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ArchiTips - Daylight. Advice from architects for architects

Helena Postawka-Lech
23 of October '20

Searching for useful information on the Internet takes a lot of time. Especially if you are looking for proven, factual materials to help you work on your project. However, we have good news. The question of how to use daylight in a modern home can be answered with factual and proven answers in one place. VELUX ArchiTips is a compendium of knowledge on designing with daylight. Correctly selecting windows or calculating the intensity of light in a designed room won't be a problem when you review ArchiTips. What's more, ArchiTips is knowledge from architects for architects, so the portal's content is profiled for that one industry.

What are VELUX ArchiTips?

Simply put, the VELUX ArchiTips portal is a collection of tips and tools that can help architects plan the use of daylight in a project. The materials come in various forms. There are short and specific tips, infographics, longer studies and articles on best practices, and videos. The form is well suited to the content. Instructions and practical advice are given in compact graphic, text or video materials. In contrast, content for inspiration is longer and richly illustrated. Navigation in the portal is easy, because all the materials are divided into three categories: tips, articles and videos.

światło dzienne w pomieszczeniu

Roof windows bring in lots of light

© Velux

life-giving daylight

The role of daylight in architecture cannot be overestimated. It affects every aspect of human life, and consequently design. Its use in architecture has been studied in detail actually since ancient times. The 19th and 20th centuries added a significant contribution here. With the development of other fields such as medicine and psychology, awareness of the impact of daylight on human life began to permeate into architecture. The Charter of Athens included provisions explicitly condemning the design of poorly lit dwellings. Today we already know that daylight in interiors has a beneficial effect not only on humans, but also on our planet. More natural lighting means less electricity used to illuminate rooms. The value of buildings is enhanced by environmental certifications such as LEED, BREEAM and WELL Standard. You can see material about their role in the ArchiTips videos section. These are multi-criteria rating systems, but the use of daylight plays an important role in them. Therefore, in the process of designing a building, no matter whether it is a single-family house or a public building, the stage of daylight analysis cannot be skipped.

narzędzie VELUX Daylight Visualiser

A well-lit attic can serve many functions in a home

© Velux

VELUX Daylight Visualizer tool

However, this is not a simple stage. The intensity of light depends on many factors. In order to conduct such an analysis correctly, many variables must be taken into account. It's hard to perform this task without the right knowledge and tools. VELUX ArchiTips is precisely the knowledge and tools to improve the architect's work. On the portal you will find a detailed instruction on how to use the tool offered by VELUX, the VELUX Daylight Visualizer. It's a program that allows you to model a building in 3D and analyze in detail the intensity of daylight in all rooms. We get it in the form of Daylight Factor charts, and we can generate animations that show changes in lighting depending on the time of day or year. The program allows you to define many factors, such as geographical coordinates or the texture and color of the walls. This allows us to achieve very realistic visualizations. On ArchiTips, we can see a juxtaposition of images generated by VELUX Daylight Visualizer and photos from the realization of these rooms. In some cases it's hard to tell the difference between a photo and a visualization, the lighting is so well reproduced. The ability to import models generated by other programs, such as CAD, is also a big help.

łączenie okien łączenie okien

The intensity of daylight varies with the seasons. It is worth taking this into account when placing windows

© Velux

connecting windows without secrets

Once we find out, thanks to daylight analysis, where we have insufficient daylight in the designed building and where, perhaps, its intensity is too high, we can move on to the next step, which is to look for solutions to the above problems. And here again ArchiTips' advice proves invaluable. Finding the right windows, and in particular the selection of roof windows, can be quite a challenge. What are the rules for combining windows, where are elbow windows best suited, and what parameters to consider when designing window placement - all these questions can be answered on VELUX ArchiTips.

okna dachowe i nie tylko

Each room should have individually good windows

© Velux

not only roof windows

When the slogan comes up: natural daylighting of rooms, many people think primarily of roof windows. Undoubtedly, they will work well in many interiors. However, it's good to keep abreast of new developments and be aware of the range of products we can use. Especially since a room is unequal to a room - we will illuminate a bathroom differently and a children's room differently. Both of these spaces require specific solutions due to conditions or safety requirements. In turn, balcony windows or a roof bal cony are elements that introduce a lot of light into a room, but they can't be used everywhere. The more aware we are of existing solutions, the easier it is to operate them. This allows us not to compromise with the designed block and not to give up aesthetic solutions. Often used in modern architecture, a flat roof can be perfectly used to illuminate rooms, using windows for flat roofs. It is also worth knowing accessories for roof windows. External blinds can work well in southern exposure, where the light is too harsh during certain hours.

zrównoważony rozwój green solution house

Green Solution House

© Velux

sustainability

The relationship that daylight intensity in a building and ecology have with each other has already been mentioned. Without a doubt, good use of light is one of the tenets of sustainability in architecture. That's why many of the materials on the VELUX ArchiTips portal show good practices in this area. Interestingly, these are not experimental buildings, but functioning buildings, such as the Green Solution House on Bornholm. The hotel uses numerous emission-reducing solutions. Danish architects from 3XN Architects did a room analysis just with the VELUX Daylight Visualizer and applied solutions that maximize natural light in the building. Even the bathrooms are well lit, where tunnel skylights bring in plenty of light without disrupting privacy. The building, in the spirit of the "cradle to cradle" idea, shows that sustainability in architecture is not only possible, but is also commercially attractive. VELUX ArchiTips is a mine of such inspiration gathered in one place.

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