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VAS 455232-0710 2014 VELUX GROUP.


Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate Basic Book

Version 3.0 2014

Basic Book
Daylight, Energy
and Indoor Climate
Preface 3
Introduction 5

1 Daylight 9

1.1 Daylight 11
1.2 Daylighting 14
1.3 Daylighting quality 16
1.3.1 Visual needs 16
1.3.2 Non-visual effects of light  19
1.4 Benefits of daylight 25
1.4.1 Human benefits  25
1.4.2 Energy savings for electric lighting  29
1.4.3 Environmental benefits  31
1.5 Parameters influencing daylighting performance 32
1.5.1 Climate  32
1.5.2 Latitude  34
1.5.3 Obstructions and reflections on site 36
1.5.4 Building design  38
1.5.5 Windows and skylights  43
1.5.6 Sun tunnels  47
1.6 Daylight with roof windows, flat-roof windows and modular skylights 48
1.6.1 Impact of three window configurations on daylight conditions 48
1.6.2 Effects of roof windows in Solhuset kindergarten 51
1.6.3 Effects of adding flat-roof windows and modular skylights
to a former town hall, now a kindergarten 53
1.6.4 Effects of roof windows in Green Lighthouse 55
1.6.5 Effects of roof windows when renovating school buildings 56
1.6.6 Effect of roof windows in MH2020 Sunlighthouse 59
1.6.7 Effect of roof windows in the renovation of residential buildings 62
1.7 Daylight calculations and measurements 66 2 Ventilation 83
1.7.1 Illuminance 66
1.7.2 Luminance  68 2.1 Indoor Air Quality 85
1.7.3 Daylight factor 70 2.1.1 How to achieve good indoor air quality  85
1.7.4 Daylight autonomy 73 2.1.2 Indoor air quality indicators  89
1.7.5 Useful daylight illuminance (UDI) 74 2.1.3 Health  91
1.8 Daylight simulation tools 75 2.1.4 Increased airtightness requires occupant action  93
1.9 Daylight requirements in building codes 79 2.1.5 Mental performance and indoor air quality 97
1.9.1 Building Codes 80 2.2 Ventilation and ventilation systems 98
1.9.2 The European Committee for Standardization, CEN  81 2.2.1 Natural ventilation 98
1.9.3 The International Organization for Standardization, ISO 81 2.2.2 Mechanical ventilation 100
1.9.4 Design Guidelines 82 2.2.3 Hybrid ventilation 101
2.2.4 Demand-controlled ventilation 105
2.3 Fresh air from outside 106
2.4 Natural ventilation with roof windows 108
2.4.1 Driving forces of natural ventilation 108
2.4.2 Background ventilation with VELUX ventilation flap 112
2.4.3 Airing 114
2.4.4 Optimal winter ventilation strategy for existing buildings 117
2.4.5 Summer ventilation 117
2.4.6 Automatic window opening with VELUX roof windows 118
2.5 Ventilation of different building types 119
2.5.1 Renovation of residential buildings 119
2.5.2 New residential buildings 121
2.5.3 Schools and kindergartens 124
2.5.4 Commercial buildings 124
2.6 Tools and calculation methods 126
2.6.1 VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer 127
2.7 Building codes and standards 129
3 Thermal comfort 133 4 Acoustics 171

3.1 How to achieve thermal comfort 135 4.1 Noise or sound  173
3.1.1 Thermal discomfort 136 4.1.1 Technical description of noise or sound 176
3.1.2 Parameters influencing thermal comfort 138 4.2 Good acoustic environments 178
3.1.3 The preference for variation in temperature 139 4.3 Indoor noise 179
3.1.4 Adaptation to a warm climate 139 4.3.1 General 179
3.2 Health impacts of the thermal environment 141 4.3.2 Bedroom, living room and kitchen 179
3.2.1 Heat strokes 141 4.3.3 Mechanical equipment 180
3.2.2 Effect of uniform temperature indoors 141 4.4 Outdoor noise 181
3.2.3 Sleep quality 141 4.4.1 General 181
3.3 Productivity and learning 142 4.4.2 Parameters affecting outdoor noise level 181
3.4 Thermal comfort with roof windows and solar shading 144 4.4.3 Traffic noise 181
3.4.1 Blinds and shutters 144 4.4.4 Rain noise 184
3.4.2 Ventilative cooling 148 4.4.5 Heavy noise (aircraft, trains, trucks) 184
3.4.3 Night cooling 153 4.5 Evaluation and measurements 186
3.4.4 Automatic control 156 4.5.1 General aspects 186
3.5 Building types and climate 159 4.5.2 Sound insulation 186
3.5.1 Renovation of residential buildings 159 4.5.3 Measurement of sound insulation according
3.5.2 New residential buildings 159 to European standards 187
3.5.3 Low-energy buildings 159 4.6 Acoustics requirements in building codes 190
3.5.4 Schools and kindergartens 160
3.5.5 Commercial buildings 160
3.5.6 Effect of climate change and urban heat islands 161
3.6 Evaluation methods 166
3.6.1 Parameters 166
3.6.2 Evaluation of an existing building 167
3.6.3 Tools and calculation methods for evaluation during
the design phase 167
3.6.4 Regulation and standards on thermal comfort 169
5 Energy  191 6 Environment 223

5.1 Energy 193 6.1 Life Cycle Assessments 225

5.2 Energy sources 193 6.1.1 LCA 225
5.3 Energy terminology 195 6.1.2 Other parameters of life cycle assessments 227
5.4 Energy use in buildings 196 6.2 The European methodology for assessing sustainability of buildings 228
5.4.1 Primary energy vs. net energy 197 6.2.1 Framework 228
5.5 Window systems  199 6.3 Assessments of buildings  229
5.5.1 U value 199 6.3.1 Active House 229
5.5.2 g value 200 6.3.2 BREEAM 231
5.5.3 Energy balance  200 6.3.3 German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) 231
5.6 Energy performance of different building types 204 6.3.4 French Haute Qualit Environemetn (HQE) 231
5.6.1 Energy aspects of daylight 204 6.3.5 LEED 231
5.6.2 Energy aspects of ventilation 208 6.3.6 Passive House 232
5.6.3 Energy aspects of solar shading 209 6.3.7 Green Building Councils 232
5.6.4 Building energy performance in cold climates 209 6.4 Assessment of construction Products 232
5.6.5 Building energy performance in warm climates 210 6.4.1 Construction products and Environmental Product
5.6.6 Consequences of future requirements Declarations Active House 232
for better energy performance 211 6.4.2 Other Environmental Performance Declarations (EPDs) 233
5.7 Renewable solar energy supply 214 6.5 Overview of EU legislation 234
5.7.1 Solar thermal system 216 6.5.1 Construction Products Regulation (CPR) 234
5.7.2 Photovoltaic system (PV) 218 6.5.2 Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation
5.8 Index 222 of Chemicals (REACH)  234
6.5.3 Restriction of Hazardous Substances(RoHS) 235
6.5.4 Battery Directive 235
6.5.5 Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) 235
6.6 Index 236




Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate sustainability as a whole has focused

at the heart of the VELUX brand on energy, CO emissions and the effi-
cient use of material resources. These
Daylight and fresh air have been at the are all vitally important issues for our
core of our business since the company survival on this planet; but they are only
was founded in 1942. By bringing day- three of a whole spectrum of issues fac-
light and fresh air into people's homes, ing us as human beings living in the built
the VELUX Group has helped to create environment. Because health and well-
spaces of high quality and to increase being are paramount to all of us, the
the health and well-being of the occu- primary goal for sustainable homes and
pants. urban areas should be to preserve those
precious benefits for the people who
The benefits of VELUX products are live in them.
more important today than ever before.
Health and well-being constitute one
of the most important agendas of the Why this Daylight, Energy and
future, and a sharper focus on energy Indoor Climate Book?
savings must not be allowed to over-
shadow the indoor climate. With this book, we aim to share our in-
sight and knowledge by giving specific
A good indoor climate, with generous advice and concrete documentation on
daylight levels and provision of fresh the effects and benefits of VELUX
air from outside, is the key to making products in buildings. When creating
homes, offices, kindergartens and new buildings as well as renovating
schools healthy places to live and work existing ones the specific solutions
in. Our health and well-being are essen- need to be considered in a holistic per-
tial parameters to the quality of our spective , with usage, personal needs,
lives; but we spend an excessive function, location, orientation, building
amount of time inside buildings and geometry and window configuration
the air that we breathe and the daylight playing very important roles.
we are exposed to have a great impact
on those parameters. In recent years,
much of the debate on sustainable ar-
chitecture and the public discourse on

Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate Basic Book Indoor climate in a historical needs were established. In fact, the last
3rd edition December 2014 perspective hundred years have seen much effort
put into management of the indoor
Issued by Daylight and ventilation by windows environment, with the goal of creating
VELUX Knowledge Centre for Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate (DEIC) are inseparably connected to indoor healthy and comfortable conditions for
climate. Indoor climate encompasses the people living, working and recreat-
Editorial team: all the elements: temperature, humidity, ing in them.
Per Arnold Andersen, lighting, air quality, ventilation and
Karsten Duer, noise levels in the habitable structure. In the late 19th century, the environ-
Peter Foldbjerg, mental factor thermal comfort was
Nicolas Roy, We spend most of our time indoors. introduced as being part of the overall
Jens Christoffersen, Yet the indoor environment is discussed concept of indoor comfort. It was rec-
Thorbjrn Fring Asmussen, much less than the outdoor environ- ognised that poorly ventilated rooms,
Karsten Andersen, ment. The presumption is that we are besides being responsible for poor air
Christoffer Plesner, safe indoors. Buildings provide shelter, quality, could also result in unwanted
Marie Helms Rasmussen, warmth, shade and security; but they thermal effects through both tempera-
Frank Hansen, often deprive us of fresh air, natural ture and humidity.
light and ventilation.
Responsible editor: Although we spend most of our time in-
The positive health effect of light, in doors, we are still outdoor animals
Per Arnold Andersen, this case of sunlight, was acknowl- (Baker N, 2009). The forces that have
edged by the Egyptians, ancient Greeks selected the genes of contemporary
and Romans, each of whom worshipped man are found in the plains, forests and
their own sun god. Much later, at the mountains, not in centrally heated bed-
beginning of the 1900s, sunlight as a rooms or ergonomically designed work-
healer was put to practical use. Sanato- stations. We have adapted to the indoor
ria were built to administer light therapy life, but our gene code is still defined for
for people suffering from skin diseases outdoor life. Sick building syndrome,
Find more information on and other ailments. winter depressions, asthma and aller-
gies are symptoms linked to the quality
The importance of the indoor environ- of the indoor environment in terms of
ment, and of indoor air quality in par- our biological needs. It is imperative
ticular, was recognised as early as the that buildings and spaces where we
first century BC. However, it was not spend much of our time are designed
until the early decades of the twentieth with those needs in mind; going back
century that the first relations between to nature, with natural ventilation and
parameters describing heat, lighting natural lighting.
and sound in buildings and human

How to evaluate the quality of Indoor climate and health Indoor climate and energy However, it is the only supply-side energy
the indoor climate? consumption solution that is both large enough and
The human senses, windows of the acceptable enough to sustain the plan-
There are no general methods that soul (Bluyssen, 2010), are basically the The focus on energy savings is an in- ets long-term requirements; available
encompass everything in a formula or instruments we have to report or indi- creasing challenge to existing building solar energy exceeds the worlds annual
a single number. There are several cate whether we feel comfortable in stock as well as new and future build- energy consumption by a factor of
indicators for how we can support our the indoor environment and how we ings, as energy consumption is believed 1 500 (Perez, 2009). Fossil fuels like oil
biological and physiological needs; feel our health is affected by it. We to result in climate changes. It is, how- and coal alone could fulfil our energy
ventilation rate for natural ventilation, judge the indoor environment by its ever, important to remember that all needs for another three or four genera-
daylight levels to be achieved, solar acceptability with respect to heat, cold, energy in buildings is used to serve peo- tions, but would do so at a considerable
radiation exposure levels, comfortable smell, noise, darkness, flickering light ples needs, comfort and well-being. environmental cost (Perez, 2009).
temperature levels, relative humidity and other factors. But in terms of The VELUX Group considers Sustainable
levels, sound levels and so on. The chap- health effects, it is not just the human Living as a way of making the changes Environment
ters of this book will explain the individ- senses that are involved, but the whole to limit the environmental impact at
ual indicators and offer advice on spe- body and its systems. Indoor environ- home, without compromising on the The production, disposal and lifetime
cific levels that should be achieved to mental stressors that can cause dis- quality of the indoor environment. use of VELUX products potentially im-
create a good indoor climate. comfort and adverse health effects pact the environment in other ways
comprise both environmental and Optimal use of daylight, natural ventila- than through climate change, and ma-
It is, however, just as important to psychosocial factors, such as working tion during summertime, and intelli- terials like wood, glass and aluminium
evaluate the indoor environment with and personal relationships. However, gently controlled solar shading are all should be used with environmental im-
our senses; do we feel well indoors? the greatest impact on our health from examples of technologies that in com- pact in mind. The VELUX Group uses
Human factors, including physiology, the indoor environment comes from the bination with intelligent building design Life Cycle Assessment to evaluate the
perception, preferences, and behaviour availability and quality of daylight and can be used to reduce the energy con- impact of its products on the environ-
make every individual a very accurate fresh air. sumption of new and existing buildings. ment.
sensor. The indoor environment is more
than the sum of its parts, and its The prevalence of diseases like allergies It is all about the sun; without solar
assessment has to start with human and asthma is increasing rapidly. This radiation there would be no light, no
beings. trend is attributed to changes in the wind, no heat, no life. And the solar ra-
indoor environment, but there is still diation reaching the earth is far larger
limited understanding of the specific than the sum of energy needed. Solar
causes. Presently, the only solid conclu- energy is often viewed as a set of niche
sion is that humid buildings are a cause. applications with a useful but limited po-
Sunlight is a natural anti-depressant tential.
that helps us synchronise with the
natural rhythm of life, and direct sun-
light and high daylight exposure levels
are shown to be effective in preventing
winter depressions.


There is no substitute for daylight

1.1 Daylight the ground depends on the solar eleva-

tion; the higher the sun, the greater the
Daylight is described as the combina- illuminance on the ground. Daylight lev-
tion of all direct and indirect light ori- els vary significantly on horizontal and
ginating from the sun during daytime. vertical surfaces by time of day and
Of the total solar energy received on season, directly related to the local sun
the surface of the earth, 40% is visible paths and sky conditions.
radiation and the rest is ultraviolet
(UV) and infrared (IR) wavelengths, While certain electric light sources can
as shown in Figure 1.1. be constructed to match a certain
spectrum of daylight closely, none have
Daylight availability outside varies for been made that mimic the variation in
different locations due to different sun the light spectrum that occurs with
paths and sky conditions through the daylight at different times, in different
course of the day, the season and the seasons, and under different weather
year. Put simply, the amount of light on conditions (Boyce et al., 2003).


Daylight has been used for centuries as the

Flux [W]
380 780
primary source of light in interiors and has
been an implicit part of architecture for as
long as buildings have existed. Not only does
it replace electric light during daytime,
reducing energy use for lighting, it also influ-
ences both heating and cooling loads, which
makes it an important parameter of an energy-
efficient design. Additionally, recent research
UV Visible IR
has proved that daylight provides an array of
health and comfort benefits that make it
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500
essential for buildings occupants. Wavelength [nm]
Figure 1.1 Diagram of the electromagnetic spectrum showing the location
of the visible spectrum.

1.0 1.0
Daylight Fluorescent
CCT 6459 CCT 4022
0.8 0.8

Spectral Power [norm]

CRI 98 CRI 83
Spectral Power [norm]

0.6 0.6

0.4 0.4

0.2 0.2

0.0 0.0
300 40 0 5 00 600 70 0 800 300 400 500 600 700 800
Wavelength [nm] Wavelength [nm]

1.0 1.0
Halogen LED
CCT 2680 CCT 7014
0.8 0.8
Spectral Power [norm]

Spectral Power [norm]

CRI 93 CRI 78

0.6 0.6

0.4 0.4

0.2 0.2

0.0 0.0
300 40 0 5 00 600 70 0 800 300 400 500 600 700 800
Wavelength [nm] Wavelength [nm]

Figure 1.2 Spectral composition of four typical light sources daylight (upper page 10), halogen
(lower page 10), fluorescent (upper page 11), and LED (lower page 11). Measurements made by ! Remember
John Mardaljevic.
Of the solar energy received on the surface of the earth, 40% is visible light
and the rest is ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) wavelengths.
No electric light source can mimic the qualities of daylight.
Good quality lighting should include lighting for health, in
parallel with meeting the other needs of people who will occupy
the space

1.2 Daylighting of interior surfaces. Good daylighting overcast sky may reach 10 000 lux in the light needed for our biological
design ensures adequate light during the winter and as high as around needs. A good luminous environment is
Daylighting describes the controlled use daytime. 30 000 lux on a bright overcast day simultaneously comfortable, pleasant,
of natural light in and around buildings in the summer. In a cloudy climate, the relevant, and appropriate for its intended
(Reinhart, 2014). It is the practice of Some basic characteristics of daylight diffuse sky is often the main source of uses and users (Lam, 1977).
placing windows, or other transparent outdoors: useful daylight.
media and reflective surfaces so that- Daylighting systems can be simple:
natural light provides effective internal Direct sunlight is characterised by Reflected light is characterised by from combining window design with
illumination during the day. Successful very high intensity and constant light (sunlight and skylight) that is appropriate internal and external
daylighting requires design considera- movement. The illuminance produced reflected from the ground: terrain, shading (e.g. external awning blind and
tions at all stages of the building design on the surface of the earth may ex- trees, vegetation, neighbouring build- internal Venetian blind) to systems
process, from site planning to architec- ceed 100 000 lux. The brightness of ings etc. The surface reflectance of designed to redirect sunlight or skylight
tural, interior and lighting design. direct sunlight varies by season, time the surroundings will influence the to areas where it is required (e.g. sun
of day, location and sky conditions. total amount of reflected light tunnels). More advanced systems can
Daylight in buildings is composed of a In a sunny climate, thoughtful archi- reaching the building facade. In some be designed to track the sun or passively
mix direct sunlight, diffuse skylight, tectural design is required, with dense building situations, the light control the direction of sunlight and
and light reflected from the ground and careful management of allowance, reflected from the ground and sur- skylight.
surrounding elements. Daylighting design diffusing, shading and reflecting. roundings can be a major conributory
needs to consider orientation and build- part of daylight provisions indoors. Daylighting is inseparably linked to the
ing site characteristics, facade and roof Skylight is characterised by sunlight energy demand and indoor climate of a
characteristics, size and placement of scattered by the atmosphere and The goals of room daylighting are to building. The size and placement of
window openings, glazing and shading clouds, resulting in soft, diffuse light. adequately illuminate visual tasks, to glazing should be determined together
systems, and geometry and reflectance The illuminance level produced by an create an attractive visual environment, with the total energy use of the building
to save electrical energy and to provide and specific requirements for daylighting.



