Lighting simulation for a more value-driven building design process

University dissertation from Lund : Miljöpsykologiska enheten, Institutionen för arkitektur, Lunds tekniska högskola

Abstract: Concerns about global warming are increasing, hence, the urgency to cut carbon emissions. Reducing energy consumption, including lighting energy, is seen as the primary solution. Yet, solving the environmental factor should not come at the cost of other pillars of sustainable development. Rather, maximizing the total value of the building should be the focus. Maximizing value in the context of lighting entails improving the quality of the lighting. This study has investigated how lighting simulation could help in achieving better lighting quality. The aim of the thesis was defined as to understand the underlying architecture of lighting simulation and obtain an overview of its characteristics and applications as well as to study the use of current simulation tools.The theoretical background of lighting simulation (in the domain of Systems Engineering) was reviewed from the literature. This revealed the missing and imperfect links in the solution-to-value chain. The thesis suggests the use of a new base metric, Retinal Illuminance Map, as a solution, which in combination with black box simulation of a visual system can help repair this incomplete chain.The study of the current lighting simulation tools (Paper 1) revealed that illuminance-based metrics, luminance-based metrics, daylight availability metrics, and glare indexes are the most available performance metrics in existing lighting simulation tools. Based on usability, acceptability, availability, and previous references in the literature six software programs (Radiance, DAYSIM, Evalglare, DIALux, VELUX, and VISSLA) were selected and compared. It was found that no single tool could meet all the needs of a designer, hence, simulation tool(s) should be selected (or combined) according to the requirements of project goals and the stage of design.Building on these studies, applications of lighting simulation were identified and compiled in relation to different aspects, including performance metrics, stages of design, optimization, model integration, BIM, and parametric modeling.To obtain first-hand information about lighting designers’ experience, an online survey was conducted in Sweden (Paper 2). The results showed that lighting simulation programs were widely (90%) used in Sweden for analysis and/or rendering purposes. The majority of lighting designers considered both daylight and artificial light in their design. Factors such as ease-of use, simulation time and training had more weight than accuracy and the diversity of metrics in practitioner’s eyes. Surrogate modeling was identified as a solution for speeding up simulation time, which would also enable exploration of design solution space especially in the early design stage.

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