Predict average daylight factor. Does this correspond to recommended levels? Please comment on the suitability of the glazing and its location

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MSc Light & Lighting


Coursework: BENVGLG1 Daylight


Mulberry House School, NW2 3XL: Daylight analysis


Mulberry House School is a small primary school for children, the `Upper School` houses about 100 children aged between 4 and 7 in a free standing purpose‐built building on the corner of Minster Road and Shoot Up Hill (leads to Cricklewood Broadway.) The building is about thirty years old and is due to be refurbished and extended.

The School is a two storey building with rooms either side of a central corridor on both floors. All the classrooms are daylit from windows from one side and they vary in proportion and fenestration. As may be expected the interior walls are covered with bookcases, visual aids and the children`s work. Some classrooms are carpeted and others have a lino floor covering. The building is compact and densely planned, with what now may be regarded as low floor to ceiling heights. In some areas windows have been encroached upon for other uses such as screens. Blinds are in use on all windows to control sunlight and provide appropriate conditions for projection. In the two classrooms on the side of the building facing Shoot Up Hill the staff have reported overheating in the summer months, the blinds being relied upon to control sunlight penetration.

As a purpose built school, there is an expectation that it should be well daylit and a good visual environment for the children and staff. In this Coursework you are asked to assess the current daylight conditions in classrooms G/2 , G/4 1/1 and 1/2. On the basis of the photographs and drawings provided you are asked to undertake both quantitative (enumerative) and qualitative (subjective) analysis with the objective of compiling a report on the current daylighting conditions. The steps below are intended to both parallel the course of lectures and provide a path to developing an understanding of the building`s daylight performance. Whilst you may view the exterior of school from the adjacent streets you are specifically requested not to enter the building. The scale drawings and photos supplied with these notes provide sufficient information for you to compile your report. Notwithstanding this, the information is not be complete and you will have to interpolate from what you are given and where necessary make reasoned assumptions. This is frequently the case in daylighting design / analysis especially when opening sizes and materials are yet undecided in a design project.

Your submission will include the following steps.

1)                  Visual appraisal

Starting with the exterior of the building, make a brief appraisal of how daylight is used in the 4 classrooms. Use the photographs to assess the location and type of windows as well as the materials and finishes used in each of the classrooms. In particular, try to imagine how the they are used and the role daylight plays. Please use the photos provided to illustrate your observations. On the basis of this purely visual analysis, how well do you think that the building uses daylight?

2)                  Quantitative Analysis – Adequacy

One of the key questions asked of daylight designers in northern Europe is will there be enough daylight? Guidance on daylighting in classrooms has been published for more than 100 years and you are to review the current guidance for schools whilst making your analysis.

For the 4 classrooms you are asked to:

a)                  Predict average daylight factor. Does this correspond to recommended levels? Please comment on the suitability of the glazing and its location.

b)                  Analyse the distribution of daylight in the classrooms. Make use of as many techniques as possible to calculate daylight factors including:

‐  A scale model study of relevant parts of the building in the variable luminance sky

‐  Manual daylight prediction techniques. BRE protractors are recommended but other techniques include Waldram diagrams, pepper pot diagrams etc.

‐  Computer simulation eg AGI 32, Relux, Dialux

Where you make assumptions about reflectance and dimensions clearly indicate these in your report. You will also need to estimate the shading effect of adjacent buildings and vegetation.

What comments do you have on the suitability of `light on working plane` as the primary goal for determining daylight distribution? Would you recommend any changes to the windows or classroom interiors to improve lighting conditions.

3)                  Quantitative Analysis – Solar

Use both a sun path diagram to evaluate the building’s relationship to sunlight and the Bartlett`s sun simulator in the variable luminance `Sky` (Hampstead Road) to evaluate the penetration of sunlight into the classrooms. Consider carefully how you are going to present your findings. Do you consider the existing solar control adequate? You may also use Climate Consultant 5 <‐design‐ > to review the likelihood of overheating.

4)                  Daylighting Appraisal

From your analysis, comment on the use of daylight and its likely success in this building. Do you feel that the architects fully appreciated the daylighting implications of their design? Are there any modifications that you feel are appropriate to reduce identified problems or possibly improve conditions? Comment on the applicability of current recommendations for daylighting in schools.

5)                 Overview

You have been asked to appraise the lighting in a completed building using a range of different methods. Do you have any comments on the tools and techniques you have used?

Put yourself in position of the original architect. Would anything you have learnt in applying these tools have affected the location size and distribution of windows. Would you have considered any refinements to the layout /planning of the building if you had had the choice? Please illustrate your answers with diagrams.


x      Print A3 copies of the drawings provided, these will be at the scales shown. It should be straightforward to determine the dimensions of the classrooms.

x      Construct a simple physical scale model. This will be a valuable tool for examining vertical and horizontal daylight factors and sunlight penetration. For the latter, select representative days of the year and hours of the day. Please note you do not have to make a model of all the building`s interiors to be able to analyse the classrooms.

x      Use a camera and a notebook to record your findings in a structured format.

Note: an individual submission is required for each student. However, model making and measurements may usefully be done in groups – but don’t lose the opportunity to be involved and be sceptical of others findings!


x      Six plans and sections of Mulberry House School

x      Please note, all the windows in the School are single glazed

x      Photos of the interior and exterior, by permission of the Mulberry House School and only to be used in conjunction with this project.



Price: £149

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