! Remember
Daylight in buildings is composed of a mix direct sunlight, diffuse skylight
and light reflected from the ground and surrounding elements.
Light from the sun is intense and directional.
Reflected Light from the sky is soft and diffuse.
light Light reflected from the ground can often account for 15% or more of the
total daylight reaching a building facade.
Figure 1.3 The components of daylight.
A daylit space is primarily lit with natural light and
combines high occupant satisfaction with the visual and
thermal environment, with low overall energy use for lighting,
heating and cooling

The light variation within our field of in the field of view. In daylit interiors,
1.3 Daylighting quality design phases this is supported by view can influence visual comfort and it is often found that discomfort glare
appropriate placement and sizing of performance. For good visibility, some is reported before disability glare be-
The design of well-lit environments re- windows to achieve an intelligent bal- degree of uniformity of light is desira- comes an issue.
quires an understanding of the function ance between the intensity of light, ble. Poor visibility and visual discom-
and capabilities of the visual system, in- its location and direction. fort, such as glare, may occur if the eye Discomfort glare defined as an irri-
sight into visual perception, knowledge is forced to adapt too quickly to a wide tating or distracting, but not neces-
of the basic properties of light, and oth- Visual comfort range of light levels. sarily impairing, effect. So in most
er factors such as health issues (CIE, cases, the perceived magnitude of
2004a-b, LRC, 2003). These include The light in a room should neither Too high or too low contrast can also discomfort glare is lower than for dis-
knowledge of our visual system about restrain nor impede our ability to see, result in tiredness, headaches and dis- ability glare. Discomfort glare indoors
adaptation (the eyes adjustments to thus allowing us, at all times, easily to comfort. Although there are no specific is influenced by the full visual environ-
ambient light levels), spectral (colour) orientate ourselves and move freely guidelines for dwellings, it is believed ment, including windows, reflections
characteristics, composition of diffuse around in the rooms and the building. that luminance variations of around (especially specular), external sur-
and direct light, brightness contrast or If the lighting of a space is unsuitable 10:1 are suitable for daylighting design. roundings and/or interior surfaces.
luminance gradient and more. They also or inadequate, and makes it difficult to Generally speaking, the human eye can Discomfort glare may cause later
include knowledge of our circadian see properly, it will influence our perfor- accept greater luminance variations side- or after effects in the form of
(non-visual) system about factors such mance (the visual system), as well as when spaces are lit by daylight than headaches or fatigue.
as appropriate light signals during the affect our health (the circadian system) when they are artificially lit.
day and darkness at night (to maintain and personal well-being (the perceptual Reflections or veiling glare reflec-
circadian rhythms), the intensity of light system). It can result in unnecessary The sensation of glare can occur when tions on display screens or other task
and the time of day when it is applied, eye strain and give rise to symptoms luminance variations exceed 20:1 to materials (e.g. paper) reduce the con-
as well as its spectral characteristics. such as eye irritation, fatigue and head- 40:1 (Rea, 2000). In the event of glare, trast between background and fore-
ache. Lighting conditions that can the eye adapts to the high level of the ground for the visual task and thus
1.3.1 Visual needs cause these symptoms are poor bright- glare source, which makes it hard to reduce readability. Reflections occur
ness and contrast, high luminance perceive details in the now too-dark when bright light sources (e.g. win-
We have traditionally concentrated our differences and flickering. work area. Glare from daylight may be dows) are in the reflected field of
design work on creating lighting condi- caused by several potential sources view of the screen.
tions that are suitable for the visual A good daylighting design will provide such as the sun, bright sky and clouds,
tasks performed in a room and that large amounts of glare-free light; a poor and surfaces reflecting the sun. To reduce the occurrence of glare, shad-
simultaneously meet individual needs. daylighting design, on the other hand, ing devices should be employed. Figure
Attention needs to be given to both our will provide either inadequate amounts There are three main types of glare: 1.5 below shows a situation where glare
central vision (illumination of an object) of light - so that electric lighting has to is controlled by external solar shading
and our peripheral vision (illumination be used frequently - or large amounts of Disability glare the effect of scat- (awning blind). Shading devices such as
of the surroundings). Peripheral vision light, together with glare (Boyce et al., tered light in the eye whereby visibili- Venetian blinds, awnings, vertical blinds
contributes to an impression of the sur- 2003). Furthermore, our daily life con- ty and visual performance are re- and roller blinds are suitable for this
roundings in which we find ourselves sists of changing visual tasks, with simi- duced. This occurs when glare purpose, but the specific material char-
space dimensions and shape, ambience, larly changing demands on the lighting sources of high luminance (e.g. sun acteristics should be taken into consid-
materials and light distribution. In the provided. or specular reflection of the sun) are eration. A movable or retractable de-

Our body uses light as it uses food and water, as a nutrient for
metabolic processes

Log. (cd/m2) 300 lux for interiors where visual fy user desires for views. Windows pro-
- 100000.0

- 50000.0
tasks are moderately easy. vide contact with the outside, supply
- 20000.0
information of orientation, give experi-
- 10000.0 500 lux for interiors where visual ence of weather changes and allow us
- 5000.0
tasks are moderately difficult and to follow the passage of time over the
- 2000.0

- 1000.0
colour judgment may be required, e.g. day.
- 500.0 general offices, kitchens.
- 200.0 A view that includes layers of sky, city
- 100.0

- 50.0
1 000 lux for interiors where visual or landscape, and ground (Boyce et al.,
- 20.0
tasks are very difficult, requiring 2003), could counteract tiring monoto-
- 10.0
small details to be perceived. ny and help relieve the feeling of being
- 5.0

closed in. The size and position of win-
Requirements for daylighting have yet dow systems need to be considered
Figure 1.5 Luminance map of a task area Luminance map of task area showing glare to be defined in terms of specific illumi- carefully in relation to the eye level of
showing sun patches causing glare. control with external solar shading. nance levels, but there is enough evi- the building occupants.
dence in literature to indicate that illu-
minances in the range of 100 to 3 000 1.3.2 Non-visual effects of light
vice can be individually adjusted, while the year, the time of day, and the lux are likely to result in significant re-
fixed devices may need additional weather. For this reason, metrics for duction of electric lighting usage Daylight has a wide range of influences
shading devices to support individual daylight availability calculations are often (Mardaljevic, 2008). on humans that go far beyond our need
requirements for glare protection. based on relative rather than absolute for vision. We often refer to this as the
Windows located in more than one ori- values. This is usually defined in terms View non-visual effects of light. When we
entation, or in the roof, could adequately of the relationship between the light speak about health, balance and physio-
maintain daylight illumination for the available at different positions inside Meeting the need for contact with the logical regulation, we are referring to
visual tasks and provide a view to the with that available outside (e.g. the outside living environment is an impor- the functions of the bodys major health
outside, rather than being shaded to daylight factor, DF). tant psychological aspect linked to day- keepers: the nervous system and the
control potential glare sources. lighting (Robbins, 1986). The provision endocrine system. These major control
The absolute levels of illuminance that of daylight alone is not enough to satis- centres of the body are directly stimu-
Daylight availability are needed for a particular visual task
will depend on the character of the task
The primary target in the daylighting of and the visual environment where it is
buildings has generally been to provide performed. As an example, the Char-
adequate light levels in the room and on tered Institution of Building Services ! Remember
the work plane, so that daylight is the Engineers, CIBSE (CIBSE, 2006), rec- Daylight should provide enough light in the room and on the work plane to be
main, or only, source of light (autono- ommends the following light levels. the main, or only, source of light during daytime.
mous) during daytime. Several metrics See section 1.7.1. Occupants can accept greater luminance variations in spaces lit by daylight
address daylight availability for a task than if artificially lit.
and/or a space, and an important as- 100 lux for interiors where visual
pect of daylight is to understand that it tasks is movement and casual seeing Luminance variations of around 10:1 are suitable for daylighting design.
is variable: it varies with the seasons of without perception of detail. The sensation of glare can occur when luminance variations exceed 20:1 to 40:1.

lated and regulated by light (Edwards rhythms are called circadian rhythms For example, in order to align our body where we are exposed to relatively low
and Torcellini, 2002) by a specific sub- and their regulation depends very much clock, morning light is the most impor- light levels of a limited spectral range,
type of retinal ganglion cells ipRGCs - on the environment we live in. The dy- tant signal for entrainment. Light in the and where the patterns of light and
intrinsically photosensitive retinal gan- namic variation of light, both daily and morning also increases our levels of darkness occur at irregular intervals.
glion cells. Together with our visual seasonally, is a critical factor in setting alertness, allowing increased perfor- Preliminary evidence suggests that low
system, these ganglion cells in the eye and maintaining our 24-hour daily mance at the beginning of the day. light exposure is associated with dimin-
are sensitive to light. rhythms our circadian rhythms Whereas reduced light levels in the ished health and well-being and can
which, in-turn, play a key role in the evening promote sleep at night. There lead to reduced sleep quality, depressed
Circadian rhythms regulation of the sleep/wake cycle. are other external time markers but mood, lack of energy and impaired so-
Sleep disruption has been linked to poor daylights characteristic light/dark cial relations.
Many aspects of human physiology and cognitive function, stress, depression, variation, continuity and spectral com-
behaviour are dominated by 24-hour poor social interaction, metabolic and position are excellent synchronisers of Light intensity
rhythms that have a major impact on cardiovascular disease, increased sus- our circadian rhythm. It is now evident
our health and well-being. They control ceptibility to infection - and even cancer. that daylight is not just a stimulus for Most people are able to read and work
sleep/wake cycles, alertness and per- An appropriate light signal during the vision, but acts as a key element in the with a daily light level of 500 lux, but
formance patterns, core body tempera- day and darkness at night are therefore regulation of many areas of human one hours exposure to 500 lux may not
ture rhythms, as well as the production critical in maintaining key aspects of health. Figure 1.6 shows the production be enough to trigger the circadian
of the hormones melatonin and cortisol our overall health (Circadian House, rhythms of the hormones melatonin rhythm (intensity). In a study by Mard-
(Pechacek et al., 2008). These daily 2013). and cortisol. aljevic et al. (2012), a case with and
without roof windows is investigated to
Biological functions of light determine the effect of light intensity.
The case with only facade windows
How our biology responds to light inten- shows that the degree of light intensity
sity, duration, timing, and spectrum is is greatest for those viewpoints/direc-
highly complex and varies greatly be- tions located closest to and directed to-
tween our visual and circadian systems. wards the window. The case with roof
All these characteristics are used as a windows shows a greater intensity for
first step towards prescriptions of all locations in the room, and with less
healthy lighting in buildings (Veitch, of a preference for those views directed
2002). Inadequate light exposure can towards the window. This illustrate the
disrupt normal circadian rhythms and importance of using daylight as a key
have a negative effect on human per- source of light required for effective
formance, alertness, health and safety. suppression of melatonin, since the
We know that outdoor daily light expo- magnitude needed could be of the order
sure allows us to regulate our sleep/ of 1 000 lux depending on the spectrum.
wake timing and levels of alertness.
06:00 12:00 18:00 24:00 06:00 12:00 18:00 24:00 06:00
But the reality is that we spend we As another example, a study conducted
spend 90% of our time indoors (Klepeis, in San Diego during a temperate and
Cortisol level Melatonin level
2001; Leech, 2002; Schweizer, 2007), sunny period showed that, when awake,
Figure 1.6 Production of the hormones melatonin and cortisol (Brainard, 2002).

We need more light at the right time and the right kind

the average person spent 4% of each whilst in the evening, it sets it to a later length around 555 nm, as shown in fig- regions of the electromagnetic spec-
24 hours in illumination greater than time (get up later). This is, in essence, ure 1.7. Figures 1.1. and 1.2 presented trum than typical electric light sources.
1 000 lx (on average 130 min), and more the syndrome of jetlag, caused by a earlier show that the spectral composi-
than 50% of the time in illuminance conflict between the biological time of tion of daylight is much richer in these
levels from 0.1 to 100 lx (Espiritu et al., day and the geographical time of day.
1994); the people with the shortest The visual system reacts identically
daily exposure time to high light levels whatever the time of day.
(above 1 000 lx) reported the lowest C() V()
mood. Specific requirements for different age 100%

Special power distribution [-]

groups also need to be taken into ac-
Other light exposure investigations count. Adolescent and young adults 80%
show a similar trend. We know day- have a somewhat delayed biological
lighting can provide much higher levels clock and need more light in the morn-
of illumination than electric lighting, ing (bedroom, breakfast room, class- 60%
and can help significantly to increase room, etc.), whereas older people have a
the light dose received by people spend- biological clock that has shifted earlier 40%
ing most of their time indoors. In sup- (often resulting in falling asleep in the
port of this, a large Finnish epidemio- evening and waking up early in the
logical study found that health-related morning) (Wirz-Justice and Fournier, 20%
quality of life was higher for people re- 2010).
porting higher interior light levels (Gri-
maldi et al., 2008). Spectrum

Duration and timing Daylight is recognised as having the Figure 1.7 Circadian (C()) and visual (V()) systems' response to light (Pechacek et al., 2008).
highest levels of light needed for the bi-
The visual system reacts to and pro- ological functions (Hathaway et al.,
cesses light impulses in a fraction of a 1992) compared with typical electric
second, whilst the biological clock light sources.
needs minutes or hours (duration).
This means that both the illuminance at The light that is important to our circa-
the eye and the duration of exposure dian rhythm (C()) is different from the
are important to the effect of light on light that is important to our visual sys-
our circadian system. The time of day at tem (V()) because of the spectral dif-
which light is registered on the retina ference in the light sensitivity of the in- ! Remember
also has a clearly different effect on the dividual photoreceptors (spectrum). People in modern societies do not receive enough light on a daily basis and
visual system and circadian rhythm The circadian system (C()) is most need to be exposed to higher levels of illumination for longer durations.
(timing). Exposure to intense light in the affected by the wavelength region 446
morning can reset the biological clock to 488 nm, whereas the visual system We need a daily daylight exposure, because daylight is rich in the spectrum
to an earlier time (get up earlier), (V()) is most affected by the wave- to which the non-visual system is most sensitive.
Healthy light is linked to healthy darkness.

People perform better in daylight environments

1.4 Benefits of daylight ments can increase with the quality of

light. Companies have recorded an in-
1.4.1 Human benefits crease in productivity of their employ-
ees of about 15% after moving to a new
We know that appropriate light signals building with better daylight conditions.
during the day and darkness at night which resulted in considerable financial
are critical in maintaining key aspects gains (Edwards and Torcellini, 2002).
of our overall health. In order to align Another study demonstrated that
our body clock, morning light is the greater satisfaction with lighting condi-
most important signal for entrainment. tions (both daylight and electric light-
Light in the morning also increases our ing) contributed to environmental satis-
levels of alertness, allowing increased faction, which, in turn, led to greater job
performance at the beginning of the satisfaction (Veitch et al., 2008).
day. From mid-morning to early even-
ing, high levels of daylight, allow us to Studies also show that daylit environ-
regulate our sleep/wake timing and lev- ments lead to more effective learning.
els of alertness; whereas reduced light It was found that students in class-
levels in the evening and a dark room rooms with the most window area or
with blackout promote sleep at night. daylighting produced 7% to 18% higher
The inability to provide building occu- scores on the standardised tests than
pants with a good overall lighting envi- those with the least window area or
ronment can have subsequent impact daylight (Heschong, 2002).
on health and place a substantial bur-
den on the individual, society and the Benefits of higher light dose
broader economy.
We have no evidence for what is the
Performance and productivity necessary light dose?, but we do have
clear indication that the light dose
Bright lighting is generally believed to needed is higher than interior light lev-
make people more alert, and well-daylit els prescribed by electric lighting in
spaces are generally perceived by occu- standards and regulations. Studies sug-
pants to be better" than dim gloomy gest that higher doses would leave peo-
ones (Mardaljevic et al., 2012). Day- ple with a feeling of being more positive
lighting has been associated with im- about life (Espiritu et al., 1994), while
proved mood, enhanced morale, less fa- social interactions immediately follow-
tigue, and reduced eyestrain (Robbins, ing exposure to over 1 000 lx were
1986). Many studies show that the per- more co-operative and less quarrel-
formance and productivity of workers some (Aan het Rot et al., 2008).
in office, industrial, and retail environ-
Maison Air et Lumire, France.

