Daylight calculations

Earlsdon Park Village, Coventry. Photo credit: Vistry Partnerships

Better use of daylight may reduce the need for artificial lighting.

On the flip side, daylight may also cause unwelcome glare at workstations or other places where a comfortable visual environment is important.

Without adequate consideration, solar energy can make a room uncomfortably hot, making artificial cooling systems necessary. This not only increases energy bills; it increases the buildings’ carbon footprint and makes it less energy efficient

There are different categories of daylight calculations:

  • Calculations linked to BREEAM
    Light in rooms is based on measures of size, orientation and reflectance.
  • Internal daylight assessment
    Calculations to determine the average daylight factor within a space can help to ensure your building will provide a comfortable environment for building users.
  • Right to light calculations – often linked to planning applications
    We’ll help you do calculations to prove whether a building is or isn’t impinging on someone else’s right to light.
  • Glare
    Detailed assessment to determine if glare will be experienced due to the daylight levels.

Top tips

  1. Gather as much information as you can on existing buildings
    If a building impacts on existing properties, we need as much information on these as possible.For example, how big are the windows and where are they positioned?A full drawing set of new and existing buildings is ideal.
  2. Different rooms have different daylight requirements
    There are different daylight targets for kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms. Kitchens should have the most light, followed by living rooms and bedrooms.“There’s advice we can provide about putting bathrooms, circulation areas and stairwells deep in the building plan, for example,” says Anthony Dale, senior sustainability consultant  at Darren Evans.“You also need to consider the depth of the room – the deeper the rooms are and the further away from windows, the lower the daylight is.”
  3. Don’t forget about overheating risks
    “To maximise daylight, you might use large areas of glazing, but you need to consider the impact on on overheating risks carefully,” says Anthony.

Top tips

  1. Gather as much information as you can on existing buildings
    If a building impacts on existing properties, we need as much information on these as possible.For example, how big are the windows and where are they positioned?A full drawing set of new and existing buildings is ideal.
  2. Different rooms have different daylight requirements
    There are different daylight targets for kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms. Kitchens should have the most light, followed by living rooms and bedrooms.“There’s advice we can provide about putting bathrooms, circulation areas and stairwells deep in the building plan, for example,” says Anthony Dale, senior sustainability consultant  at Darren Evans.“You also need to consider the depth of the room – the deeper the rooms are and the further away from windows, the lower the daylight is.”
  3. Don’t forget about overheating risks
    “To maximise daylight, you might use large areas of glazing, but you need to consider the impact on on overheating risks carefully,” says Anthony.

Watch out for: 

“Daylight targets have been around a long time, they’re not changing anytime soon, so we can help you get it right,” says Anthony. “If you are building a school there are specific requirements so get in touch with us and we can help you meet your targets.”Get in touch
Get in touch

Next steps

To speak to Anthony and the Darren Evans team about support with daylight calculations we’ll need:
  1. Drawings: floor plans, sections and elevations. We don’t need information on insulation levels.
  2. Details on your neighbours: drawings and elevations for the buildings of neighbours are helpful so we can look at shading.
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