Future buildings

Daylight findings from Maison Air et Lumière

It is widely acknowledged that daylight is vital for human health, but do we see the quality of our homes as an important parameter for our own health? And are we aware of all the potential benefits of good daylight conditions in our homes?

76% of Europeans need to turn on electric lighting during the day, while only 20% are too dependent on electricity (Healthy Homes Barometer). This raises the question, are we sufficiently aware of the importance of daylight in our homes?

The architectural concept of Maison Air et Lumière, located South of Paris in France, is based on a compact volume with multiple roof pitches and carefully positioned façade and roof windows, leading in daylight from all directions. The 130 m² floor area extends over one and a half floors, and the house has a window floor ratio of approximately 1:3.

The model home was initially designed to comply with the Active House standards, measuring a buildings' performance in three parameters: comfort, energy and environment. 

Excellent daylight conditions in Maison Air et Lumière
A new study conducted by VELUX researchers evaluates the daylight performance in Maison Air et Lumière, applying both the Active House specifications and the proposed European Daylight Standard (prEN 17037), which is currently in process for formal vote in the European Committee for Standardization (CEN)

Among other findings, researchers discovered that the French family house has good daylight conditions and performs well according to the proposed European Standard. In certain rooms, the levels of daylight exceed the target recommendations.

A family of four occupied the home for one year and measurements of indoor environment were made throughout their occupancy. The results show that the family rarely switched on the lights in the morning, while in the evening electric light was only turned on after sunset. The family also report high satisfaction with the daylight level and find it “appropriate” in the kitchen, the living room, and the bedrooms. 

The Maison Air et Lumière demo residence demonstrates how proper daylight conditions can lead to lower electricity bills and higher satisfaction among homeowners. 

Actual evaluation
The daylight analysis for all main living spaces shows good daylight conditions and the house performs well according to the European Standard as well as the Active House specifications. The daylight analysis is conducted through the VELUX Daylight Visualizer, a professional and validated simulation tool for the analysis of daylight conditions in buildings. The figure below shows the daylight factor simulation output on the ground floor and first floor. 

The table below shows how recommendations according to the European Standard are met in all rooms of the house with levels far exceeding the target recommendations. With regards to the Active House Specifications, almost all living spaces achieve the highest class for daylight performance (i.e. higher or equal to 5% Daylight average), and two rooms meeting the second class (i.e. higher or equal to 3% Daylight average).

European Daylight Standard
Maison Air et Lumière was evaluated according to the European Daylight Standard, which is a new EU legislation awaiting formal voting in CEN before final implementation. If approved, Europe will have its first daylight standard in spring 2018, which will specify the minimum recommendations for daylight and view, as well as the duration of sunlight exposure within residential buildings.

The proposed European Daylight Standard suggests to change the basis of daylight evaluations from simple glazing ratio requirements to `daylight factor targets' based on the occurrence of outdoor illuminance levels from recorded climatic data.

Maison Air et Lumière demonstrates that good daylight conditions can lead to significant savings on electricity use for lighting during daytime and provide the occupants with a high level of satisfaction.

A paper by VELUX researchers was presented at the Lux Europa 2017 conference held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on September 18-20. 

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