In domestic buildings, health requirements suggest that
higher levels of daylight than are currently used are desirable.
This gives scope for energy savings

User satisfaction Benefits of view

Windows are highly valued by office Building interiors should be designed

workers (Edwards and Torcellini, in a way that permits the human need
2002). Surveys have shown that more to be linked to the natural environment
than 60% of office workers would like to be satisfied by minimising overshad-
direct sunlight in their offices in least owing and allowing distant views
one season of the year (Christoffersen, (Wirz-Justice, 2010). A natural view is
1999) and believe that working under preferred to a view towards man-made
natural daylight is better for their environment, and a wide and distant
health and well-being than electric light- view is appreciated more than a narrow
ing (Lighting Research Center, 2014). and near view. A diverse and dynamic
Employees working in offices highly view is more interesting than a monoto-
value access to a window - indeed, they nous view. The content of the view can
value it more than privacy in their office influence rental or cost price of hotels,
(Wotton, 1983). Several studies have dwellings and office buildings (Kim and
shown that people prefer daylight to Wineman, 2005). A view to to nature
artificial lighting at work. This is often may have a positive influence on peo-
linked to daylights dynamic variation of ples sense of well-being (Kaplan,
intensity, colour and direction and the 2001), better subjective health (Kaplan,
positive effect these have on our expe- 1993), higher environmental satisfac-
rience and mood (Christoffersen, 1999; tion (Newsham et al., 2009), better
Veitch, 2003). Canadian studies show mood (Grinde and Grindal Patil, 2009),
that there is a general perception that reduced health problems (Heschong
daylight should be the primary light Mahone Group, 2003), job satisfaction,
source for the sake of our health and recovery of surgical patients (Ulrich,
well-being (Veitch, 1993, 1996). 1984), stressful experiences (Ulrich et
al., 1991), and seating preference
A few studies in dwellings show that (Wang and Boubekri, 2010, 2011). A
natural light is the single most impor- study by Aris et al. (2010) shows that
tant attribute in a home, with over views in offices independently judged
60% of respondents ranking it as im- to be more attractive were associated
portant (Finlay, 2012). A WHO survey with reduced discomfort and, through
involving eight cities across Europe, the discomfort effect, with better sleep
showed that individuals who report in- quality.
adequate natural light in their homes
have a greater risk of depression and
falls (Brown, 2011).

CarbonLight Homes

When properly selected and installed, an energy-efficient
skylight can help minimise your heating, cooling and lighting

Impact of daylight in hospital rooms Prevention of Seasonal Affective 1.4.2 Energy savings for electric recommendations for light levels exist
Disorder (SAD) lighting for communal residential buildings but
There is some evidence that daylight not for single-family houses.
exposure can affect post-operative out- Seasonal Affective Disorder is a depres- Another benefit of using daylighting for
comes in patients and, consequently, sion-related illness linked to the availa- ambient and/or task illuminance in a Estimation of savings potential in do-
that daylight should be a consideration bility and change of outdoor light in the space is that it can save energy by re- mestic buildings requires a user profile,
in hospital design. Ulrich (1984) report- winter. Reports suggest that 0.4% to ducing the need for electric lighting. and models for switching on/off the
ed that hospital patients with a view of 9.7% of the world's population may suf- Several studies in office buildings have lights. In a study by Mardaljevic et al.
green spaces, as opposed to those with fer from SAD, with up to three times recorded the energy savings for electric (2012), the French RT 2005 model was
a view of a blank brick wall, recovered that number having signs of the afflic- lighting from using daylight in the range used. They analysed the potential for in-
more quickly from surgery and required tion (called sub-syndromal SAD (or of 20-60% (Galasiu, 2007), but it de- creased daylight provision for a house
less post-operative pain medication. S-SAD) without being classified as a pends on the lighting control system with or without skylight to save electric
Beauchemin and Hays (1998) found major depression (primarily in Northern used, how well the space is daylit during lighting energy at eight European loca-
that patients on the sunnier side of a America and Northern Europe) (Rosen, occupied hours and the intended func- tions. The study shows that increased
cardiac intensive care ward showed et al., 1990). Light therapy with expo- tions of the space. If no control system daylight is estimated to reduce the
lower mortality rates than those on the sure levels at the eye of between 2500 is installed, the occupant entering a need for artificial lighting by 16-20%,
less-sunny side. Another study deter- lux (for 2 hours) or 10 000 lux (for 30 space will often switch on the electric depending on the location and orienta-
mined that sunlight exposure was asso- minutes) has shown to be an effective lights. Quite why occupants switch on tion of the house. See section 1.6.6
ciated with both improved subjective cure against SAD (Sloane, 2008). Expo- or off the office lights is not always ob-
assessment of the patients and also re- sure to daylight outdoors (~ 1000 lux) vious, but it is even less obvious in a do- In LichtAktiv Haus in Germany,
duced levels of analgesic medication can also reduce SAD symptoms (Wirz- mestic setting, where demand for light the electric lighting used in the kitchen
routinely administered to control post- Justice et al., 1996). So, as seasonal is typically driven by human needs and and living room shows a significant
operative pain (Walch et al., 2005). The mood disturbance is relatively common, wishes. tendency of being affected by the inte-
importance of the amount of daylight in the amount of daylight in our homes or rior daylight level; the lights are
a patient's room indicates an impact on workplaces can be of considerable sig- In non-domestic buildings, official rec- typically switched on before sunrise
patients' length of stay; coronary artery nificance though the effective value ommended illumination levels are de- and after sunset. There is a reasonable
bypass graft surgery patients' length of of daylight will depend on the architec- fined for the spaces they illuminate. correlation between high daylight level
stay in hospital was reduced by 7.3 tural design of a room and the facade They are dependent on the type of and switching probability, while outside
hours per 100 lx increase of daylight (Pechacek et al., 2008). Light therapy space to be lit and the functions within weather, day of the week has less impact
(Joarder and Price, 2013). can also be used to treat other depres- it, and are based on both the functional (e.g. family with children).
sion-related symptoms (e.g. non-season- efficiency of anticipated tasks per-
al depression, premenstrual, bulimia). formed in the spaces and visual comfort
(IEA, 2006). Typically guidelines and

Electricity used for artificial lighting is a significant cause
of a buildings CO2 cost: in offices, it can be 30% of the total.
This is why good daylighting is so important to sustainable
Electric Light Kitchen
The IEA publication Light's Labours gas emissions. The amount of electrici-
24 Lost suggests that policies to encour- ty consumed by lighting is almost the
22 age better use of daylight typically same as that produced from all gas-
20 implement the following measures to fired generation and about 15% more
18 encourage savings potential from the than that produced by either hydro or
16 use of daylight: nuclear power. Indoor illumination of
14 tertiary-sector buildings uses the larg-
12 Implemented daylight-saving time est proportion of lighting electrical en-
10 (DST) and sometimes double DST. ergy, comprising as much as the resi-
8 dential and industrial sectors combined.
6 Acknowledging credit for daylight On average, lighting accounts for 34%
4 measures in building codes. of tertiary-sector electricity consump-
2 tion and 14% of residential consump-
Supported R&D and dissemination of tion in OECD countries. In non-OECD
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
daylighting practices and technologies. countries these shares are usually higher.
Figure 1.10 LichtAktiv Haus. Temporal map of lighting use in the kitchen (2012), showing time
(IEA, 2006)
of sunrise (blue) and sunset (red). Lighting use and sunrise/sunset depends on local time, which Labelling and certification of windows.
accounts for Daylight Saving Time (DST).

1.4.3 Environmental benefits

Global lighting electricity
Increasing use of natural resources,
Final energy consumption (TWh)

5.000 such as daylight and air, in our buildings,
through constructive use of windows in
the facades and roofs, can influence our
dependency on fossil fuels as well as re-
duce combustion of greenhouse gases.
3.000 Lighting is one of the largest consumers
2.500 of electricity and one of the biggest
2.000 causes of energy-related greenhouse
1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 ! Remember
Residential Outdoor stationary Industrial Commercial Daylit environments facilitate better performance, productivity and learning.
Light therapy with exposure levels at the eye of between 2500 lux (for 2
Figure 1.11 Global electricity consumption for lighting with current socio-economic trends and
policies is projected to rise. The actual growth will depend on demand for artificial light and the hours) and 10 000 lux (for 30 minutes) has shown to be an effective cure for
efficiency of lighting technologies, just two of the factors influencing increased consumption SAD and other depression-related symptoms.
(IEA, 2006).

Log. (cd/m2)
- 60000
- 40000

- 20000

- 10000
- 8000
- 6000
- 4000

- 2000

- 1000

1.5 Parameters influencing

- 800
- 600
- 400

daylighting performance - 200

- 100
- 80
- 60
- 40

1.5.1 Climate 1) Figure 1.13 Luminance map of a clear sunny brighter at the horizon than the zenith. In addi-
sky. The image above describes a clear sky tion to the sky luminance is the sun luminance.
The prevailing climatic conditions of a luminance distribution. Under clear sky condi- The sun acts as a dynamic light source of
building site define the overall precondi- tions, the sky luminance is about ten times very high intensity.
tions for the daylighting design in terms
of sunlight availability, visual comfort, Log. (cd/m2)
- 60000
thermal comfort and energy perfor- - 40000

mance. Figures 1.13 to 1.15 show the - 20000

effect of climatic conditions on the sky - 10000

- 8000
- 6000

luminous distribution and intensity. - 4000

- 2000

- 1000
- 800
- 600

Example - 400

The charts below show an overview of the monthly sky conditions for 3 European locations: - 200

Rome, Paris and Oslo. Within working hours (8-17), cumulative data of daylight availability show - 100
- 80

that a horizontal illuminance of 10 klx might be available for 60 to 85 % of working hours and - 60
- 40

20 klx for around 30% of working hours. By contrast, the global illuminance (total of sunlight
and skylight) varies significantly with latitude. A global horizontal illuminance of 30 klx is 2) Figure 1.14 Luminance map of an intermedi- tion between the very intense luminance of the
exceeded for 35% of working hours (8-17) in Oslo, but 65% of the time in Rome. ate sky. The image above describes an interme- sun and the luminance of the sky. It is possible
diate sky luminance distribution. In this par- to observe that the clouds (illuminated by the
ticular case, the sun energy has been scattered sun) have higher luminance values than the sky.
Weather, Frequency in %

by the clouds, which results in a softer transi-

Log. (cd/m2)
50 - 60000
- 40000

40 - 20000

- 10000
- 8000
- 6000
30 - 4000

- 2000

20 - 1000
- 800
- 600

10 - 400

- 200

0 - 100
- 80
Clear Intermediate Overcast - 60
- 40

3) Figure 1.15 Luminance map of an overcast cast sky conditions, the sky luminance is
Oslo Paris Rome
sky. The image above describes an overcast the same in all orientations, and the zenith is
sky luminance distribution. Under perfect over- about three times brighter than the horizon.
Figure 1.12 Frequency of weather in % for three different European cities.

Global Illuminance Kiruna, Sweden (67.85N)
1.5.2 Latitude south, the difference between summer
and winter becomes greater as lati- 24
The latitude of a building site deter- tudes increase. Figure 1.16 show the 22
mines the solar altitude for a given time difference in outdoor illuminance be- 20
of day and year. The summer and winter tween northern and southern European 18
solar altitude properties for a specific locations. 16
location are important design inputs for 14
the control of direct solar radiation. Lat- The highest peak of global illuminance 12
itude will also determine the length of is during the summer (for the northern 10
daytime and solar availability at differ- hemisphere), when the sun is at its 8
ent seasons of the year. Maximum and highest level, and about two and a half 6
minim solar elevation will depend on the times greater than the lowest peak 4
latitude of the site; on moving away during the winter, when the sun is at 2
from the equator towards north or its lowest level.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

0 20000 40000 60000 80000 >100000

Global Illuminance Rome, Italy (41.90N)


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

0 20000 40000 60000 80000 >100000

Figure 1.16 Global illuminance in northern and southern European locations.

1.5.3 Obstructions and reflections Roof windows and skylights are gener- The following figure show the effect of ob-
on site ally less affected by obstructions from struction on daylight availability in a simple
sand and have more generous views to room with a vertical facade window, and the
External reflections and obstructions the sky than facade windows, as illus- effect of adding a flat-roof window to deliver
daylight deeper into the obstructed room. The
from surrounding elements on the trated in Figures 1.17 and 1.18. results show that obstruction can greatly af-
building site (buildings, vegetation, fect the amount of daylight that will reach the
ground surface etc.) will influence the building interior, and how adding an unob-
amount of daylight reaching the interior structed window on the roof can provide much
of a building. more daylight.

Clear sky view

Obstructed view

Figure 1.17 Components of view roof window situation.

Clear sky view

DF 2.07% Average DF 1.03% Average DF 3.24%

Median DF 1.05% Median DF 0.58% Median DF 2.96%
Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.18 Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.22 Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.41

Figure 1.19 Comparison of daylight levels in a room without (left) and with external obstruction
Obstructed view (centre and right).

Figure 1.18 Components of view facade window situation.

Example: daylight in deep buildings
1.5.4 Building design
The simulations below demonstrate the daylight performance of a deep room
Geometry with three different window configurations installed.
Room dimensions: 8m (d) x 4m (w) x 3m (h)
Pane visual transmittance (v): 0.78
The geometry of a building influences
Surface reflectance: 0.35 (floor), 0.66 (wall), 0.90 (ceiling)
its capacity to deliver adequate levels
of daylight to the interior. When the
building is deep, daylighting solely by
facade windows has its limitations. No 1) Situation with 10% glazing to floor area
matter how much glass there is in the ratio (facade window only).
facade, it will only be possible to
The results from scenario 1 show that a 10% glazing to floor area ratio will only achieve a DF of 2%
achieve an adequate daylight distribu- a few metres from the facade and leave the back of the room with very low light levels. Even
tion (DF > 2%) a few metres from the though the average DF of the room is equal to 1.9%, only a small work plane area achieves values
facade, as shown in Figures 1.20 and above 2%, and only one of the three workplaces represented can be considered daylit.

Measures like light shelves and reflective

ceilings can improve the light distribu-
tion from the facade slightly, but these
solutions are often associated with vis-
ual discomfort. The most effective way
to bring daylight deeper into buildings is
to use light from the roof with products
like VELUX roof windows and sun tun-

Figure 1.20 Luminance and daylight factor simulations of scenario 1.

2) Situation with 30% glazing to floor area ratio (facade window only). 3) Situation with 20% glazing to floor area ratio (11% facade window + 9% roof window).

The results from scenario 2 show that a 30% glazing to floor area ratio will achieve a DF facade The results from scenario 3 show that a combination of facade and roof windows with a 20%
of 2% approximately 4.5 metres from the facade. The DF average is equal to 5.1%, but it is highly glazing to floor area ratio provides generous and useful DF levels over the entire work plane, with
non-uniform and not well distributed over the work plane area, with very high values near the an average DF of 6.4%. The results demonstrate that the use of roof windows means better day-
window and low values at the back, a luminous environment likely to cause visual discomfort and lighting performance and a luminous environment not as likely to cause glare and visual discom-
glare. In this scenario, two of the three workplaces represented can be considered daylit. fort. In this scenario, all of the three workplaces represented can be considered well daylit.

Simulations performed with the VELUX Daylight Visualizer. CVP VELUX roof windows are used in
scenario 3.

Figure 1.21 Luminance and daylight factor simulations of scenario 2. Figure 1.22 Luminance and daylight factor simulations of scenario 3.

Material properties ronment in which there is little indirect 1.5.5 Windows and skylights Light coming from south, east and west
or reflected light. Bright vertical surfac- orientations will, in many cases, provide
The colour and reflectance of room sur- es inside the room are generally pre- Orientation the interior with direct sunlight and
faces are part of the lighting system. ferred to dark ones, but shading devices light levels that vary significantly
Dark surfaces reflect less light than used to control sunlight should use The orientation of windows influences throughout the day as the sun pursues
bright surfaces, and the result is likely darker materials in order to limit the risk the availability and qualities of daylight its course around Earth.
to be an unsatisfactory luminous envi- of glare (e.g. grey awning blinds). in the interior. In the northern hemi-
sphere, light coming from the north is Note that roof windows and skylights
mainly composed of diffuse skylight installed in low-pitched roofs and flat
and provides the interior with a func- roofs are likely to receive direct sun-
Floor (0.70) Floor (0.30) Floor (0.15)
tional and comfortable light that is light.
Wall (0.85) Wall (0.50) Wall (0.30) pretty stable throughout the day.
Ceiling (0.85) Ceiling (0.70) Ceiling (0.30)

Average DF 6.41% Average DF 5.60% Average DF 5.24%

Figure 1.24 A diagram showing the sun's paths on the winter solstice (shortest day),
Median DF 4.68% Median DF 3.86% Median DF 3.49% the equinox (day and night almost equal) and the summer solstice (longest day).
Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.33 Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.21 Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.31

Figure 1.23 Luminance simulations showing the effect of surface reflectance on daylight levels.

It is impossible to optimise buildings for good daylighting
performance with static glazing alone, since daylight intensity
varies dramatically

Glazing dimensions Shading The most efficient shading solution to

prevent direct solar radiation into the
The amount of daylight entering a room Shading and sunscreening are just as building is to use external shading. Ex-
is linked to the total glazing area of win- important to good daylighting perfor- amples of external shadings are roller
dows in that room. mance as the window itself. Pleated shutters and awning blinds. A dark grey
blinds and Venetian blinds can be used screen (VELUX awning blind 5060) will
Glazing transmittance to adjust the amount of daylight enter- reduce the illuminance and luminance
ing spaces and to reduce window lumi- levels significantly to a level where the
The amount of daylight transmitted nance to control glare. The Venetian risk of glare is avoided.
through a window pane is reduced by blind can also be used to redirect the
the number of glass layers it has to pen- light into the room.
etrate. As a rule of thumb, double glaz-
ing (with no coating) lets in approx.
80% of the light, while triple glazing
(with no coating) lets in approx. 70%
of the light (compared to an open win-
dow). Coloured or coated glass can re-
duce the visible transmittance of a win-
dow pane to values as low as 20% and
significantly modify the spectral quality
of the transmitted light, as well as the
perception of surface colours in the in-

Interior shading, Venetian blind Exterior shading, roller shutter

! Remember
As a rule of thumb, double-layer glazing transmits approx. 80% of the light
and triple-layer glazing transmits approx. 70% of the light.
Coloured or coated glass can reduce the visible transmittance of a window Interior shading, pleated Blind Exterior shading, awning blind
pane to values as low as 20%.
Figure 1.25 Different shading solutions.

