Most of us believe that in order fora place to be daylit, it just needs a window with a view, while in fact, it’s amuch more sophisticated matter.
Foran architect to consider his building daylit, some major aspects must be put inconsideration. First of all, this building must rely on natural light as themain source of illumination throughout daytime and preferably save energy atnight. Second, thermal comfort is a very important issue that must be achieved.Last but not least, the more visual connection with the surrounding environmentis allowed, the more sophisticated and beautiful the design is. If thesefactors were well thought of and achieved, the resulting benefits would benumerous. Generally, natural light affects the human’s health, as it regulatesthe circadian cycle and allows for concentration.
Consequently, work conditionsare improved because people get more productive and creative while working ingood quality daylight. In addition, it majorly affects our sense of space andtime and allows the human to clearly perceive colors and textured of differentobjects. Natural light is also so important in architecture as it is consideredone of the most dynamic elements that allows for changing the aestheticqualities of the building. As the intensity of the sun changes throughout theday and even between seasons, different shades and shadows are subjected on thebuilding facades and also inside the interior spaces. However,In order to provide sufficient illumination by natural light, some challengesare faced.
Firstly, direct sunlight can cause undesirable glare on worksurfaces, which is always a major problem in offices and classrooms. Also, youcannot take from the sun its light while blocking the heat. If amount of heatenergy the building would gain is not put in consideration, thermal comfortwould be hard to achieve. Finally, the materials used in the building caneither be a favor or a curse. It can affect the amount of heat gain,reflectivity of the building and also increase or regulate the glare.
Tomaximize the benefits of the natural illumination, many strategies can beadopted to overcome the disadvantages. These strategies include choosing the bestmaterial for transparent surfaces, which include electro-chromic glass andtranslucent films on windows or even blocking the sunrays from directlypenetrating the windows through shading devices. Dynamic glass as well plays ahuge rule in not only controlling glare, but also in minimizing the heat gainthrough windows. This type of glass tints according to the angle of sun raysthrough different times of the day and thus, controls the amount of sunlightpenetration through it, resulting in decreasing the need for using AC systems.
To conclude, natural light is a sophisticatedyet very important element that, when successfully achieved, it adds more valueto the design. In order to reach optimum design that depends less on electricenergy, the architect must study the challenging nature of natural illuminationand overcome it.