Daylight Simulation Analysis for the Effectiveness of Light Shelves in Adapted Architectural Design Studios of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Sheikh Itmam Soud, Sharif Tousif Hossain


In Dhaka, a common design practice for non-residential buildings is to install a full façade fixed glass on roadside elevation, majorly for aesthetic purpose, whatever the orientation, with indefensible argument for maximum daylight utilization into the building. But in practice, only a few meters from glass façade is comfortable for lighting tasks and further depth is incapable for completing tasks like writing, reading, drafting, and model making. The objective of this paper is to highlight the effectiveness of light shelves as enhancing device for architectural design studios to ensure overall interior day lighting quality for drafting and model making works. Using daylight simulation programs, this paper examines the impact of light shelves on indoor daylight illuminance on work plane height (2’-6”), at an adapted design studio classroom space enclosed by three side glass surfaces. The 3D models were first generated in the ECOTECT to study the distribution and uniformity of daylight in the interior space with Split Flux method. These models were then exported to a physically-based backward Raytracer, RADIANCE Synthetic Imaging software to generate realistic lighting levels for validating and crosschecking the ECOTECT results. The results showed that for achieving light levels closest to specified standards, light shelves at a height of 6’-0’’ above floor level with 40’’ width perform better among the alternatives studied including the alternative where no light shelves were existed. Finally, the decisions were verified with DAYSIM simulation program to ensure the compliance of the decisions with dynamic annual climate-based daylight performance metrics. It is expected that the outcome of this research will help architects and designers to decide the shape and size of the light shelves to improve the daylight performance in adapted rentable spaces in future.


Non-residential buildings, Dhaka city, adapted architectural design studios, fixed glass façades, light shelves, daylight simulation, and improved daylight performance

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