Position Linings 1.5.6 Sun tunnels deliver more light, the very high reflec-
tiveness of the metal material used in
The positioning of windows will influ- The geometry and depth of window lin- Orientation them allow sunlight to be efficiently
ence the distribution of daylight in the ings will influence the amount of day- transported over long distances - up to
room and determine the amount of light entering the room and can be used Orientation is a crucial factor influenc- 6m. Rigid Sun Tunnels will deliver more
'useful' daylight. Window position to soften the luminance transition be- ing Sun Tunnel's performance. These light than flexible Sun Tunnels.
should also take into account the rela- tween the high luminance values of the products are intended to transport in-
tion between the view to the outside window and the surfaces of the room. tense sunlight - to diffuse it into useful Dimensions
and the eye level of the occupants. daylight in deep areas of buildings or ar-
eas where a window is not necessary The amount of daylight entering a room
but daylight is wanted. Sun Tunnels from Sun Tunnels is linked to the dimen-
The figure below shows the effect of different window position in an attic with four roof win- should be oriented to maximise their ex- sions of the product.
dows. The results show that the average DF values vary in the room, but not as much as median posure to direct sunlight.
DF values, which are a better representation of the useful amount of daylight in the room. It is Diffuser transmittance
also worth noting the effect of window placement on the uniformity of daylight in the room and
Length and configuration
taking it into consideration in the building design and window layout.
The transmittance and optical proper-
The length of a Sun Tunnel influences ties of the diffuser influence both the
the number of inter-reflections needed amount and distribution of daylight
for sunlight to reach the interior of a from Sun Tunnels. As the name suggest,
room. While shorter Sun Tunnels will the diffuser takes the direct sunlight
coming down the Sun Tunnel and dif-
fuses it to achieve a good distribution
of daylight in the room.

Average DF 5.63% Average DF 4.45% Average DF 5.88%

Median DF 3.88% Median DF 1.60% Median DF 2.94%
Figure 1.26 Diagram showing sunlight
Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.22 Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.06 Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.14 transport in Sun Tunnels.

Roof windows and skylights deliver significantly more light
than vertical and dormer windows

1.6 Daylight with roof same size, and three times more light
windows, flat-roof windows as dormers of the same size, illustrated
in Figure 1.27. The roof window also
and modular skylights provides a larger variation of light levels,
which increases the visual interest of
1.6.1 Impact of three window the room (Johnsen et al., 2006).
configurations on daylight conditions

Under similar conditions, roof windows

are shown to provide at least twice as Vertical Dormer Roof
much light as vertical windows of the
Figure 1.28 Fish-eye rendering of view toward the window wall under sunny sky conditions in De-
cember at noon. The images show that the sunlight comes directly into the field of view in all
three cases. For the roof window, however, the sunlight seems to cause less glare.

In addition to providing more daylight, nance of the window pane and the adja-
roof windows are also shown to give cent wall, and thus reduces the risk of
higher wall luminance than dormer and glare. The figure above shows the dif-
facade windows, which results in a ference between the perceived glare
Daylight factor (%)

softer transition between the high lumi- from a facade, dormer and roof window.

0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0

Distance from window wall (m)

Roof window Vertical window Dormer window

Figure 1.27 Comparison of daylight factor levels along the depth of the room.

1.6.2 Effects of roof windows in high light levels in certain areas that
Solhuset kindergarten could be used to optimise daylight levels
throughout the building.

The architect firm Christensen & Co According to the architect, the position
Architects (CCO) used daylight factor and design of the window linings has
simulations to validate and optimise been optimised in the final design to
daylight conditions in this kindergarten achieve optimal daylight conditions in
project. all key areas of the building, and to pro-
mote a more rational solution in terms
The daylight factor simulation of the ini- of ceiling construction. The daylight
tial design showed areas of the building factor simulation of the final design,
where the light levels were not suffi- shown in the figure below, shows a
cient, such as the gymnastics room lo- significant improvement on the results
cated in the central part and the dining obtained with the initial design.
room facing east (e.g. 5% DF instead of
2% DF). By contrast, it also showed

Solhuset kindergarten. Figure 1.30 Daylight factor simulation of the initial design (left) and final design
(right) of Solhuset kindergarten.

1.6.3 Effects of adding flat-roof windows This kindergarten project was a former
and modular skylights to a former town town hall and had a flat roof with no
hall, now a kindergarten windows or skylights before the inter-
vention. CASA architects used VELUX
Daylight is the perfect material for reno- Modular Skylights and flat-roof win-
vation and indoor climate improve- dows to add daylight in the projects key
ments of existing building structures. areas and provide children with bright
Improving daylight conditions can help interior spaces.
significantly to revitalise the use of a
space and to improve the comfort and
well-being of the occupants.

Figure 1.32 Daylight factor rendering of Drmmebakken kindergarten project in Denmark.

Drmmebakken kindergarten.

1.6.4 Effect of roof windows in Green high levels of daylight to the second
Lighthouse floors lounge area, providing the occu-
pants with a healthy, strongly daylit in-
The daylight performance of Green door environment, and with contact to
Lighthouse, a VELUX 2020 Model the sky.
Home, has been evaluated with daylight
factor simulations. In order to show the The results also show that the use of
effect of VELUX roof windows, a com- roof windows contributes to raising
parison of the daylight conditions with daylight levels on the lower floors sub-
and without the use of roof windows stantially via the bright atrium space,
was performed. and results in a better distribution of
daylight on all floors by balancing the
The results, presented in Figure 1.34, light coming from the facade windows.
show that the roof windows deliver

Daylight performance without roof windows

Ground floor First floor Second floor





Daylight Factor % Daylight Factor % Daylight Factor %

9.0 9.0 9.0
7.8 3.0% 7.8 7.8
6.6 6.6 6.6
5.4 5.4 5.4
4.2 4.2 4.2
3.0 3.0 3.0
1.8 1.8 1.8
0.6 0.6 0.6

Daylight performance with roof windows

Ground floor First floor Second floor






Daylight Factor % 5.4% Daylight Factor % Daylight Factor %

9.0 9.0 9.0
7.8 7.8 7.8% 7.8
6.6 6.6 6.6
5.4 5.4 5.4
4.2 4.2 4.2
3.0 3.0 3.0
1.8 1.8 1.8
0.6 0.6 0.6

Green Lighthouse. Figure 1.34 Daylight factor renderings of Green Lighthouse comparing
daylight performance with and without roof windows.

New classrooms with more, and better distributed daylight

1.6.5 Effect of roof windows when ren- tion of one room that had an average
ovating school buildings DF of 1.5%.

The effect of adding roof windows in The daylight factor levels obtained for
Langebjerg School was evaluated with the new proposal of the school are
daylight factor simulations comparing shown in figure 1.37. The addition of 3
the daylight performance before and to 4 roof windows in each class room
after renovation, in which four roof results in reach higher DF levels ranging
windows were added to each class- between 4,4% and 5,3%, but most
room, as well as in the circulation areas. importantly they help achieve a much
Figure 1.36 shows the daylight factor better distribution in the individual
results obtained with the initial design classrooms to ensure that each student
in which the classrooms have two roof desk receives adequate levels of day-
windows. The simulation results show light and reduce the contrast in the
that classrooms had average DF levels daylight levels of the room.
of around 3.0%-3.4%, with the excep-

Figure 1.36 Daylight factor simulation before renovation.

Langebjerg School. Figure 1.37 Daylight factor simulation after renovation.

1.6.6 Effect of roof windows in that all the main living areas of the
MH2020 Sunlighthouse house have generous levels of daylight
above 5% DF, see figure 1.40. The anal-
VELUX Roof windows are used to deliv- ysis also show that the house and its oc-
er daylight both on the ground floor and cupants will benefit from bright circula-
first floor of Sunlighthouse, as shown in tion areas under the roof window on the
Figure 1.39. Daylight factor renderings first floor and around the courtyard on
of the ground floor and first floor show the ground floor.


Sunlighthouse. Figure 1.39 Section view of a luminance rendering showing daylight distribution in false colour
(left) and photo-realistic (right).

The building monitoring report of Sun- lighting was used during daytime. The
lighthouse also demonstrates the effect figure below shows electric lighting us-
of the good daylight conditions, with age in the kitchen space from January
very few hours in the year when electric to November.

Electric Light Kitchen

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Figure 1.41 Temporal map of electric lighting usage in Sunlighthouse. The blue line represents the
time of sunrise, and the red line the time of sunset.

Figure 1.40 Daylight factor rendering of Sunlighthouse ground floor (left) and first floor (right). Green Lighthouse.

1.6.7 Effect of roof windows in the ren-First and foremost, the addition of roof The higher levels of daylight increase ings for lighting. The figure below
ovation of residential buildings windows led to a marked increase in the number of hours when electric shows energy savings in the area of 100
the amount of daylight and its occur- lighting will not be needed, which, in KWh/yr across all climates and orienta-
A recent study investigating the effect rence in levels in the key UDI autono- turn, results in significant energy sav- tions tested (Mardaljevic et al., 2012).
of adding roof windows to a single-fam- mous range of 300-3 000 lux. The fig-
ily house has shown that roof windows ure below shows increases of daylight
and better daylight conditions can be provision in the range of 40% from the 140

Saving [kWh/yr]
tied to several positive outcomes, and addition of roof windows to the kitchen
this in all climates in Europe. space across all climates and orienta- 120
tions tested (Mardaljevic et al., 2012). 100


% yr [08h20h]


80 20

60 DEU-Hamburg FRA-Paris ITA-Roma RUS-Moscow
ESP-Madrid GBR-London POL-Warsaw SWE-Ostersund
Energy savings for lighting

North-facing West-facing South-facing East-facing

Figure 1.44 Impact of adding roof windows on energy savings for lighting.
DEU-Hamburg FRA-Paris ITA-Roma RUS-Moscow
ESP-Madrid GBR-London POL-Warsaw SWE-Ostersund

UDI auto: 300 < E < 3000 lux

North-facing West-facing South-facing East-facing

The study also investigated the impact The results showed significant increas-
of adding roof windows on the amount es for potential non-visual effects of
Figure 1.43 Impact of adding roof windows on the occurrence of daylight levels in the range
300-3000 lux.
of daylight received at eye level at spe- daylight with the addition of roof win-
cific periods of the day and night in or- dows: a 25% increase in the morning
der to evaluate the non-visual of effects period and a 45% increase in the after-
of light. Figure 1.45 shows the results noon period. Similar increases in perfor-
obtained for the living room in Rome. mance were seen in all rooms and
Each circle represents a specific view across all climates and orientations
position with four view directions and tested.
three time periods.

N-VE Potn [%] N-VE Potn [%]

0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100

06.00-10.00 33 % 38 % 80 % 7% 06.00-10.00 58 % 54 % 81 % 21 %
10.00-18.00 29 % 42 % 89 % 10 % 10.00-18.00 73 % 67 % 89 % 35 %
18.00-06.00 0% 0% 5% 0% 18.00-06.00 1% 1% 5% 0%

Figure 1.45 Impact of adding roof windows on the potential for non-visual effects of daylight for
multiple positions, view directions and time of day.

1.7 Daylight calculations
and measurements

1.7.1 Illuminance

Illuminance is the measure of the

Figure 1.46. Illuminance diagram.
amount of light received on a surface.
It is typically expressed in lux (lm/m).
Illuminance levels can be measured with
a luxmeter, shown in Figure 1.47, or
predicted through the use of computer
simulations with recognised and vali-
dated software (e.g. VELUX Daylight
Visualizer). Figure 1.48 shows an example
of an illuminance rendering. Illuminance
is the measure of light currently used by
most performance indicators to deter-
mine daylight availability in the interior.
Figure 1.47. Luxmeter.

Typical illuminance values:

Direct sunlight 100,000 lux
Diffuse skylight 3,000-18,000 lux

Minimum levels for tasks and activities:

Residential rooms 200-500 lux
Classrooms (general) 300-500 lux
Workspace lighting 200-500 lux

! Remember
Illuminance (lux) is the measure of the amount of light received on a surface.
It is the measure of light currently used by most performance indicators to
determine daylight availability in the interior. Figure 1.48 Illuminance renderings of Maison Air et Lumire.

1.7.2 Luminance

Luminance is the measure of the

amount of light reflected or emitted
from a surface. It is typically expressed
in cd/m.
Figure 1.49. Luminance diagram.
Luminance levels can be measured with
a luminance meter, shown in Figure
1.51, or through the use of high dynamic
range (HDR) imaging techniques to-
gether with a digital camera and lumi-
nance mapping software (e.g. Pho- Figure 1.52 Luminance map showing the distribution of luminance values in Atika, a concept
tolux), example shown in Figure 1.52. house by VELUX, under overcast sky conditions.
Luminance levels can be predicted
through the use of computer simula-
Figure 1.50. Cool pix camera and fisheye lens
tions with recognised and validated used to create luminance maps.
software (e.g. VELUX Daylight Visualiz-
er). Figure 1.53 shows an example of a
luminance rendering. Luminance is the
measure of light used to evaluate visual
comfort and glare in the interior.

Figure 1.53 Luminance renderings of Maison Air et Lumire.

Figure 1.51. Luminance meter.

Typical luminance values:

Solar disk at noon 1,600,000,000 cd/m2

Solar disk at horizon 600,000 cd/m2

Frosted bulb (60 W) 120,000 cd/m2 ! Remember

T8 cool white fluorescent 11,000 cd/m2 Luminance (cd/m2) is the measure of the amount of light reflected or emitted
from a surface.
Average clear sky 8,000 cd/m2
It is the measure of light used to evaluate visual comfort and glare in
Average cloudy sky 2,000 cd/m 2 the interior.

1.7.3 Daylight factor The size and configuration of the Measurement grid
Daylight factor (DF) is a daylight availa- In most cases, daylight factor levels in
bility metric that expresses as a per- The reflective properties of the inter- rooms are measured at work plane
centage the amount of daylight avail- nal and external surfaces. height (e.g. 0.85m above the floor),
able inside a room (on a work plane) leaving a 0.5m border from the walls
compared to the amount of unobstruct- The degree to which external struc- around the perimeter of the work plane,
ed daylight available outside under tures obscure the view of the sky. as shown in Figure 1.55.
overcast sky conditions (Hopkins,
1963). The higher the DF, the more daylight is
available in the room. Rooms with an
The key building properties that deter- average DF of 2% or more can be con-
mine the magnitude and distribution of sidered daylit, but electric lighting may
the daylight factor in a space are still be needed to perform visual tasks.
(Mardaljevic, J. (2012)): externalstrongly
A room will appear (lux) daylit
when the average DF is 5% or more, in
The size, distribution, location and which case electric lighting will most
transmission properties of the facade likely not be used during daytime (CIB-
and roof windows. SE, 2002).

external (lux)
external (lux)

0 2 4 6 8 10

internal (lux) Average DF 2.75% Average DF 5.06%

internal (lux)
Median DF 2.30% Median DF 4.09%
Sensor Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.15 Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.49

Figure 1.55 Daylight factor (DF) simulation in a classroom before (left) and after (right) renovation,
including a 0.5m perimeter from the walls around the work plane.

Figure 1.54 Drawing showing the values measured by the daylight factor method (simultaneous reading
of the internal and external (unobstructed) horizontal illuminance levels).

Climate-based daylight factor of daylight on site in addition to the 1.7.4 Daylight autonomy A target illuminance of 300 lux and a
properties of the space (CIE, 1970). threshold DA of 50%, meaning 50% of
The amount of daylight in a buildings Using recorded climatic data (outdoor Daylight autonomy (DA) is a daylight the time daylight levels are above the
interior depends on the availability of diffuse illuminance), we can determine availability metric that corresponds to target illuminance, are values that are
natural light outside at that location, as what DF levels will be needed to reach the percentage of the occupied time currently promoted in the Illuminating
well as the properties of the building the target illuminance level over a given when the target illuminance at a point Engineering Society of North America
spaces and its surroundings. The evalu- period of the year. The example below in a space is met by daylight (Reinhart, (IESNA, 2013), see section 1.9.4.
ation of daylight performance should, shows how the target DF is determined 2001).
therefore, take account of the availability from climate data to achieve daylight
levels of 300 lux for 50% of the year.

EInternal 300 lux 100%

DT = = = 1,9%
EExternal 15 700 lux

City Internal lux External lux DT %

Oslo 300 12 000 2,5%

Paris 300 15 700 1,9%

Rome 300 19 200 1,6%

0 20 40 60 80 100

Average DA 300 59% Average DA 300 82%

Mean DA 300 63% Mean DA 300 82%
Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.14 Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.83

Figure 1.57 Daylight autonomy (DA) simulation in a classroom before (left) and after (right)
renovation, including a 0.5m perimeter from the walls around the work plane.

Figure 1.56 Cumulative curves of available external diffuse horizontal illuminance for Oslo
(Norway), Paris (France) and Rome (Italy).

1.7.5 Useful daylight illuminance (UDI) either as the sole source of illumination 1.8 Daylight simulation tools that look realistic, but they do not pro-
or in conjunction with artificial lighting. vide information about the quantity and
Useful daylight illuminance (UDI) is a Daylight illuminances in the range 300 Daylighting simulation tools make it quality of daylight in the rooms. Simula-
daylight availability metric that corre- to around 3 000 lux are often perceived possible to evaluate the quantity and tion tools like Daylight Visualizer enable
sponds to the percentage of the occu- as desirable (Mardaljevic et al, 2012). distribution of daylight in a room, while professionals to make informed deci-
pied time when a target range of illumi- taking into account key influential pa- sions about daylight performance and
nances at a point in a space is met by Recent examples in school daylighting rameters such as window placement, building design, and get an accurate im-
daylight. design in the UK have led to recommen- building geometry, external obstruction, pression of the appearance of daylight
dations to achieve UDI in the range 100- interior divisions and material proper- in the rooms. Figure 1.59 below shows a
Daylight illuminances in the range 100 3 000 lux for 80% of occupancy hours. ties. luminance rendering with photo-realistic
to 300 lux are considered effective and false colour images.
Most CAD visualisation programs used
today are capable of generating images

Figure 1.59 Luminance rendering of SunlightHouse shown with photo-realistic and false
colour images

0 20 40 60 80 100

Average UDI100-3000 83% Average UDI100-3000 88%

Mean UDI100-3000 85% Mean UDI100-3000 90%
Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.61 Uniformity Dmin/Dav 0.58

Figure 1.58 Useful daylight illuminance (UDI) simulation in a classroom before (left) and after
(right) renovation, including a 0.5m perimeter from the walls around the work plane.

