The Clough Undergraduate Learning Common (CULC).

Natural Lighting 

Natural Lighting 

The Natural Lighting group investigates the art and science of incorporating daylighting techniques that enhance indoor built environment experiences. We focus on exploring current daylight metrics through near real-time daylighting simulations to accurately propose solutions for ongoing indoor issues related to visual comfort. The group also expands to investigate techniques that allow proper daylight to promote the health and well-being of individuals by focusing on the non-visual effects of daylight and promoting the entrainment of circadian systems.  

Optimization and Circadian rhythm analysis results for North orientation patient room

A Simulation-based Workflow for Healing Building Envelopes

In healthcare facilities, with the very nature of healing at its core, designing spaces with enhanced levels of human comfort is of prime importance. Daylighting in healthcare facilities has benefited the physiological and psychological well-being of patients receiving treatment. However, many decades of scientific and technological innovation in the field of electrical lighting have resulted in providing ambient daylighting losing itspriority in the overall design process. This research will evaluate the impact of building envelope design on daylighting within a patient room setting using parameters such as window-to-wall ratio, and shading mechanisms. The performance will be assessed through metrics such as spatial daylight autonomy (sDA) and Annual sunlight exposure (ASE). By using Optimization tools such as Colibri and visualization tools like Design Explorer, a wide range of building envelope options will be evaluated for different orientations of patient rooms. An integral part of this research is to assess the impact of daylighting in varying climatic conditions on the melanopic lux levels regulating the circadian rhythms of the patients by using the circadian lighting software ALFA. The results derived from this simulation-based framework would aid in creating a framework to design patient rooms in healthcare settings by focusing on daylighting. 

Fisheye glare renderings

Evaluating Daylighting Performance Metrics in LEED V.4

What Criteria is Missing to Enhance the Occupant Visual Performance and Comfort?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most widely adopted building benchmarks globally, and it encompasses multiple rating criteria for performance. However, such criteria typically focus on reducing energy consumption, and may disregard providing a high-level of occupant satisfaction. LEED focuses on a desk height evaluation of Spatial Daylight Autonomy (sDA) and Annual Sunlight Exposure (ASE) to predict the daylight availability and probability of glare respectively, which may disregard an occupant’s visual comfort at eye level. This paper proposes a more comprehensive approach to daylighting performance evaluation in commercial office space that incorporates Annual Glare - vertical-eye level glare evaluation, in addition to sDA and ASE. A comparison between ASE and Annual Glare is established to understand the criteria missing in LEED that evaluates discomfort glare and improves the visual performance and comfort of the occupants significantly.

A comparison between HDR images of the south baseline case result and the split system improvement. 

Non-Visual Effects of Daylight on Vulnerable Populations

Simulating the Non-Visual Effects of Daylight on Cognitive Health

This research aims to understand the effect of daylight on cognitive health in general, and elderly and dementia individuals specifically. It then focuses on identifying daylighting metrics that entrain the circadian rhythm and specify appropriate thresholds that adapt to the needs of elderly individuals. In addition, investigations and simulations of current standard nursing homes are run to test their efficiency towards meeting the daylighting needs of elderly individuals for circadian entrainment. 


Nourhan El Sayed's headshot

Nourhan El Sayed 

MS Alumni

Riwayat Katia's headshot

Riwayat Katia 

BSArch Alumni

Tanmay Naik's headshot

Tanmay Naik

MS Alumni

Tarek Rakha's headshot

Tarek Rakha

Associate Professor


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