Building Elevation & Fenestration



Building Aspect

The sun's path

Window design in relation to elevations and lighting of rooms

There are various arrangements to achieve acceptable daylight factors within a building for specific visual functions. The arrangement of the windows and other openings in the walls provides the main architectural character of a building, generally called fenestration.

No account is taken of the influence of direct sunlight, but various methods of calculating daylight factors have been devised for overcast sky conditions. Modifications to values can be made for glazing materials other than clear glass, dirt on the glass and reductions caused by the window framing.

If windows or skylights are within the normal field of vision inside a building, they are likely to be distractingly bright compared with other things occupants may wish to study. To reduce this apparent brightness, or glare, the openings should generally be placed away from interior focal points. Glare can also be reduced by reducing the brightness of the light source (tinted glass, exterior louvres or curtaining) while increasing the brightness of the interior spaces by better light distribution techniques, such as the use of lighter colours for surfaces, or in extreme conditions by supplementary artificial lighting.

Although exerting a very pleasing influence, brightening interior colours and providing both psychological and physical warmth, direct sunlight in a building can cause intensive glare, overheating and fading of surface colours. For this reason, sunlight used to illuminate a building is also often diffused or reflected to reduce its intensity. Shading and reflecting devices include trees, awnings, exterior and interior louvres, blinds, shades and curtaining. Overhead shading devices (brise soleil) block or filter direct sunlight, allowing only reflected light from the sky and ground to enter a building. Louvres and blinds are capable of converting direct sunlight, into a softer indirect - reflected light.

Artificial lighting

The chief drawback of day lighting is its inconsistency, especially its total unavailability after dusk and before sunrise. Artificial lighting can he instantly and constantly available, is easy to manipulate and can be controlled by the occupants of a building. However, day lighting and artificial lighting should be regarded as complementary. Artificial lighting is used mainly for night-time illumination and as a daytime supplement when day lighting alone is insufficient.

An acceptable balance of brightness within a building can be accomplished by an integration between the design of natural daylight sources and artificial supplementary lighting to provide the combined level of light appropriate to a specific visual task. During daylight hours natural light should appear dominant wherever possible.

However, quite apart from artificial light sources supplementing lighting levels, the use of artificial lighting in a building could lead to more flexible internal planning arrangements and to the incorporation of fewer or smaller windows. Thus daytime supplementary artificial lighting schemes directly affect the appearance of a building and its economy of construction.

Against this must be levelled the probability of greater energy usage, although reference should be been made to the effects which artificial lighting installations have upon the heating load for an interior, and the possible economic advantages obtained by the recycling of heat generated by lamps, etc.

The objective of lighting design is to achieve an appropriate brightness or luminance for a visual task to be performed. When establishing desired luminance levels, account must he taken of the appearance (position, colour, shape and texture) of all wall, ceiling and floor surfaces, as well as the selection of suitable light fittings not only to light the task to be performed, but also to provide appropriate amounts of reflected light.




Architectural Character



Exterior view of the vertical louvers




Effects of artificial lighting



Energy via the sun




Task lighting