Challenging Conventional Approaches for Climate-based Daylight Simulations of Multi-Unit Residential Buildings

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Conference Proceeding by ASHRAE, 2020



Multi-unit residential buildings (MURB) represent more than one half of the new housing built in the USA and Canada. To date, the majority of daylighting research has focused on offices, but MURB have a number of environmental performance challenges and quality of life considerations specific to their housing typology. Daylight is typically not sufficient in these dwellings, as many units are small and single-aspect, with a deep floorplate and a balcony that shades the living spaces within and below. There are no established metrics or methods specifically aimed to aid in daylighting designfor MURB. There is a need for increased understanding of daylighting in these buildings, and better methods and metrics to simulate daylight performance. New early stage climate-based daylighting modeling (CBDM) tools such as DIVA allow designers to predict daylight performance in buildings. These tools were developed with offices in mind, and have underlying assumptions such as work hours and occupancy during daylight, anda focus on productivity and minimum sufficient lighting for a task, that make them difficult to adopt for MURB. This paper emerged from a study of the influence of balcony typologies on daylighting andpresents a selective literature review of existing assumptions around daylight simulations for MURB. It identifies which assumptions in current tools and methods are problematic, with the aim of leading to more relevant CBDM assumptions and tools for this building typology. Drawing on recent literature, publishedstudies, and rules of thumb, this paper identifies MURB specific challenges with current assumptions about daylight simulation and tests some alternatives to typical simulation parameters. The aim is to begin to create MURB-specific thresholds for parameters including target daylight illuminance, metrics, and simulation grid height.

Citation: ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Bldg Simulation Conf, Sept 2020

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