's existing office buildings, especially those designed in the 1970's and 1980's, using natural lighting as an integral part of office renovation. Value in Tokyo office buildings has traditionally been judged in terms of a limited range of considerations — location, functionality and architectural aesthetics. Recently however, the decision-making factors which drive the market value of Tokyo's office buildings have widely recognized the benefits of a broader range of considerations associated with "environmentally friendly building" which offers higher quality indoor working environments and improved energy efficiency. With such an increased consciousness of environmentally responsible practices, office renovation with natural lighting provides an appropriate response to the demands of the recent Tokyo office market. There is very little published research and design guidelines on office renovation with natural lighting, resulting in limited guidance specific to Tokyo's dense urban situation. It is widely acknowledged that office renovation with environmentally friendly techniques requires the creative integration of various systems and strategies and a more coordinated effort by members of the design team. This thesis reviews existing guidelines and identifies a suitable design process for retrofitting Tokyo's existing office buildings with natural lighting. Current techniques in Tokyo office renovations associated with natural lighting only tend to focus on shading functions to avoid overheating and glare problems. This limited scope fails to recognize the important benefits provided by natural lighting distribution. This thesis offers an innovative office renovation design framework which aims to provide effective natural lighting control solutions which function to enhance interior natural lighting through distribution to the interior while maintaining the shading function. This framework seeks to integrate team decision making and a simplified natural lighting evaluation software with the design process to optimize natural lighting conditions in office environments. Through the design of effective natural lighting control devices, office renovations can provide more comfortable and delightful office environments which have a high potential for increasing worker productivity, while increasing energy efficiency. While environmental assessment tools have become increasingly sophisticated, providing office building owners with ambitious environmental performance goals, office building owners lack sufficient guidance on how to achieve these goals. The framework developed in this study offers guidance on the design of effective natural lighting control devices as a means of renovating Tokyo's older existing office buildings to meet today's high environmental performance standards. This framework emphasizes that increased environmental performance adds value to older existing office buildings, not only in terms of environmental externalities, but in terms of measurable economic performance.

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