Daylight Pattern Guide

The Daylighting Pattern Guide is the newest offering in the Advanced Buildings suite of tools and resources to help design teams create high performance commercial buildings. This no-cost, interactive design tool uses a combination of real-world built examples and advanced simulation to set the stage for substantial reductions in lighting power consumption and overall building energy use. It was developed through a partnership between New Buildings Institute (NBI), University of Idaho and University of Washington.

High quality daylighting design has the potential to increase user satisfaction and productivity and save substantial energy. However, successfully designing daylighting into buildings in a manner that supports high ratings of visual comfort while also saving energy can be a complex and challenging process.

The Daylighting Pattern Guide presents 19 prime examples of well-designed daylit spaces around the United States. Each project was photographed, physically measured and simulated using the Radiance simulation tool. Sensitivity analysis of key design variables was conducted on each project to demonstrate whether the outcome was optimized and to illustrate the impact of multiple ‘alternate design decisions’ on the daylighting performance.

Key daylight patterns, or variables including orientation, glazing layout, area, shading strategies, furniture layout, ceiling height, that contribute to the success or failure of a daylighting design were also identified. This information allows users to differentiate between good built examples of daylit space, the information generated by design analysis tools, and the ‘rule of thumb’ guidelines that designers commonly apply.

Project types included in analysis are offices, schools, libraries, laboratories, museums, industrial facilities, and recreational facilities across a diverse set of regional climates.