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DesignBuilder provides 3 types of daylighting calculations:
- Daylight contour plots and average daylight factor and uniformity outputs for each zone calculated using the Radiance daylighting simulation engine. Standard reports detailing eligibility for LEED EQ8.1, BREEAM HW1 and Green Star IEQ4 daylighting credits are provided.
- Daylighting integrated within EnergyPlus simulations allowing savings in electric lighting to be calculated based hour-by-hour on daylight availability throughout the year.
- Photo-realistic rendered images generated using Radiance.
|Contour plot showing daylight factor distribution within a space||
Rendered image of the interior of a house generated by DesignBuilder Radiance
Daylight Contour Plots and Daylight Factor Calculations
The daylighting simulations available in DesignBuilder v3 allow you to calculate daylight factors and illuminance data using the Radiance daylight simulation engine. The main DesignBuilder daylighting features are:
- High quality illuminance contour plots can be generated for each zone as well as summary tabular output of average daylight factors and uniformity data.
- Standard reports are provided detailing eligibility for LEED EQ8.1, BREEAM HW1 and
Green Star IEQ4 daylighting credits (an example LEED NC2.2 report is
- Calculations are made using the accurate Radiance simulation engine which is one of the most widely respected daylighting tools available.
- DesignBuilder daylighting is fully integrated with the thermal simulation model, so in most cases no extra data needs to be added following previous energy simulation or certification project work. In particular building geometry, zone layouts, surface reflection and glazing visible transmission properties from the thermal model are used in the daylighting calculations.
- Calculations can be made for various sky types including the CIE overcast sky required for most daylight factor calculations.
- Any zone size or shape can be handled reliably.
- Internal and external shading obstructions and daylighting features such as light shelves can easily be included in the model using component blocks or assemblies at building or block level.
- Window frames and dividers are taken into account if they are included in the model.
- You can include a margin around the edge of each zone to follow CIBSE guidance.
- The grid of calculation points can be edited through a maximum and minimum grid size allowing full coverage of zones having complex shape.
- Default calculation options provide reliable and accurate results but advanced users can access more detailed Radiance parameters to gain full control of the daylighting simulation process.
Example LEED NC2.2 report
Daylighting Integrated within EnergyPlus Energy Simulations
|EnergyPlus allows you to control the electric lights according to the availability of natural daylight. When lighting control is switched on, illuminance levels are calculated at every time step during the simulation and then used to determine how much the electric lighting can be reduced. The daylight illuminance level in a zone depends on many factors, including sky condition, sun position, photocell sensor positions, location, size, and glass transmittance of windows, window shades and reflectance of interior surfaces. Reduction of electric lighting depends on daylight illuminance level, illuminance set point, fraction of zone controlled and type of lighting control.|
|See the EnergyPlus daylighting help topic for more information.
Availability: Integrated daylighting and energy simulations have been available in DesignBuilder EnergyPlus since version 1.
DesignBuilder can export the Radiance input files required to generate accurate rendered images such as that shown below.
Availability: Photo-realistic rendered outputs currently require an export to Radiance.