VELUX Daylight Visualizer menting daylight levels and the appear-
ance of a space prior to realisation of
VELUX Daylight Visualizer is a profes- the building design. The programs sim-
sional and validated simulation tool for ple user interface makes it accessible,
the analysis of daylight conditions in quick and easy-to-use.
buildings. It is intended to promote the
use of daylight in buildings and to aid
professionals by predicting and docu-

Figure 1.61 Screenshots of VELUX

Daylight Visualizer output viewer
showing a daylight factor rendering
(top), an illuminance rendering (left)
and a luminance rendering in false
colour (right).

Figure 1.60 Section views of a luminance rendering showing the effects of VELUX Modular Sky-
lights in the atrium space of an office building.

Key features Create/import projects 1.9 Daylight requirements We recommend that national renova-
Use the embedded modelling tool to in building codes tion strategies should address the
Any project, any scale generate 3D models in which roof and importance of always improving day-
Daylight Visualizer can be used to facade windows can be freely inserted. light conditions when renovating a
evaluate daylight conditions in any Or simply import 3D models directly There are very few (or no) daylighting building.
type of project, including residential, from your CAD program Autocad, requirements or recommendations in
commercial and industrial projects of Revit, SketchUp, Archicad and more) existing standards and building regula- The recommended prescriptive demands
any scale. with the following supported 3D file tions that are enforceable by law in any that compare window area with day-
formats DWG, DXF, SKP and OBJ. country. light factor as equally valid methods of
Photo-realistic and false colour images achieving adequate daylight conditions
Visualise and quantify the amount Fast and accurate The VELUX Group is working to have have their limitations.
and distribution of daylight (luminance, Daylight Visualizer is a validated windows recognised as sources of illu- As an example, a study by Aarhus
illuminance and daylight factor) in daylighting simulation tool based on mination and sun provision in buildings; School of Engineering investigated the
buildings with false colour and photo- state-of-the-art rendering technology we are promoting healthy indoor envi- influence of window size, placement
realistic images. capable of simulating the complex ronments and helping to reduce the and other parameters on the distribu-
character of daylight in building inte- electricity used for lighting. Our goal is tion of daylight in a room. The window
Daylight factor calculations riors. for daylighting to be specifically men- size in the 23 different models is, in all
Daylight factor (DF) is a one-step tioned and considered in building stand- cases, in accordance with the present
simulation - the most commonly used For more information about VELUX ards and regulations, together with (10% glass area to floor area) and fu-
performance indicator to evaluate Daylight Visualizer, please visit the specific performance criteria for all ture Danish demands for glass area to
daylight availability in buildings. official website main living areas and activity zones of floor area (15%). The study compared
a building. Three key points that we the recommended requirements for
Results report believe should be taken into account, daylight in commercial buildings a
A report can be generated of simula- when daylight requirements are imple- daylight factor of 2% on the work plane
tion results, presenting the daylight mented in national legislation: (present Danish building regulations),
performance by zone for each room/ and an average daylight factor in the
space in the building. Results include Daylight should be used as primary room of 3% (suggested requirements
average, median, minimum, maximum light source in buildings in daytime in the 2020 standard).
and uniformity values for each zone. and fulfil both our visual and non-
visual (biological) needs. The calculations show that if shading
from external surroundings or common
We recommend levels of minimum facade design is included, then only 9 of
300 lux for most of the room area by the 23 models meet a daylight factor of
meeting a target climate-based day- more than 2%, and only 3 models meet
light factor and 500 lux for areas an average daylight factor of more than
where productive work is performed. 3%, corresponding to future recom-
See section 1.7.3 mended requirements in Danish build-
ing legislation.

The EU Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations
(1992) requires that Every workplace shall have suitable and
sufficient lighting and that this lighting shall, as far as is
reasonably practicable, be by natural light

1.9.1 Building Codes It enables the validation of the quan- 1.9.2 The European Committee for provides detailed considerations of the
tity, uniformity and spatial distribu- Standardization, CEN effect of daylight on the lighting energy
Legislation related to daylighting has tion of diffuse daylight in rooms, demand (monthly and annual), and day-
historically been defined by one or more giving architects and designers what In several European Standards involving light availability classification as a func-
of the following criteria: window or they need to make informed decisions. daylight, the general benefits of day- tion of the daylight factor. A new stand-
glazing area in relation to the room area light tend to be explained as follow: ard for daylighting of buildings that will
or facade area; quantity of daylight by The provision of sunlight and its du- define metrics used for the evaluation
daylight factor in a point in the room or ration. This type of legislation, usually The design illuminance levels needed of daylighting conditions and give
as an average daylight factor of the referred to as solar zoning legisla- to enable people to perform visual methods of calculation that can be ap-
room area; sunlight provision for a spe- tion, attempts to guarantee building tasks efficiently and accurately shall plied to all spaces is under preparation.
cific day or season; and a view to the occupants access to sunlight for a be obtained by means of daylight,
outside environment (Boubekri, 2004): predetermined period of time during electric light or a combination of 1.9.3 The International Organization for
the day, season and year. Considera- both. Standardization, ISO
Requirements for windows and their tions of sunlight access and its dura-
glazing area in relation to room area tion will influence the decision on ori- Windows are strongly favoured in Several ISO working groups include
or facade area. It is important to entation, the disposition of rooms and buildings for the daylight they deliver, daylight as an element in their work
stress that legislation that mandates their windows, selection of solar and for the visual contact they pro- groups. At present, one standard (ISO,
a minimum ratio of glazing area can- shading devices and consideration of vide with the outside environment. 2014a) applies to calculations methods
not be considered as daylight legisla- the surroundings. In countries such as It is important to ensure windows do for daylight in both existing buildings
tion, since it does not translate the Japan and China, solar zoning relates not cause visual or thermal discom- and the design of new and renovated
actual daylight presence inside the to public health, safety and welfare. fort, or loss of privacy. buildings.
room or building; it does not consider
factors such as outside boundary A view to the outside environment Potential energy savings by using
conditions, building overhangs, per- provides buildings' occupants with daylight
manent shading, glass configuration information about orientation, and
or transmittance. weather and times changes through- Light is important to peoples health
out the day. This kind of legislation and well-being.
The quantity of indoor illumination calls attention to window sill-height,
inside a room. Levels for daylighting glazing width (or the sum of widths In EN 12464-1:2011, the importance of
are generally described as preferred for all windows) as a fraction of daylight is taken into account and re-
or recommended - either by specific facade area, and type of glazing quirements for lighting are generally
illuminance (lux) levels on a work- material used. applicable whether it is provided by
plane or by daylight factor (DF). Day- daylight, artificial lighting or a combina-
light factor is the most recognised tion of both. EN 12464-1:2011 specifies
performance indicator used to speci- requirements for most indoor work
fy daylight conditions in buildings. places in terms of quantity and quality
The advantage of the DF method is of illumination. At present, only EN
that it is quick to calculate, and can 15193-1 (Energy performance of build-
be used in the early design process. ings Energy requirements for lighting)

1.9.4 Design Guidelines BREEAM states that . . . at least
80% of floor area in occupied spaces
Several independent authorities publish has an average daylight factor of 2%
guidance material and set the criteria or more. In domestic buildings, it
for best practice in the profession. states ... Kitchens achieve a mini-
These are the Chartered Institution of mum daylight factor of at least 2%;
Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), living rooms, dining rooms and stud-
UK and the Illuminating Engineering ies achieve a minimum average day-
Society of North America (IESNA), light factor of at least 1.5%, and
USA. As an example, CIBSE has pub- 80% of the working plane should
lished its Lighting Guides on Daylighting receive direct light from the sky.
and window design, and IESNA has
published a standard on approved LEED states that . . . through com-
method: IES Spatial Daylight Autonomy puter simulation that the applicable
(SDA) and Annual Sunlight Exposure spaces achieve daylight illuminance
(ASE) (IESNA, 2013), which describes a levels of a minimum of 25 foot-candles
new suite of metrics of daylighting per- (fc) (270 lux) and a maximum of 500
formance in an existing buildings and fc (5400 lux) in a clear sky condition
new designs, from concept to construc- on September 21 at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
tion documents. Areas with illuminance levels below
or above the range do not comply.
Several established and much-used However, designs that incorporate
methods of assessing, rating, and certi- view-preserving automated shades
fying the sustainability of buildings, for glare control may demonstrate
such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and compliance for only the minimum
Environmental Design), BREEAM 25 fc (270 lux) illuminance
(Building Research Establishment Envi- level".
ronmental Assessment Methodology),
and DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft fr DGNB states that . . . 50% of the us-
nachhaltiges Bauen), make recommen- able area throughout a building has a
dations for daylight as part of their as- DF (> 3% very good, > 2% medium,
sessment schemes. Overall, daylight > 1% slight, < 1% none); . . .based on
factor is the most common indicator in simulation, the daylight in perma-
most of them, but the calculation meth- nently used work areas (3% DF very
ods and benchmarks are different. good, 2,5% DF < 3% medium, 2%
Apart from daylight factor as an indica- DF < 2,5% slight, DF < 2% none).
tor, a view to the outside, glare control,
and illuminance levels are frequently
used parameters for describing visual


2.1 Indoor Air Quality The quality of indoor air influences
humans in several ways (Sundell,
2.1.1 How to achieve good indoor air 2004a):
Comfort: the pleasantness of the
As we spend 90% of our time indoors, air is immediately felt when a person
it is crucial to understand what the enters a building.
quality of the indoor air we breathe is.
Indoor air quality is influenced by the Health: breathing poor indoor air can
generation of pollutants indoors but have negative health effects.
also depends on the outdoor air around
the building. Indoor air quality has a Performance: high-quality indoor air
considerable impact on health and com- can improve mental performance and
fort. It is under pressure due to general well-being.
constant tightening of the building en-
velope, and introduction of many new Other: fresh air creates a link to the
materials that may emit harmful pollut- outdoor environment, and fresh air
ants. through windows is a valued aspect
Ventilation of ventilation.
Indoor air quality is also about human
perception. Good indoor air quality may There are generally three ways of
The purpose of ventilation is to freshen up be defined as air that is free of pollut- achieving good indoor air quality, (ex-
ants that cause irritation, discomfort or plained in more detail below (Nazaroff,
the air inside buildings in order to achieve ill health to occupants (AIVC, 1996). 2013):
Generally, rooms have different needs
and maintain good air quality and thermal
for ventilation; bedrooms, for example, Minimise indoor emissions
comfort. Ventilation also has important experience more intense emission of (source control)
bioeffluents/CO2 than kitchens or living
psychological aspects, which can be rooms. This could make demand- Keep it dry (humidity management)
illustrated by the feeling of being in control, controlled ventilation based on room
type a good way to achieve the right Ventilate well.
having odour management and creating indoor air quality.
a link to nature.

Source control Human beings and their activities; etrate into buildings, thereby effecting than those in rural backgrounds
e.g. tobacco smoke, products for the indoor climate. Ambient or outdoor (Ellermann et al., 2014).
Some activities lead to excessive indoor cleaning and personal care, consumer air quality has been shown to be im-
emissions, which degrades for electronics and electrical office proving - pollution levels in cities have Other sources of pollution of indoor air
ensuring good indoor air quality is to equipment like laser printers. fallen in recent decades due to the should be included, along with ways of
minimise uncontrolled indoor emissions. introduction of environmental zones, controlling them.
Indoor air contains many different Building materials; e.g. thermal insu- filters in diesel cars and the arrival of
and unwanted compounds, which lation, plywood, paint, furniture and vehicles that pollute less. Keep it dry (humidity management)
include (Bluyssen, 2009): floor/wall coverings.
Particles are differentiated in size Dampness in buildings is associated
Gases; e.g. formaldehyde, organic Outdoor sources; e.g. pollen, traffic (ultra-fine, fine and coarse) and the size with an increased risk of adverse respir-
chemicals (VOC) and inorganic and industry. Radon exists naturally determines how they spread within atory conditions (Bornehag et al., 2001).
chemicals (NOX , SOX , etc.). in the ground and enters the house buildings and outside buildings. Particle It is important to ensure that relative
through the floor construction. size and their chemical composition are humidity indoors is kept at reasonable
Particles; e.g. house dust and important factors for their health levels so as to limit the risk of mould
combustion products. Indoor air is affected by other means impact. Fine and coarse particles are and condensation in the construction -
than the indoor generation of pollutants measured by their weight in g per m3 ventilation and source control can both
Radioactive gas; radon. outdoor air also has an influence on while ultra-fine particles are measured help in this respect. Showering, cooking
indoor air quality. Particles are either in particle count (number) per cm3. or an evening with guests raises humid-
Biological; e.g. mould, fungi, pollen directly emitted into the air (primary) ity in the home, which needs to be re-
and dust mites or formed in the atmosphere from gase- Fine particles (also called PM2.5) can moved by ventilation, ideally at source
ous precursors such as sulfur dioxide travel for thousands of kilometres (e.g. cooking hood).
Water vapour (humidity). (SO2), ammonia (NH3) etc. (secondary) across borders, while coarse particles
(WHO, 2013). Primary particles are (also called PM10) are spread over only Ventilate well
Most of the pollutants come from emitted by e.g. combustion engines shorter distances up to 100 km
sources indoors. They include (diesel and petrol) - they are spread to (Schmidt, 2003). Ultra-fine particles Ventilation is an important means of
(Bluyssen, 2009): the outside air and may eventually pen- are mostly generated from diesel cars achieving good indoor air quality in
and are concentrated locally, spreading buildings, as it removes or dilutes pollu-
over only short distances and decreas- tion. As newer buildings have become
Achieve thermal comfort ing with height above street level, and more airtight and well insulated, there
in residential areas away from traf- has been an increased focus on the ven-
The human factors

Remove chemicals, particles, smells, allergenes, moulds ficked roads. There are limited studies tilation system, either natural or mech-
in literature on the difference in particle anical, to ensure good indoor air quality.
Create link to outside levels between rural, urban background Ventilation is a compromise between
and urban street settings. For example, energy consumption, health and costs.
Avoid allergies, asthma, and other illnesses Less illness with good air quality measurements from Denmark in 2012 Too much ventilation will increase energy
show that urban background levels of use in cold climates and cause draughts,
Higher productivity with
Support productivity and feeling of well-being
good air quality fine particles (PM2.5) are 10% higher while too little will cause bad indoor air
and urban street levels 40% higher quality and possible health problems.
Figure 2.1 The main reasons for ventilation

Children are particularly vulnerable to poor air quality

Airing with windows, using timers or sen- CO2 is most relevant as an indicator in
sors, in the morning, afternoon and before rooms where the need for ventilation
bedtime will help create good indoor air is linked to the presence of people, e.g.
quality in the house. in bedrooms, childrens rooms, living
rooms, dining rooms, classrooms and
2.1.2 Indoor air quality indicators offices.

As described earlier, indoor air contains Humidity as indicator of air quality

many pollutants. For many years, dis-
cussion has continued as to which indi- The relative humidity indoors will vary
cator for indoor air quality is the most on a yearly basis in correspondence
suitable. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is proba- with the humidity level outdoors. A high
bly the most commonly used indicator, level of humidity in indoor air can in-
measuring the CO2 produced by human crease the presence of house dust
breathing and emitted by appliances mites. So in climates with cold winters,
such as gas cookers and boilers (CIBSE, the relative humidity inside should be
2011). Other indicators are humidity and kept below 45% during winter (Rich-
volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ardson et al, 2005). Generally speaking,
both of which are possible indoor air high relative humidity levels should be
quality indicators. avoided in order to limit the risk of
mould growth, with negative health
CO2 as indicator of air quality conditions such as asthma and allergies
as a consequence (Liddament, 1996).
CO2 is a good indicator of the indoor air
quality in houses, where the occupants As humidity is considered to be the
and their activities are the main source main pollutant in homes, it can be rele-
of pollution. Outdoor air contains ap- vant to keep the indoor humidity level
proximately 400 ppm; breathing gener- under observation. For some rooms, this
ates CO2, so the indoor CO2 concentra- can be done via the relative humidity
tion will always be at least 400 ppm but, in more advanced systems, the dif-
and usually higher. An indoor CO2 level ference in humidity content between
of 1 150 ppm provides adequate air the indoor and outdoor air can be evalu-
quality, 1 400 ppm will ensure good in- ated and used as an indicator.
door air quality in most situations, and
1 600 ppm indicates poor air quality Measuring relative humidity has been
(CEN, 2007; Active house Alliance, done for many years and is now a mar-
2013). ket standard. The indoor levels are gen-
erally high during summer and lower

Langebjerg school.

during winter. With the same ventila- There are two kinds of VOC sensors on 2.1.3 Health human health are not fully understood,
tion rate during summer and winter, the market: one that measures the ac- but major research studies have shown
the indoor relative humidity will be very tual VOCs in the air, registering odours, To better understand the impact of in- that indoor air quality has an important
different from summer to winter. In oth- cooking and smoking fumes, and sol- door air on our health, we need to con- impact on the health of humans in
er words, a fixed relative humidity as in- vents; and one that correlates VOC levels sider the amount of air we breathe per buildings.
dicator for Indoor Air Quality has, some with CO2 levels coming from human ac- day. An average person consumes 2 kg
limitations and is most useful in wet- tivity which also generates VOCs. This of food and water per day but Professor Jan Sundell of the Interna-
rooms, where the objective is to avoid fact, combined with the ability to detect breathes in 15 kg of air per day (12 000 tional Centre for Indoor Environment
very high levels of humidity. Relative smells, could make VOC sensors an al- litres). The health impact is thus clearly and Energy at DTU (the Technical Uni-
humidity is very relevant as indicator in ternative indicator for air quality to CO2 important (Nilsson, 2008). versity of Denmark) says that we do
bathrooms, and in kitchens. as the VOC sensor is often cheaper in not know much about causative agents
price. 90% of our time is spent indoors, so in indoor air, but there is mounting evi-
In terms of absolute humidity, however, most of the air we breathe comes from dence that the indoor environment, es-
the difference between indoor and out- It is generally difficult to quantify the indoor environments. And we spend a pecially dampness and inadequate ven-
door humidity content may be the best limit levels of VOCs, which is more com- lot of time in our homes 55% of the tilation, plays a major role from a public
indicator, even though this will require monly often used in scientific circles; total intake of food, water and air dur- health perspective, and that the economic
indoor and outdoor sensors. In this case, whereas VOC sensors correlating with ing a lifetime consists of indoor air from gains to society for improving indoor envi-
a difference of 3.5 g of water vapour CO2 levels could be a good alternative our home, see in Figure 2.2 (Sundell, ronments by far exceed the cost.
per m of air is a reasonable level, and to existing CO2 sensors that evaluate 2004b).
may be used all year to check if the hu- human occupancy in buildings. In Northern Europe, especially, asthma
midity production in the home is bal- The individual or combined effects of and allergy are becoming more and
anced correctly with the ventilation the many compounds in indoor air on more common among children. This
rate. Measuring the difference in abso-
lute humidity is not a market standard,
so there are few products on the market. Intake of air In public premises
in the dwelling
VOC as indicator for air quality
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are Intake of air
substances that evaporate easily and outside the dwelling
are a mixture of many different chemi- Travel
cals such as benzene, formaldehyde
and trichloroethylene (TCE). The effect
on humans ranges from experiencing Outdoors
upleasant smells to severe health ef-
fects, e.g. as a cause of cancer.
Intake of nutrients
Solid food

Figure 2.2 55% of the total intake of air, for a person is indoor air from our dwellings (Sundell, 2004b).

