Daylighting and energy performance design for single floor commercial hall buildings

Francesco De Luca*, Raimo Simson, Hendrik Voll, Jarek Kurnitski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Electric lighting accounts for a large share of energy consumption in commercial buildings. Utilization of daylight can significantly help to reduce the need for artificial lighting, increase workers productivity, customers’ satisfaction and consequently improve sales. However, excessive use of glazing and absence of lighting controls can contribute greatly to higher energy need for heating and cooling and cause undesired glare effects. Thus, optimizing the size, position and materials of external glazing, with the addition of deflectors and dynamic artificial lighting, can become key aspects in the design of sustainable low energy buildings. The purpose of this paper is to analyze daylight potential and energy performance of a hall-type commercial building, situated in the cold climate of Finland, by utilizing different combinations of skylights, windows and lighting controls. Design/methodology/approach: The authors have used computer simulations to estimate daylight and energy performance of a single floor commercial building in relation to various combinations of skylights and windows with variable glazing materials, light deflectors and zonal lighting controls. Findings: The results show that electric light energy saving potential ranges from a negligible 1.9 percent to a significant 58.6 percent in the case of glass skylights and wall windows using multi-zone lighting control. Total delivered energy ranges between increase of 1.5 and 21.2 percent in the cases with single zone lighting control and between decrease of 4.5 percent and increase of 4.5 percent in the cases with multi-zone control. The highest decrease in primary energy consumption was 2.2 percent for single zone and 17.6 percent for multi-zone lighting control. The research underlines the significant potential of electric light energy savings using daylighting strategies that, including the control of direct solar access for glare and internal gains, can be more than 50 percent. Originality/value: This research combines accurate daylight and energy assessment for commercial hall buildings based in cold climate region with multiple design variations. The novelty of this work is the consideration of interior elements, shelves and deflectors, in the calculations. This is made possible through the combined use of validated simulation platforms for detailed annual daylighting and electric lighting calculation (Radiance and Daysim) and energy analysis (IDA-ICE, Equa Simulation AB). This method allows to obtain a reliable assessment of the potential of using natural light sources in buildings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-739
Number of pages18
JournalManagement of Environmental Quality: An International Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Daylighting
  • Electric lighting
  • Energy savings
  • Retail hall building
  • Skylights


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