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Dynamic daylight analysis helps create sustainable cities

Many things need to be taken into consideration when creating the perfect lighting. ÅF Lighting leads the way when it comes to daylight analysis.

Living in cities can be good for the environment. The closer our homes are to our workplaces, the less energy our commuting journeys consume. However, greenery and natural light is appealing to human beings, and it is a fact that many of us still choose to live outside of city centres. Therefore, there is much to be gained from improving daylight conditions in dense urban areas – in terms of human health and happiness, as well as financially and environmentally.

In order to design an attractive and sustainable urban environment many aspects need consideration. What building materials should be used in what part of the building, for optimum insulation? Which facades and surfaces would be best to put solar cells on? Where will there be enough sunlight for vegetation to thrive? And how could the impression of daylight levels be maximised in and around buildings? Daylight analysis is very useful when making these types of decisions.

Basically, you can measure daylight using two types of methods: static and dynamic. Static means measuring light at a particular date and point in time, and dynamic measuring it over a period of time, or several consecutive points in time, such as a year.

Static tools like shadow movement, shadow range, solar envelope and solar projections have their specific uses, but in urban planning, dynamic methods such as insolation and sunlight hours are most useful, as they show how much light has been received by a surface over a period of time during different weather conditions. For instance, measuring insolation on a façade can help determine whether it needs shading, or whether it risks producing glare through reflection. Measuring annual number of sunlight hours helps when making decisions regarding building materials, colour and texture, and when planning electric light inside the building.

Majid Miri is part of a dedicated team of four daylight experts at the Stockholm branch of ÅF Lighting.
–I am pleased to see an increased demand for our services, says Majid Miri. It makes for urban development more adapted to human needs and wellbeing.

Read a feature of Majid Miri and Daylight Analysis in Ljuskultur magazine. (In Swedish)