Avoid high levels of humidity to ensure a healthy indoor

phenomenon has been studied by doc- Sick Building Syndrome The symptoms are believed to be caused Infiltration is the uncontrolled ventila-
tors and indoor environment scientists. by poor indoor environments and can be tion through leakages in a building, a
One study investigated the prevalence The term Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) helped by improving the air quality. measure of the airtightness of a build-
of these illnesses among Swedish con- is used to describe situations in which ing. Increased airtightness provides
scripts. building occupants experience acute 2.1.4 Increased airtightness requires better energy performance, but build-
health and comfort effects that appear occupant action ings in Northern Europe today are gen-
From the 1950s to the 1980s, a large in- to be linked to time spent in a building, erally so airtight that infiltration alone
crease in the number of persons with ill- but where no specific illness or cause 50-100 years ago, the houses in most of is far from sufficient to provide reason-
nesses like asthma and allergy can be identified. The complaints may Europe were often leaky, which meant able ventilation and good air quality.
(prevalance)was recorded - see Figure be localised to a particular room or that their ventilation rate was often in Consequently, building occupants need
2.3. The trend has taken place too rap- zone, or be widespread throughout the the range of one air change per hour to actively ventilate their homes to
idly to be explained by genetic changes building (Franchi et al., 2004). (ACH) without open windows. This led achieve good air quality and a healthy
and must be attributed to environmen- to high heating demands and the build- indoor environment. It is important that
tal changes instead. No direct link to in- The symptoms of these problems ing codes have been focusing on reduc- the VELUX ventilation flap is used to
door air quality has been found, but include headaches, eye- nose- or throat ing leakages since the 1960s. Measure- ensure a reasonable background venti-
most researchers recognise that a link irritation, dry cough, itchy skin, fatigue ments show that infiltration has been lation rate, and particularly that airings
exists (Brbck et al., 2004). and concentration difficulties. These reduced, as illustrated by Figure 2.4. are performed several times a day. Chil-
symptoms are defined as SBS symp- dren are particularly vulnerable to poor
To emphasise the importance of healthy toms, and WHO concludes they are air quality, as was seen in section 2.1.3.
indoor air, the World Health Organisa- found in 15-50% of all buildings (Krzy-
tion (WHO) has adopted a set of decla- anowski, 1999). A review showed that 1,6

Infiltration rate [ACH]

rations on The right to healthy air-conditioned office buildings have a
indoor air (WHO, 2000). 30-200% higher prevalence of SBS 1,4
than naturally ventilated buildings
(Seppnen and Fisk, 2002).
Symptom prevalence [%]


15 0,8


5 0,2

0 -1940 1941 - 1961 - 1976 - 1989 -
1952- 1957- 1962- 1967- 1972- 1977- 1960 1975 1988
Year of construction
1956 1961 1966 1971 1976 1981
Leaky Average Airtight Danish 2006 minimum requirement
Allergic rhinitis Asthma Eczema
Figure 2.4 The prevalence of allergy, asthma and eczema among Swedish conscripts
Figure 2.3 The prevalence of allergy, asthma and eczema among Swedish conscripts (young men that join the armed forces)
(young men who join the armed forces) (Brbck et al, 2004)

Use VELUX INTEGRA roof windows for automatic ventilation
to ensure a healthy indoor environment

Humidity in buildings can cause example of the effects of damp buildings There is no clear scientific explanation The ventilation rate is a compromise
illnesses it shows how dampness increases the of exactly how dampness has an impact between energy demand and a healthy
risk of allergy (Sundell, 1999; Wargocki on health. It is well-known, however, that indoor environment. In figure 2.7 we
Living or working in damp buildings are et al., 2001). house dust mites thrive in humid indoor saw that high ventilation rates could
among the indoor air quality factors environments. House dust mites are a improve human health. But high ventila-
that are most likely to cause illnesses. Human activities such as cleaning, well-known cause of allergy, and to re- tion rates also increase the heating
Investigations thousands of houses cooking and bathing add moisture to duce this risk, the relative humidity demand in climates with cold winters,
have shown that damp buildings can indoor air, resulting in the air indoors should be kept below 45% for several as shown below.
cause illnesses such as coughs, wheez- containing more moisture than the air months a year (Sundell et al., 1995).
ing, allergies and asthma. A damp outdoors. The activities of a family of
building is a building with an increased four typically add ten litres of water to
humidity level (the exact risk level of the indoor air per day (British Stand-
Example: effect of ventilation rate on heat-
humidity is not known). Figure 2.5. is an ard, 2002). ing demand.

A house in Stockholm, Sweden, is investigated

Prevalence [%]

with VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visual-

izer. The heating demand is determined for a
25 ventilation rate of 0.5 and 0.7 ACH. The heat-
ing demand rises by 21% when the air change
20 rate is increased from 0.5 to 0.7 ACH.




Heat demand [kWh/m2]

No 0-5 cm 5-25 cm > 25 cm 140
condensation 120
Condensation on window pane in bedroom
Figure 2.5 Shows the amount of condensation seen on the inside of bedroom windows and how 80
this affects the prevalence of allergic rhinitis among children living in the houses (Bak-Bir and
Olesen, 2005). It is important to notice that condensation is an indicator of dampness in the 60
room; condensation on the window pane is, by itself, not problematic for health (Wargocki, 2011).

! Remember 0
The moisture production from a typical family is 8-10 litres per day this 0.5 ACH 0.7 ACH
corresponds to emptying a large bucket of water on the floor every day. It Ventilation rate
should be removed with adequate ventilation to reduce the risk of illnesses.
Figure 2.6 Heat demand at 0.5 and 0.7 ACH in a house in Stockholm

Low ventilation rates can cause illnesses legislations (Mathisen et al., 2008), 2.1.5 Mental performance and indoor It can be assumed that if the indoor
there is an increased risk of becoming air quality environment was productive to work in,
The ventilation rate is an indicator of ill with dampness-related illnesses sich it would also support our ability to con-
how frequently the indoor air is as asthma and allergies, as seen in Investigations on the mental perfor- centrate and stay focused elsewhere.
changed in a house. If the ventilation Figure 2.7. mance of occupants in office buildings At home, we engage in activities that
rate is below 0.5 ACH, as typically re- and schools have shown that poor air require concentration like reading,
quired in the North European building quality reduces mental performance, playing games and listening to music
while good air quality improves it that can be expected to benefit from
(Seppanen and Fisk, 2006; Seppanen an indoor environment that supports
et al., 2009) see Figure 2.8. productivity.

Odds ratio of asthma, allergy


Relative performance


<0.5 ACH >0.5 ACH

Ventilation rate in house [ACH]

Figure 2.7 The odds ratio is an expression of probability. The figure shows the risk of
becoming ill with asthma. Allergy increases in houses with a ventilation rate below
0.5 ACH (ie, et al. 1999). 1

0 10 20 30 40 50

Ventilation rate [L/s/person]

! Remember
Good indoor air quality is a precondition for preventing important illnesses Figure 2.8 The performance of students in schools improves when the air quality is improved by
like asthma and allergy, especially among children. increasing the ventilation rate (Seppanen et al, 2009).

2.2 Ventilation and 2.2.1 Natural ventilation
ventilation systems
Natural ventilation uses natural forces
to exchange the air in a building. The
There are several ways to bring fresh driving forces are wind and temperature
air into our homes. Ventilation systems differences, as explained further in
can be natural, mechanical or hybrid (a section 2.4.1.
combination of the two).
In residential buildings, air is often sup-
There are two ways to ventilate or cool plied through the facade and extract air Natural ventilation: Mechanical ventilation:
buildings: actively or passively. Active is removed from selected rooms (often Background ventilation with stack ducts Balanced decentral supply and extract
ventilation/cooling refers to systems kitchen and bathrooms) through ducts,
where mechanical components or other as illustrated in Figure 2.7.
energy-consuming components (such
as air-conditioning systems) are used. The air supply can be through fresh air
Passive ventilation/cooling is a technol- grilles in the facade or through the ven-
ogy or design feature used to ventilate/ tilation flaps of VELUX roof windows. It
cool buildings with no energy consump- can also enter through leakages in the
tion (e.g. natural ventilation by openable facade.
It is important to ensure an efficient
Passive cooling is a measure that uses air flow path through the building,
no energy to cool buildings. It involves see section 2.5.1.
Natural ventilation: Mechanical ventilation:
at least three concepts: Cross-ventilation with open windows Decentral extract

Solar shading

Thermal mass

Ventilative cooling

Passive cooling techniques are de-

scribed further in chapter 3 Thermal

Natural ventilation: Mechanical ventilation:

Stack effect with open windows Balanced central supply and extract

Figure 2.9 Common natural and mechanical ventilation systems

Hybrid ventilation combines the best of natural and mechanical
ventilation in newbuilt houses

2.2.2 Mechanical ventilation the prevalence of SBS symptoms 2.2.3 Hybrid ventilation energy costs. As mentioned, mechani-
(Wargocki et al., 2002; Bek, 2009). cal ventilation with heat recovery is
Mechanical ventilation systems use Hybrid ventilation is is a system that used in new houses to reduce the heat-
electric fans to direct the airflow in the It has been found that SBS symptoms combines natural and mechanical venti- ing demand and to allow the house to
building. Mechanical ventilation can occur more frequently in buildings with lation. Hybrid ventilation is a relevant meet energy requirements for heating.
provide a constant air change rate inde- air conditioning than in naturally venti- solution for new residential buildings, But during the warm part of the year, it
pendently of external weather condi- lated buildings (Wargocki et al., 2002). especially if roof windows are available is more energy efficient to use natural
tions, but it uses electricity and usually If a mechanical ventilation system with to facilitate stack effect. Several varia- ventilation to reduce the electricity
cannot change the ventilation rate as heat recovery is to perform energy effi- tions of hybrid ventilation systems exist. demand for the electric fans.
the need changes over the day and year. ciently, the building must be perfectly
airtight. If it is not, a substantial part of Combined natural and mechanical Furthermore, open windows are appre-
Several variations exist, as illustrated the ventilation will come from infiltra- ventilation ciated by most users in the warm part
in Figure 2.9. Systems with both supply tion, which bypasses the heat exchanger. of the year.
and extract can be combined with a So mechanical ventilation with heat Mechanical ventilation is used in the
heat recovery unit, which recovers recovery is often not an energy-correct heating period and natural ventilation Hybrid ventilation combines the best
(reuses) the heat of the extract air that solution for existing buildings unless in the rest of the year. This principle of both worlds: good winter energy
would otherwise be lost. Up to 90% of they are made more airtight. provides a good energy performance performance with mechanical heat
the energy can be reused. for newbuilt houses and works well in recovery ventilation, and good summer
Mechanical ventilation systems can be combination with VELUX roof windows. performance with natural ventilation.
It is becoming a standard solution in central or decentral. Central systems
many North European countries for have one central unit, with supply and Fan-assisted natural ventilation
newbuilt houses to be provided with extract fans; if the system has heat re-
mechanical heat recovery ventilation covery, the heat recovery unit is includ- This principle is mainly used in larger
in order to meet current energy require- ed in the central unit. Ventilation ducts commercial buildings where the natural
ments. This is a very energy efficient are installed from the unit to most driving forces are inadequate in some
solution for the heating (winter) season. rooms of the house. Decentral ventila- periods. A fan is therefore used for
However, in the summer season, elec- tion does not use ducts; instead, small assistance.
tricity for running of fans can be saved units, which can include heat recovery,
by using natural ventilation. Systems are installed in individual rooms of a Stack-and wind-assisted mechanical
shifting between natural ventilation house. Such a system has the advan- ventilation
and mechanical ventilation are called tage of not requiring space for ducts.
hybrid ventilation systems. This principle is also used mainly in larger
commercial buildings, where the venti-
Mechanical ventilation requires filters lation system is designed with ducts to
to be changed regularly. Dirty filters are transport the air, and natural driving
a source of pollution of the indoor air forces provide most of the airflow
and reduce indoor air quality, which, in with fans used for assistance.
turn, reduces the performance of the
occupants of the building and increases Hybrid ventilation is used to optimise
the indoor environment while reducing


Winter Summer Example: using hybrid ventilation to save energy

An example of how much energy can be saved with hybrid ventilation compared to mechanical
heat recovery ventilation.

Typical houses in Istanbul, Paris and Copenhagen are being investigated. Natural ventilation is
used whenever it is warm enough to make heat recovery ventilation unnecessary (Foldbjerg
et al., 2010).

Part of year where natural

ventilation is most efficient [%]




Istanbul Paris Copenhagen
Figure 2.10 In Paris and Copenhagen, natural ventilation is more energy efficient than heat
recovery ventilation for 36%-39% of the year; in Istanbul, that figure is 55% of the year.


Primary energy demand [kWh/m2]







Istanbul Paris Copenhagen

Fan power Heating

Figure 2.10 Three principles of hybrid ventila- Figure 2.12 Hybrid ventilation is more energy efficient than mechanical heat recovery ventilation
tion systems [(Heiselberg, 2002). in Istanbul, Paris and Copenhagen.


The annual primary energy savings range from 3 kWh/m in Paris to 5 kWh/m in Istanbul.
This is compared to the maximum primary energy demand in the table below. Three periods of 2.2.4 Demand-controlled ventilation cleaning or many people are present in
construction are being invesitgated, and it can be seen that the relative reduction increases from the house. When the house is left dur-
5% for a recent building to 9% for a future building. In reality, the need for ventilation ing the day, the need for ventilation is
changes constantly and the ventilation reduced.
Total maximum primary Relative reduction from a rate should be increased when cooking,
energy demand for saving of 4 kWh/m
a 150 m house with hybrid ventilation

2005 85 kWh/m 5% Example: effect of air change rate on air quality

2010 61 kWh/m 7% A house in London is investigated with VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer.
It is occupied by five people, and has an internal floor area of 175 m. The CO2 level is
2015 42 kWh/m 9% determined for two constant air change rates: 0.3 ACH and 0.5 ACH.

Figure 2.12 Potential primary energy savings by using hybrid ventilation instead of mechanical Average CO2 level Average relative humidity in
ventilation with heat recovery. Based on requirements from the Danish building code
December, January and February
(Danish Enterprise And Construction Authority, 2010)

0.5 ACH 728 ppm (very good) 42% (good)

0.3 ACH 943 ppm (just acceptable) 59% (too high)

For newbuilt houses, hybrid ventilation To achieve a low energy demand, the The results show that at 0.5 ACH, the CO2 level will be below 750 ppm, which indicates that the
can be a very cost-efficient solution to alternative to hybrid ventilation could air quality will be very good. At 0.3 ACH, the CO2level will be above 900 ppm, which indicates
reduce the energy demand and make be additional insulation, photovoltaics that the air quality is just acceptable for existing buildings and could be improved. At 0.5 ACH,
the house meet the energy require- etc., which may be more costly solu- the relative humidity averages 42% during the winter months, while it is 59% for 0.3 ACH.
Recommended relative humidity for this part of the year is below 45%; this is achieved at 0.5
ments. tions. ACH, but at 0.3 ACH the relative humidity is too high, which means that there is a risk of mould
growth and an increased risk of moisture-related illnesses.

For the investigated house, the air quality will be very good at a ventilation rate of 0.5 ACH and
poor at 0.3 ACH.

! Remember
For residential buildings, the ventilation rate can be controlled based on
! Remember the humidity level and CO2 concentration. The actual need for ventilation
Hybrid ventilation is more energy efficient than mechanical ventilation with changes constantly and demand-controlled ventilation will provide the best
heat recovery because of the saved electricity in the summer time. compromise between air quality and energy consumption.


Opening windows is more than just ventilation opening
a window creates the link to the outside and is a symbol
of affection for your family

2.3 Fresh air from outside The social element deals with the
strong wish to be in control. Showing
There are many important issues in concern for your familys health by
ventilation science other than the airing your home, enjoying the feeling
strictly technical. There is the basic of freedom by being able to open the
human need for access to ventilation. windows but also letting in the sounds
Scientific work shows that ventilation and scents from outside.
with windows or fresh air from the
outside is not about fresh or air, but Three very important aspects that all
rather deals with the notion of creating deal with non-technical issues show us
a good indoor environment. Something that openable windows are a necessity
that obviously involves many other for the indoor environment on many
aspects than fresh air. human levels.

