Most of us believe that in order for
a place to be daylit, it just needs a window with a view, while in fact, it’s a
much more sophisticated matter.
an architect to consider his building daylit, some major aspects must be put in
consideration. First of all, this building must rely on natural light as the
main source of illumination throughout daytime and preferably save energy at
night. Second, thermal comfort is a very important issue that must be achieved.
Last but not least, the more visual connection with the surrounding environment
is allowed, the more sophisticated and beautiful the design is. If these
factors were well thought of and achieved, the resulting benefits would be
numerous. Generally, natural light affects the human’s health, as it regulates
the circadian cycle and allows for concentration. Consequently, work conditions
are improved because people get more productive and creative while working in
good quality daylight. In addition, it majorly affects our sense of space and
time and allows the human to clearly perceive colors and textured of different
objects. Natural light is also so important in architecture as it is considered
one of the most dynamic elements that allows for changing the aesthetic
qualities of the building. As the intensity of the sun changes throughout the
day and even between seasons, different shades and shadows are subjected on the
building facades and also inside the interior spaces.
In order to provide sufficient illumination by natural light, some challenges
are faced. Firstly, direct sunlight can cause undesirable glare on work
surfaces, which is always a major problem in offices and classrooms. Also, you
cannot take from the sun its light while blocking the heat. If amount of heat
energy the building would gain is not put in consideration, thermal comfort
would be hard to achieve. Finally, the materials used in the building can
either 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.
maximize the benefits of the natural illumination, many strategies can be
adopted to overcome the disadvantages. These strategies include choosing the best
material for transparent surfaces, which include electro-chromic glass and
translucent films on windows or even blocking the sunrays from directly
penetrating the windows through shading devices. Dynamic glass as well plays a
huge rule in not only controlling glare, but also in minimizing the heat gain
through windows. This type of glass tints according to the angle of sun rays
through different times of the day and thus, controls the amount of sunlight
penetration through it, resulting in decreasing the need for using AC systems.
To conclude, natural light is a sophisticated
yet very important element that, when successfully achieved, it adds more value
to the design. In order to reach optimum design that depends less on electric
energy, the architect must study the challenging nature of natural illumination
and overcome it.