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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Daylighting in office buildings Farkas, Tibor


This thesis presents a conceptual framework for the introduction of daylighting considerations into the design of office buildings. Design is an intuitive process, yet the intuition must be educated by study and analysis. The framework developed in the thesis enables the systematic study of daylighting principles and techniques and is a major step towards a grasp of daylighting design. The thesis is divided into nine chapters. The introductory chapter contains a brief history of daylighting in office buildings, examines reasons for daylighting, and explains the structure of the thesis. The following chapter analyses the performance criteria that the luminous environment in office interiors must fulfill in order to provide a satisfactory performance of visual tasks and result in user acceptance. Each of the next five chapters examine specific techniques, under five general objectives: i. promoting daylight access ii. promoting daylight penetration iii. interior space planning for daylighting advantage iv. controlling brightness extremes v. integrating daylight with electrical light In each chapter, these techniques are listed in order of decreasing scale: from site planning, through building configuration and building envelope, to building interior. The thesis shows that daylighting can be incorporated into building design at various levels of commitment, ranging from a total commitment to daylighting, in which the building is conceived as "a light fixture that can be engineered to a state of optimal performance", to a minor commitment, in which, for example, perimeter lights in an otherwise standard office building design are controlled in response to daylighting needs. Furthermore, it is shown that daylighting techniques can be introduced at various scales--some techniques may modulate the massing, while others deal with specific building components. Following the study of techniques, there is a discussion on daylighting design tools and the integration of daylighting with other aspects of design. The thesis concludes that daylighting offers architects the opportunity to design office buildings so that they use less energy and, at the same time, provide a better working environment than is the case with most buildings today.

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