The subjects of the different aspects of Another human aspect is the ability to
fresh air are typically divided into three open the window in the transition peri-
main elements; a functional (practical), ods of our everyday lives like coming
an aesthetic (bodily and sensory) and a from work to home, going from sleep
social (care and impression manage- to waking up or returning home from
ment) element. vacation. Routines and unreflected
actions are a part of the transitions
The functional element is related to and here opening of windows has been
practical pursuits, like airing out after shown as one of the actions that we
bathing, washing the floor and doing need to perform.
the beds - but also being able to act in
dialogue with the weather and the
house itself.

The aesthetic element includes both a

bodily and sensory perspective. Factors
like regulation of body heat and being
able to smell oneself are important. Not
only the odour backdrop (good, fresh
smell) in the house from activities, but
also the enjoyment of a breeze in the

Home for Life.


Example from MH 2020:
2.4 Natural ventilation with See section 2.4.3 for an example of In the French Model Home, Maison Air et Lumire (MAL), the indoor air quality was evaluated
roof windows stack effect. with special focus on the effects of the natural ventilation system during summer. The evaluation
was based on the occupied period from September 2012 to August 2013 for the family of four
Wind (wind pressure) living in the house, with CO2 levels evaluated to Active House specifications, 2nd edition (Active
house, 2013).
2.4.1 Driving forces of natural
ventilation When a building is exposed to wind, air There was a general tendency towards better indoor air quality (indicated by lower CO2 levels)
will enter the building at the windward in summer using natural ventilation than in winter using mechanical ventilation. It was shown
Natural ventilation is driven by temper- side and leave through openings at the in the bedrooms, living spaces and mezzanine that openable roof windows help maintain low CO2
ature differences and wind pressure. leeward side. The wind pressure is high- levels. See figure 2.13 below for mezzanine 2 (Plesner et al, 2014).
er on the windward side than on the
Stack effect leeward side. This will drive air from the
700 60

Window opening
CO 2 [ppm]
(temperature difference) windward side of the building through
the building to the leeward side. The 600 50
Warm air is lighter than cold air. That shape of the building and the surround-
causes the stack effect, which means ing landscape or buildings have an im- 40
that warm air inside a building will rise. pact on the air flow. The magnitude of 400
The warm air will leave the building at the pressure difference generated by 30
the top through leakages, stack ducts wind pressure is determined automati-
or open windows and be replaced by cally as part of a simulation in tools like 200
cold air entering the building at ground the VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate 10
level. The higher the building, the more Visualizer. Typical values can be found
powerful the stack effect. For the stack in standards (e.g. BS5925:1991, 0 0
effect to work efficiently, there must be DIN19466:2009). Date and time
air passages through the building. CO 2 Window opening
See section 2.4.3 for an example of
These can be stairways in combination wind driven natural ventilation. Figure 2.13 Window opening degrees and CO2 levels for mezzanine 2 (1st floor) in June 2013.
with windows at both ground level and
roof level that can be easily opened at
the same time. Due to their position in
the roof, VELUX roof windows maxim-
ise the ventilation potential of the stack

! Remember
The higher the windows are placed and the larger the temperature difference,
the more powerful the stack effect. Therefore, in a building that uses VELUX
roof windows for natural ventilation, the stack effect is greater than in a
building with only facade windows.


The living room is also shown as a temporal map, illustrating that, for the vast majority of hours All the rooms in MAL were evaluated and achieved category 1-2 (<1 150 ppm) in summer for 95%
when roof windows are open, CO2 levels below 1 150 ppm (green), are achieved, which, in this of the time and category 1-2 for the entire year. The results show a satisfactory indoor air quality
case, is considered as satisfactory indoor air quality. There are no periods with open windows for the house. See figure 2.15 below.
and high CO2 levels.

MAL 2012-13, Living room "VRW"

Hours Mezzanine 1 (1st)

22 Bathroom (1st)

20 Mezzanine 2 (1st)
14 Bathroom
8 Living room

2 Entrance

Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug 0% 80% 90% 100%

All rooms excl. bedrooms Cat l (<900 ppm) Cat ll (<1150 ppm) Cat lll (<1400 ppm)
Open window & < 1150 ppm Closed window & > 1150 ppm
Cat lV (<1600 ppm) Cat V (>1600 ppm)
Closed window & < 1150 ppm Open window & > 1150 ppm

Figure 2.14 Window opening and CO2 levels for roof windows in living room Figure 2.15 All-year average CO2 levels for all rooms and for all hours excl. bedrooms


Part of year with CO2 level below 750 ppm
2.4.2 Background ventilation with the 100%
VELUX ventilation flap
The ventilation flap on VELUX roof
windows can be used to provide a 78%
continuous flow of fresh air into the 60%
Indoor temp. 21.0 C
Outdoor temp. 1.0 C
Air flow, l/s Ventilation rate 0.4 ACH


10% 20%
Window area per floor area

Figure 2.17 The part of the year with a CO2 level below 750 ppm is used as an indicator of good air
Wind = 3.9 m/s, S
quality. This is achieved for 78% of the year with 10% windows to floor area, while it is increased
to almost 100% with 20% window area to floor area ratio.
2010-01-07 16:38:24
VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Vizualizer

Figure 2.16 Animation of ventilation flows by

VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer


Background ventilation with ventilation flap

The example investigates the background ventilation rate that can be achieved with different
numbers of roof windows per floor area. Two ratios of windows to floor area are used, i.e. 10%
and 20%. The house is in Berlin, Germany.

Figure 2.16 shows the ventilation flows on 7 January, with outflows in the range of 2- 6 l/s per


The images from the animation of ventilation on 22 December during the morning airing show
2.4.3 Airing depends on how many windows are single-sided, cross-ventilation, stack effect and combined stack effect and cross-ventilation.
opened and how they are located in re- The ventilation rates that occur during the airing are shown in the table below.
An airing is a short period with a high lation to each other. The most efficient
ventilation rate due to one or more open airing is when stack effect and wind
Typical summer day: Typical winter day:
windows. Airing removes odours and pressure are used by opening windows
3 August 12 December
humidity efficiently at the time and at opposite facades and different
place of generation. The effect of airing heights. Single-sided 1.5 2.5

Example: airing Cross-ventilation 2.5 5.5

Ventilation rates achieved with airing are calculated with the VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Stack effect 4.5 6.0
Visualizer. Four windows used for airing, and the ventilation rates achieved with single-sided air- Combined stack and
ings, cross-ventilation and stack ventilation are found for a summer and a winter situation. The 5.0 6.5
house is located in Berlin, Germany.

Indoor temp. 20.1 C Indoor temp. 20.1 C

Air flow, l/s

Outdoor temp.
Ventilation rate
-2.6 C
2.5 ACH Air flow, l/s
Outdoor temp.
Ventilation rate
-2.6 C
5.5 ACH
The ventilation rates achieved with airings are in the range of 1.5 ACH to 5.0 ACH, which is up to
150 150 ten times higher than the background ventilation rate of 0.5 ACH. The highest ventilation rates
in the example were achieved with combined stack effect and cross-ventilation (5.0 6.5 ACH),
then stack effect (4.5 6.0 ACH), followed by cross-ventilation (2.5 5.5 ACH) and single-sided
ventilation (1.5 2.5 ACH). These ventilation rates are based on specific opening areas. Larger
ACH values can be achieved with larger opening areas, which is mainly relevant for ventilative
100 100

cooling purposes. In the French Model Home, Maison Air et Lumire (MAL), values up to 20 ACH
were measured during the summer 2012 (Favre et al., 2013).
50 50
The effect on the air quality with combined stack and cross-ventilation is investigated. The part
of the year with a CO2level below 900 ppm is determined, as well as the additional energy demand
Wind = 3.5 m/s, NW Wind = 3.5 m/s, NW (and associated cost). A gas price of 0.085/kWh is used (Europes Energy Portal, 2010).
0 0

2010-12-22 20:05:00 2010-12-22 20:05:00

VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Vizualizer VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Vizualizer

Indoor temp. 20.1 C Indoor temp. 20.1 C

Outdoor temp. -2.6 C Outdoor temp. -2.6 C
Air flow, l/s Ventilation rate 6.0 ACH Air flow, l/s Ventilation rate 6.5 ACH
150 150

100 100

50 50

Wind = 3.5 m/s, NW Wind = 3.5 m/s, NW

0 0

2010-12-22 20:05:00 2010-12-22 20:05:00

VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Vizualizer VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Vizualizer

Figure 2.18 Animation of window air flows calculated with VELUX EIC Viz


Part of year with Heating demand Energy costs 2.4.4 Optimal winter ventilation 2.4.5 Summer ventilation
CO2 level below [kWh/m] [/m per year] strategy for existing buildings
900 ppm [%] In warm summers, natural ventilation
The ventilation flap can be used to pro- can be used to maintain a comfortable
Without airings 62 45.9 3.9
vide background ventilation, which will indoor temperature. In this situation
With airings 77 50.3 4.3 achieve good indoor air quality when there is no heat loss to consider on the
the house is not used to its full capacity. contrary, there is a potential for saving
The results show that airings increases the part of the year with a CO2 level below 900 ppm from During activities like cooking, cleaning energy for cooling, with air conditioning,
62% to 77%, - a substantial increase of 24%. The energy costs increase from 3.9 to 4.3 /m per and showering airings should be used. if it is installed in the building.
year a 10% increase.
A combination of VELUX roof windows
and facade windows provides efficient Increased ventilation rates in summer
airings with stack effect and cross-venti- prevent overheating and the increased
lation. The combination of background air motion is pleasant when it is warm.
ventilation and airings is the best strat- See section 3.5.3 in the Thermal Com-
egy to achieve good air quality at a rea- fort chapter for an example of use of
sonable energy demand, as short airings both solar shading and natural ventila-
are more efficient than continuous tion to maintain thermal comfort. The
ventilation (Heiselberg and Perino, large air flow rates provided by natural
2010; Perino and Heiselberg, 2009). ventilation during summer facilitate
very low CO2 levels in the indoor air
Airings can cause draughts, but by at no energy cost.
making short and efficient airings, the
problem can be minimised. The use of natural ventilation to improve
thermal comfort in warm periods is
See design advice for specific building explained in more detail in the Thermal
types in section 2.5. Comfort chapter.

See design advice for specific building

types in section 2.5.

! Remember
Airing through windows is efficient and relevant in many situations:
In the morning when you get out of bed
When cooking
During and after showers
During and after cleaning ! Remember
When drying laundry indoors Use a combination of background ventilation through the ventilation flap and
In the afternoon when you return home 2-4 airings per day to achieve the best indoor air quality


2.4.6 Automatic window opening with afternoon, and at midday on weekends. 2.5 Ventilation of different of room. Most existing residential build-
VELUX roof windows The ventilation flap can be programmed building types ings use natural ventilation, and the
to open when the occupants are at following is based on that assumption.
The VELUX INTEGRA and SOLAR win- home, or during the entire day or night,
dows can be programmed to open auto- to provide background ventilation. Basic human needs are are independent Bedrooms
matically. This can be very helpful in a Windows installed in bedrooms can be of the building type, but the way venti-
busy daily routine, where there might programmed to open the flap during lation is used to meet those needs can Bedrooms are characterised by being a
not always be time to do the required the night. If the occupants accept that depend on the building type. This is dis- relatively small rooms where people
airings. the window is opened during the night, cussed in the following sections. spend a long time, typically 6 to 8 hours
a few automatic airings can be pro- per 24-hour period. The bedroom is the
Windows in selected rooms of the grammed during the night as well. 2.5.1 Renovation of residential buildings room where we spend the most time
house can be programmed to open for, during our lives. It is very important for
say, 10 minutes in the morning and the Renovation of existing residential build- our health to ensure adequate ventila-
ings can be performed at different levels. tion of bedrooms. Many residential
buildings have insufficient ventilation
Renovation of one room at a time, of bedrooms even before they are reno-
which can include replacement of vated. To ensure adequate ventilation
windows in the particular room, im- by natural ventilation, at least two win-
proved airtightness of building enve- dows should be installed. The windows
lope and interior upgrade should have ventilation flaps or grilles
that can be opened during the night for
More extensive renovation, which as much of the year as possible. Win-
can include additional insulation, re- dows at two different heights in the
placement of all windows in the room will perform much better than
house, improved airtightness and two windows at the same height; they
more. enable the stack effect to work. Howev-
er, ventilation flaps alone will not al-
Many houseowners are intereted in im- ways be sufficient to ensure adequate
proving energy performance as part of air quality in a bedroom.
the renovation. This can have conse-
quences for the ventilation of the house Electrically operated windows (VELUX
and, therefore, on the indoor air quality. INTEGRA) provide much better oppor-
By improving airtightness and replacing tunities than manually operated win-
old windows with new windows, the dows, as they can be programmed to
unintended infiltration is reduced. This make one or two airings during the
requires that other measures be taken night. Decentralised, mechanical venti-
! Remember
to ensure adequate ventilation. The lation can be considered.
A consequence of the increased airtightness of buildings is the increased need right ventilation depends on the type
for additional ventilation in order to obtain a good and healthy indoor


The ventilation rate of the bedroom requirements. The need for ventilation Bathrooms
during the night is higher when the in a living room can change from low In two-storey houses, windows at the
bedroom door is open. A study of venti- to very high (with guests in the house), Bathroom activities produce humidity upper level will often function as ex-
lation rates in typical houses showed and the ventilation design must reflect and smells. Mumidity generation is high tracts. If bedrooms are located on the
the following ventilation rates for dif- that. A flexible ventilation design in- during baths, but bathrooms are not upper floor, it is important that bed-
ferent door positions. Closed door: cludes two to three operable facade used much during a 24-hour cycle. An room windows are not used as extracts,
0.3 ACH; Door ajar: 0.4 ACH; windows and a similar number of roof efficient ventilation design therefore as this may cause overheating and will
Door open: 0.5 ACH (Bek et al., 2011). windows to allow efficient airings when allows high ventilation rates for short increase the risk that the air entering
the need is high. Manually operated periods. Bathrooms are often equipped the bedroom is from other rooms in the
Childrens rooms windows may be sufficient if ventilation with mechanical extract ventilation, house and therefore less fresh. An effi-
flaps are used in combination with a but good possibilities for airings are an cient solution is to place a roof window
The use of a childrens room depends reasonable use of airings. Electrically advantage. The most efficient airings above the staircase on the upper floor,
greatly on the age of the child, and operated windows can provide addi- are achieved with windows at two dif- as this window will often function as an
whether it is used for sleeping only or tional peace of mind. ferent heights. As the need for ventila- extract for the lower level.
also for homework, play or entertain- tion is usually easy to sense and smell, it
ment during the day. There are often Kitchens is simple for occupants to make airings 2.5.2 New residential buildings
many toys and electronic appliances in at the right time. Humidity-controlled
this room, which increases the need for Activities in the kitchen generate electrically operated windows can be The choice of ventilation system in new
ventilation due to emissions. But chil- humidity, smell and fine particles, all of an additional benefit. residential buildings is often heavily in-
dren are often unaware of the impor- which are most effectively removed by fluenced by energy legislation and by
tance of ventilation. The considerations efficient ventilation at the time of the Natural ventilation exhaust path the energy performance ambitions of
that are given for bedrooms also apply activity. Cooking hoods are important, the future houseowner. In Northern
to childrens rooms, but with the addi- but their performance is reduced as In houses with natural ventilation, it is European countries, mechanical ventila-
tional emphasis on high airings disci- they get dirty from grease, and airings important to consider the flow path of tion with heat recovery is becoming a
pline which many families with chil- while cooking is a good habit and an ef- the air in the house when it is renovat- de facto standard, thanks to its ability
dren do not have time for. So electrically ficient supplement. The airings are ed. The flow path depends greatly on to reduce heating demand during winter.
operated products are particularly rele- most efficient when windows located wind direction, wind speed and external
vant in this room. at two different heights can be opened, temperature conditions, and a specific Natural ventilation remains the most
e.g. facade windows and roof windows. window can function both as inlet and energy-efficient ventilation system dur-
Living and dining rooms Due to the heat generated by ovens and extract. However, high-placed windows ing summer in all European countries,
stoves, cold draughts are rarely a prob- (and stack ducts) will function mainly as there is no heat loss and no demand
Living and dining rooms typically have lem in kitchens. As the need for ventila- as extracts. for electricity to drive fans.
more floor area per person than bed- tion is usually easy to sense and smell, it
rooms, and we spend less time in living is simple for occupants to make airings In one-storey houses, roof windows in In new residential buildings, both me-
rooms than in bedrooms. This makes it at the right time. Humidity-controlled kitchens and bathrooms will often func- chanical and natural ventilation can
easier to provide adequate ventilation electrically operated windows can be tion as extracts and will ensure that air meet legislative and performance re-
of living rooms. The ventilation must an additional benefit. is generally taken into the house through quirements. Natural ventilation can be
often meet comfort requirements bedrooms and living rooms and extract- the primary mode of ventilation or a
(feeling of fresh air) rather than health ed through wet rooms. supplement to mechanical ventilation.


MH2020 example of bedrooms
In situations where mechanical ventila-
tion is selected as the primary ventila- The indoor air quality of the bedrooms in Maison air et Lumire has been evaluated for night hours
tion system, it is important to emphasise only, in this case shown below where CO2 levels are generally lower in summer than in winter.
that natural ventilation is an important Category 2 is mostly achieved for the majority of the months, although June has elevated CO2
levels. Overall results show that demand-controlled natural ventilation using VELUX INTEGRA
addition. Including natural ventilation in
roof windows can create satisfactory indoor air quality in bedrooms during night ( Plesner et al.,
the ventilation design of a new building 2014).
provides these particular benefits:

No use of electricity in warm part of

year (energy-neutral ventilation) 100%

% of CO2 category
Increased indoor air quality in warm 90%

part of year, as the air change rate

can be increased during summer at
no additional energy cost 70%

Allows efficient airings when activi- 60%

ties create a specific need for ventila-

tion (e.g. bathing, cooking)

Provides contact to the outdoor 0%

environment and a sense of fresh air sep-12 oct-12 nov-12 dec-12 jan-13 feb-13 mar-13 apr-13 may-13 jun-13 jul-13 aug-13 AVG (%)

(see section 2.3) Month

Cat 1 (<900 ppm) Cat 2 (<1150 ppm) Cat 3 (<1400 ppm)
Efficiently prevents overheating
Cat 4 (<1600 ppm) Out of category (>1600 ppm)
through ventilative cooling
(see the Thermal Comfort chapter)
Figure 2.19 Monthly CO2 levels for bedroom B (1st floor) for night hours in MAL
Many of the considerations on renova-
tion of existing buildings discussed in
the previous section 2.5.1 also apply to
new buildings.


