- Climate & Site Analysis
- Climate Analysis
- Human Thermal Comfort
- Building Site and Program
- Passive Design Strategies
- Building Massing & Orientation
- Passive Heating
- Passive Cooling
- Lighting and Daylighting Design
- Green Building Materials
- Indoor Air Quality
- Bldg Science Resources
- Autodesk Insight Tools
- Exploring Insight
- Exploring Insight Factors
- Creating an Energy Model
- Basic workflow with conceptual models
- Workflow for schematic models
- Workflow for detailed models
- Comparing Scenarios in Insight
- Building Orientation in BIM
- Energy Loads in BIM
- Lighting Analysis in BIM
- Revit tools for BPA
- Energy Performance and Climate in BIM
- Sun Path Visualization in BIM
- Wind Analysis in BIM
- Solar Analysis in BIM
- Thermal properties in Revit and Insight
- Glazing Thermal Properties in Revit and Insight
- Envelope Thermal Properties in Revit and Insight
- Using Spaces in Revit
You can understand and quantify the amount of the sun’s light in your project with daylighting analysis. This can help you create comfortable and beautiful spaces, reduce lighting loads, and reduce cooling loads.
When doing daylighting analysis, you’re typically trying to answer some fundamental questions that include:
- Can you improve the form of the building/room to get more natural light?
- Can you get enough light for specific tasks?
- How much can you offset artificial lights with daylight?
- Is light well distributed and not causing glare?
There are many ways to measure and visualize light, and you may use different tools depending on which question you’re trying to answer. The decision tree below can guide you to the right metrics and tools.
Jump down for more information on:
Before you can effectively use the daylighting values reported in the software, it’s important to know what the numbers represent.
See more information on the Measuring Light page.
Some especially important notes are:
- Good daylight comes from the sky, not the sun directly.
- When determining light levels for tasks in a building, measure the light falling onto the surface (illuminance, measured in lux or footcandles). This does not depend on the material properties at the analysis point.
- When trying to avoid glare, usually measure the differences in the light reflecting off of a surface (luminance values in cd/m2, or another glare metric like DGP). This does depend on the material properties at the analysis point.
- Metrics like daylight autonomy and UDI are especially useful when trying to predict energy savings based on daylight analysis, and analyzing the effectiveness of daylight at a particular workspace. These can be calculated with Daysim and Radiance.
It’s important to remember that computer simulations take time. The first step is to have a clear vision of how the results will help you improve your design. You may be able to use hand calculations and rules of thumb to get started.
To avoid glare, you’ll want to avoid the penetration of direct sun. And, since daylight is a form of radiation (short wave, within the visible spectrum), studying solar radiation can give you a sense for how much light you may be able to pull in from different sides of the building.
Often designers use previous experience and rules of thumb during these early phases. But when using BIM, you typically want to study conceptual rooms for their overall shape, aperture layout and size, and general shading strategies. Metrics to consider are the average daylight factor for the space.
Later in the design process, you can really hone-in on the daylight to test for interior visual comfort. This is where computer simulations and lighting consultants typically come in. Often this work involves quickly testing different design parameters like shading features, glazing properties, and window placement. Simulation results are usually calculated on a workplane and from specific vantage points (head height of a worker).
Daylighting can be an incredibly in-depth topic. Additional resources to help you get started: