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  • Writer's picture07 Sketches

Different daylighting systems to include in your next architectural project

1. Sunlight can affect the architecture design. An architect or designer must design the buildings considering the directions of the sun before construction. The sun can affect the planning of rooms. UV radiation or harsh direct sunlight have many negative impacts, and hence, study of orientation is a must. Overheating of space can cause thermal discomfort and if the building is not oriented properly, the use of mechanical ventilation and cooling increases and consumption of electricity will be more throughout the year which is against the sustainable design as discussed in previous topics. So lets take a look at sketches shown

and understand solar paths and suitable spaces with respect to the sun

angle and orientation.

Site plan of different building orientation
Building orientation with respect to region type

Room placement according to the sun path

Sun angles

Site plan

2. Daylight strategy includes light well, reflective blinds, roof monitors, clerestory and light shelf as shown in below sketches -

Different daylighting techniques
  • Light Well: A sunlit space in a building's center that brings natural light into interior areas.

  • Reflective Blinds: Window coverings that bounce sunlight into a room, reducing glare and enhancing brightness.

  • Roof Monitors: Structures on a roof that capture and direct daylight into the building below.

  • Reflectors: Surfaces that bounce sunlight to brighten dim areas or reduce shadows.

  • Clerestory: High windows near a building's roofline that let in daylight while maintaining privacy.

  • Light Shelf: A horizontal surface that reflects sunlight onto the ceiling, spreading indirect light indoors.

3. Anidolic Daylighting - Anidolic daylighting is a type of daylighting system that uses special lenses or reflectors to direct sunlight into a building through an opening in the roof. This type of system is used to provide natural light to interior spaces in a way that is energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. It is particularly useful in buildings where it is difficult to incorporate traditional windows, such as in atria or double-height spaces.

Anidolic daylighting

4. Heliostat Daylighting - A heliostat is a device that uses a motor to track the movement of the sun and reflect sunlight onto a specific target. Heliostats can be used to beam sunlight into a building through the use of light pipes, which are tubes that are coated with a reflective material and designed to channel sunlight from the heliostat to the interior of the building. The light pipes can be installed on the roof or walls of the building and are typically connected to a small opening in the ceiling or wall, through which the sunlight is directed into the building.

Daylighting system

5. Tubular skylight - A tubular skylight is a small, circular dome that is installed on the roof of a building and connected to a long, narrow tube that runs down through the ceiling. The dome captures sunlight and directs it down the tube, which is lined with a reflective material,

to the interior of the building. Tubular skylights are a type of passive solar lighting system, which means that they do not use any electricity or other forms of energy to operate.

Tubular skylighting

6. Atrium - An atrium is a large, open space within a building that is typically surrounded by windows and skylights. It is designed to provide

natural daylighting to the interior of a building and create a visually appealing focal point for occupants. Atria are commonly used in commercial and public buildings, such as shopping malls, airports, and office buildings, but they can also be found in residential structures.


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Dmitriy Demidov
Dmitriy Demidov
Aug 04, 2023

Thank you! Good material! Useful for the stage when planning to build a house. Are there any tips on what to do if the apartment in a multi-storey building already has a fixed position and how to adapt it depending on the directions of the windows to the sides of the world?

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