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Experimental Testing To Enhance The Design Of Daylighting Systems. A Case Study On The Implementation Of Laboratory Oriented Design In Undergraduate Education

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Mechanical and Architectural Engineering Laboratories

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.559.1 - 15.559.8



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Paper Authors

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Khaled Mansy Oklahoma State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Experimental Testing to Enhance the Design of Daylighting Systems. A Case Study on the Implementation of Laboratory-Oriented Design in Undergraduate Education


This paper addresses a timely topic, which is designing and enhancing the performance of daylighting systems in buildings early in the design phase. Currently in academia, the design of daylighting systems lacks the emphasis, rigor, and time normally given to electric lighting systems. However, only in a few higher education institutions, more attention is being gradually given to the study of daylighting systems. Undoubtedly, the substantial environmental and economic benefits of daylighting make its study a must to include in both architecture and architectural engineering curricula. In this paper, the author shares his experience teaching undergraduate students the principles of the design of daylighting systems; implementing laboratory-oriented studies as the educational tool. The paper starts with a brief survey of the existing design-assisting tools, discusses three advanced design methodologies, which are computer programs, outdoor model testing, and indoor model testing, and then concludes with a discussion of the implementation of laboratory-oriented design in undergraduate education.

1. Introduction

Design of daylighting systems in buildings is an energy saving strategy. When commercial buildings rely more on natural light instead of electric light, they do not only save light energy, but also reduce the cost of air conditioning. That is mainly why daylight always occupies a high priority on the list of energy conservation measures (ECMs) for commercial buildings. For the same reason, integration of daylighting systems earns credit points for the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system1 and other similar rating systems of green buildings. In fact, if daylighting systems are designed to completely replace the use of electric lighting systems in commercial buildings, they can yield significant energy savings that may reach up to 31.6% of site electricity consumption, which amounts to 24.8% of the total primary energy consumed by the commercial buildings sector in the US (2006)2.

Awareness of the importance of integration of daylighting systems in buildings is gradually and consistently growing in both academia and the industry. However, in a typical case in academia, the design of daylighting systems follows some common general rules of thumb and not any rigorous scientifically-sound design methodology. The main purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of introducing rigorous experimental testing of scale models as a design-assisting tool to enhance the design of daylighting systems in buildings, while still in the early design phase. According to th experience, laboratory-testing proved to be both an effective and a transparent educational tool.

2. Simplified Design Methods

The rules of thumb currently used to integrate daylighting into architectural design can only offer general speculations such as: (1) within a depth of 15 feet from the window wall system daylight is sufficient, and up to 30 feet from the window wall system daylight provides 50% of required

Mansy, K. (2010, June), Experimental Testing To Enhance The Design Of Daylighting Systems. A Case Study On The Implementation Of Laboratory Oriented Design In Undergraduate Education Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16528

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