2.5.3 Schools and kindergartens During lessons, ventilation flaps and ment) are higher than in residential In office buildingsi it is important to
grilles can be used. Students can be buildings. The occupants spend much ensure that facade windows do not
Schools and kindergartens are charac- sensitive to thermal discomfort, and time at fixed locations (the desk or occasionally (due to wind speed and di-
terised by relatively few m per person draughts can limit their use during meeting rooms), and the dress code is rection) function as outlets. A typical
in classrooms and activity rooms, and cold periods more formal than in residential build- design with natural or hybrid ventilation
by a predictable use of the rooms based ings. The ventilation rate is often deter- is a building with a large atrium in the
on predefined schedules. Furthermore, Visual indicators of the CO2 concen- mined by the cooling need rather than centre, and offices, meeting rooms, etc.
schools and kindergartens are often tration, e.g. as a red-yellow-green the need for fresh air supply for the oc- near the facades. Facade windows are
public buildings with limited budgets, traffic light make students and cupants. There can be indoor air quality designed as inlets, and the roof of the
both for construction of new buildings teachers open windows more fre- requirements from occupational health atrium is equipped with a large area of
and for renovation of existing buildings. quently and improve the air authorities that are not present in resi- operable windows that function as ex-
There can be legislative requirements quality (Wargocki et al., 2012) dential buildings. tracts.
to minimum ventilation rates or maxi-
mum CO2 concentrations. Automatically controlled natural ven- Office buildings can be designed with VELUX Modular Skylights are designed
To ensure a well-performing natural tilation allows the full potential for natural, mechanical or hybrid ventila- for use in this type of buildings and
ventilation system for a classroom, the natural ventilation and is recom- tion. If natural or hybrid ventilation is perform well as extract openings in an
window opening area in relation to the mended in schools. If the schedule of used, it will most often be automatically atrium roof.
number of students and the floor area lessons and breaks is rarely changed, controlled, based on sensors, by a cen-
are the key design parameters. As much schedule-based control of ventilation tral (BMS) system that controls all ser-
opening area as possible should be may be sufficient. A CO2 -sensor- vices in the building.
achieved. Single-sided ventilation by fa- based supplement is the optimal so-
cade windows alone can be challenging lution and often provides adequate
- much better performance is achieved air quality (Dhalluin et al., 2012)
in combination with roof windows. The
performance can be verified by a simu- Hybrid ventilation can be a good
lation in VELUX Energy and Indoor solution in colder climates in order to
Climate Visualizer, which determines reduce draughts and energy use
CO2 concentrations. (Steiger et al, 2012).

The following considerations can be VELUX roof windows perform well in

used to optimise the design: schools. In larger rooms, VELUX
Modular Skylights perform very well.
Natural ventilation will typically
provide a cost-efficient solution 2.5.4 Commercial buildings

The breaks between lessons can be Larger commercial buildings, like office
used for airings. They should use the buildings, typically have more complex
maximum window opening area to requirements to control air quality than
minimise CO2 concentration before residential buildings. The internal loads
the next lesson (person density, computers and equip-


2.6 Tools and calculation placed on only two opposite sides of a T=0 Air change rate per hour
methods building.
Wind speed [m/s] 0 1 2 2.9 5 6 10
The general methods are described in
Indoor air quality is determined by the several guidelines (AIVC, 1996; SBi EN 15242 (T=0) 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.7 2.3 2.6 4.1
supply rate of different pollutants, their 202; CIBSE AM 10, 2005) and are also
RT 2012+ (T=0) 0 1.2 2.4 3.4 5.9 7.1 12
chemical interaction, the dilution of implemented in a number of detailed
these substances through ventilation - building simulation tools, such as RT 2012+,
0 3.2 6.4 9.4 16 19 32
and their resulting effects on IAQ (the IDA-ICE, VELUX Energy and Indoor Uniform area (T=0)
human health or the perceived air quali- Climate Visualizer (EIC Visualizer),
ty). These effects are, to a very large TRNSYS, EnergyPlus, IES VE, etc. BS 5925:91 (T=0) 0 1.6 3.1 4.5 7.8 9.4 16
extent, unclear or unknown and the IAQ The VELUX EIC Visualizer contains
is generally defined through specific air state-of-the-art methods for evaluation Measurements
flow rates or through IAQ indicators and illustration of ventilation flow (T=0)
(see section 2.2.2). So most tools for through windows and can be used
the evaluation of IAQ are based on ven- by non-experts. Figure 2.20 Measured and calculated ACH for specific situations in MAL.
tilation rates. These flow rates may be
converted to IAQ indicators such as CO2 Traditionally, simplified methods for
levels by combining an assumed supply calculating natural ventilation have
rate of e.g. CO2 and the dilution due to been very conservative, only taking 2.6.1 VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate controlled natural ventilation through
the ventilation. limited account of the full potential of Visualizer windows. The airflow of the mechanical
natural ventilation. Typically, a worst- system is included in the total ventila-
General calculation methods for natural case approach is used that assumes EIC Visualizer is based on the IDA ICE tion rate of the building. The mechani-
ventilation are detailed, requiring infor- only single-sided ventilation, which will simulation engine. This engine couples cal system can be exhaust only, or bal-
mation on the location and area of win- lead to severe underestimation of the airflow and thermal simulations, which anced, with or without heat recovery.
dow openings, local wind speed, local ventilation flow rate. However, the is relevant for evaluations with focus on
wind direction, building geometry and French institute CSTB has developed the effects of window openings, natural The ventilation can be controlled based
interior building design. Surrounding a simplified calculation method for ventilation and solar shading. The IDA on one of two overall strategies, i.e. ei-
buildings and the local landscape influ- evaluating natural ventilative cooling. ICE engine has been validated against ther manual control or demand con-
ence the local wind speed and direction. The method will be implemented in the major European validation protocols. trol. The system can automatically
Based on this information, the pressure French Building Code for summer switch between the two modes based
differences across each window opening comfort in 2014. Ventilation systems in EIC Visualizer on outdoor temperature, to ensure that
are calculated, and the resulting airflow can be natural, mechanical or a mix of the most energy-efficient mode of ven-
across each opening and through the As illustrated in the table below, huge the two (hybrid). Heat recovery can be tilation is used. The manual controls
entire building are determined. Simple differences arise depending on which used with mechanical and hybrid venti- for natural ventilation are designed to
cases of the general calculation meth- type of calculation method is applied. lation. The tool performs a calculation mimic typical use of windows as provid-
ods are available for specific building of natural airflows that considers infil- ers of natural ventilation. Demand-
design cases, such as window openings tration through the constructions and controlled ventilation is based on CO2


as indicator of air quality. The catego- The use of sunscreening is controlled 2.7 Building codes and openings in living rooms, bedrooms etc.
ries and associated CO2 levels as based on the indoor temperature with standards supply fresh air to the building, whereas
defined in EN 15251 are used the purpose of reducing overheating. natural extract air ducts lead the used
(cat. I: 750 ppm, cat. II: 900 ppm, The VELUX Energy balance and VELUX air to the outside from wet-rooms,
cat. III: 1 200 ppm). ACTIVE control systems can be used Building codes such as toilets, bathrooms and kitchens.
directly in the tool. See
for more information (Foldbjerg, In most countries, the building codes IAQ indicators are another way of using
Asmussen, Roy et al., 2012). express requirements to IAQ by a mini- (automated) natural ventilation to ob-
mum outdoor air flow through a building. tain a certain level of IAQ. Unfortunate-
These requirements can be expressed in ly, almost all building regulations for
different ways, e.g. as: residential buildings are based on fixed
minimum air flow rates, allowing only
Air change per hour (ACH) IAQ indicators to be used for increased
ventilation flow rate.
Air flow per unit of floor area (l/s m)
Air flow per person (l/s pers)
National standards and guidelines de-
In general, the regulatory requirements scribe various criteria and levels of IAQ
for ventilation flow rates in residential and different calculation methods for
buildings are based on a humidity bal- natural ventilation.
ance of the building: All the humidity
generated inside the building must be Criteria for the indoor environment, for
extracted by ventilation to prevent rot design and for energy performance as-
or mould damage to the construction sessment of buildings are described in
and to avoid the hazard to human EN 15251. The standard describes cri-
health that follows such mould forma- teria for thermal environment, indoor
tion. In many countries, building code air quality, lighting and acoustics.
requirements for ventilation of residen-
tial buildings are around 0.5 ACH. Several ways of describing criteria for
the IAQ through airflow rates or IAQ
Fixed airflow rates are difficult to guar- indicator levels are included, depending
antee with natural ventilation, due to on the desired use and comfort level.
the dependence on the outdoor climate. The criteria are defined by classes I to
To provide a simple way of integrating IV, where class I is very high performing
natural ventilation into buildings, the re- and generally for people with special
quirement for a specific air change rate needs. Class IV is low performing and
in Denmark have been translated into should only be accepted for a limited
specific opening areas to the outdoor, period of time.
depending on room usage and size. The


There are several main philosophies for examples of airflow rates for adapted For simplified calculation methods, sin-
determining the right air flow rates: and unadapted persons. gle-sided natural ventilation is included
in EN 15242:2009, whereas the revised
Health-based, where the criteria are For residential buildings, it is reasonable version of this standard is expected to
based on the impact of ventilation on to assume that people are adapted to cover all types of natural ventilation
human health the indoor air and that air flow rates and is expected in 2015. For detailed
can be determined accordingly or ac- calculation methods, the described doc-
Perceived Air Quality-based for un- cording to the health based approach. uments cover all types of natural venti-
adapted persons (persons entering For office buildings, restaurants, shops lation.
an occupied room from outside) etc. where people frequently enter and
leave the rooms, it is reasonable to
Perceived Air Quality-based for assume that people are unadapted.
adapted persons (persons staying in
the same room for a longer period of The criteria for IAQ in EN 15251 are
time) mainly based on studies of perceived air
quality in offices where criteria for the
Experience-based requirements that IAQ in residential buildings are less
are believed to provide an acceptable studied. So, in most cases, the regulatory
humidity level under typical use of requirements for ventilation flow rates
the house in residential buildings are based on a
humidity balance of the building.
A marked difference in required airflow
rates is observed between adapted per- The health effects from ventilation
sons and unadapted persons and be- have been studied only to a limited ex-
tween the health-based approach and tent, but there is some indication that a
the Perceived Air Quality for unadapted minimum total air flow rate of 4 l/s pers
persons. Using criteria for perceived air should always be available for health
quality for unadapted persons will lead reasons. This value is included as the
to the highest ventilation flow rate minimum recommended ventilation
often twice as much or more as for flow rate in EN 15251.
adapted persons. EN 15251 includes

Standards, Guidelines

Simplifed calculation methods EN 15242:2009, prEN 15242:2015, DIN 1946-6

Detailed calculation methods BS 5925:1991, AIVC, CIBSE AM 10, SBi 202



3.1 How to achieve thermal And if the thermal environment does
comfort not meet expectations, occupants of a
building will try to influence the thermal
environment to make it do so by in-
Thermal comfort can be defined as stalling local electric heating or cooling
that condition of mind which express- units; equipment using additional energy
es satisfaction with the thermal envi- that could have been avoided if the
ronment (CEN, 2005). building had been designed with thermal
comfort in mind from the beginning.
Thermal comfort is more than just
pleasant conditions; it is part of a vital Many people associate thermal comfort
survival behaviour. Whenever people directly with air temperature, but this is
feel too warm or too cold, a warning not the whole truth, as the temperature
system is alerted by our body-con- subjectively experienced in a room is a
trolled basic instincts. The human body combination of several parameters. Argu-
is a very efficient piece of machinery ably, the most important parameter is
and is able to maintain core tempera- peoples different expectations of ther-
ture within a very narrow range of mal comfort. So it can only be calculated
Thermal Comfort 37C. Some actions are subconscious, for the average human being and the
like diverting blood from decentralised individual experience is vital.
areas like hands and feet to keep the vi-
We try to achieve thermal comfort subcon- tal organs warm in cold environments
sciously every day. One of the main purposes or to start sweating in warm environ-
ments. Conscious actions include re-
of buildings is to protect us from extreme moving or adding clothes and adapting
our activity level. But whichever way
outdoor conditions. Thermal comfort is taken
you look at it, the right thermal condi-
for granted by most people, but energy is tions are needed to survive (Baker,
used to obtain it, through heating or cooling
for example. When designing buildings it is
important to consider thermal comfort; de-
signs should provide good thermal conditions
based on energy-efficient technologies like
natural ventilation, solar shading and intelli-
! Remember
gent building design. Thermal comfort depends on other parameters than air temperature alone,
such as activity, clothing and individual preferences of the occupants.


3.1.1 Thermal discomfort Draught Radiant temperature asymmetry Radiant temperature asymetry can be
seen in two situations with VELUX
Thermal discomfort occurs when the The sensation of draught depends on This phenomenon can best be likened products:
thermal environment does not meet the air temperature, air movement and air to a person facing a fireplace on a cold
requirements of the human mind or turbulence. The human body is not able night. One side of the person feels In winter, when the inside pane temper-
body. In cold environments, we feel cold to sense the actual air movements at warm, the other feels cold, although ature is very cold due to the higher heat
and our hands and feet drop in temper- low velocity, but it can feel the in- the air temperature is the same. The loss compared to the walls. But, as with
ature; we get goose bumps and even creased cooling of the skin, which is difference in thermal sensation is draught, new windows will rarely cause
start to shiver, in extreme cases result- caused by the air movements. caused by the difference in radiant problems. An internal blind or external
ing in hypothermia. At the other ex- temperature between the fireplace shutter or awning blind can reduce or
treme, in warm environments perspira- If not adequately maintained VELUX and the cold sorroundings. eliminate the risk.
tion will start, possibly leading to roof windows can be a source of
hyperthermia in extreme cases. All of draught. Older roof windows with a And in summer, when occupants are
these responses are reactions to non- damaged gasket can be leaky and let exposed to direct sun, solar shading can
comfortable environments. Below are cold air into a room in winter. So fre- be used to eliminate thermal discomfort
some examples of specific discomfort quent maintenance is needed to keep by blocking direct solar radiation.
cases. the window in a good condition. Old and
large panes may cause downdraught
from the windows, where a cold inside
pane temperature cools the air and
causes a downward air movement. New
low energy panes minimise the risk of

Figure 3.2 Person exposed to one cold and one warm surface.

! Remember
In most cases, thermal discomfort can be reduced by user behaviour, such as
closing a window, moving to a different position in the room or putting on
Figure 3.1 Person exposed to uncomfortable air motion. more clothes.


3.1.2 Parameters influencing thermal Of the six parameters, four are influenced 3.1.3 The preference for variation in 3.1.4 Adaptation to a warm climate
comfort by windows and their accessories and temperature
hence by VELUX products. Air velocity At the same time, field studies show
Many experiments have been made to and relative humidity are influenced by EN ISO 7730 (ISO, 2005) is based on that people working in naturally venti-
find out what has an influence on our the use of the windows for ventilation; climate chamber studies. They show lated office buildings in warm climates
sensation of the thermal environment both the ventilation flap and normal that people basically have the same accept higher temperatures (de Dear
(Fanger, 1970). The results of these ex- opening play a role. Air temperature thermal preferences, regardless of and Brager, 1998). The standard EN
periments are the basis for the stand- and radiant temperature are influenced where they live on earth (de Dear et al., 15251 (CEN, 2007) provides limits for
ard ISO 7730 (ISO 2005). Ergonomics by the heat transfer and sunlight 1997). This philosophy for evaluation acceptable indoor temperatures for
of the thermal environment (CEN, through the window and by the use of of thermal comfort is based on the as- naturally ventilated buildings. These
2005). accessories such as blinds and shutters. sumption that neutral is the optimal temperature levels assume that people
status for thermal comfort. However, can freely adapt their clothing and op-
Six parameters have a major influence But there is a seventh parameter that is a constant temperature without varia- erate windows. Based on the outdoor
on the sensation of thermal comfort: also important the human mind. Indi- tion during the day may not be what hu- 'running mean' temperature during the
vidual expectations have been shown to mans really prefer. Studies show that previous week, acceptable indoor tem-
The activity of a person, commonly have an influence on the acceptance of we tend to prefer variations in tempera- peratures are found in Figure 3.3. A run-
referred to as metabolic rate [met] thermal comfort. In warm climates es- ture, and that changes in around the ning mean is a weighted average of a
pecially, occupant expectations have neutral temperature is experienced as time period where the latest time peri-
How much clothes a person is wear- been shown to influence comfort ranges. pleasurable. (de Dear, 2006). ods has the greatest weight.
ing, commonly referred to as the
clothing index [clo] As human beings, we may in fact want In residential buildings, it can be as-
variations in our thermal environment; sumed that the occupants will adapt
The movement of air (air velocity) we have a need for sensory and physical their clothing to obtain comfort and in
[m/s] stimulation. One way to achieve is with buildings with VELUX roof windows
fluctuating interior temperatures to they will operate the windows, which
The mean radiant temperature [C], counteract thermal boredom were the assumptions for using the
which is a weighted average of the (McIntyre, 1980; Kwok, 2000). adaptation method.
temperature of the different surfaces Heschong (Heschong, 1979), argues for
(walls, ceiling, floor and windows) in environments with physical variations The consequence of adaptation is that
a room seen from the position of the rather than static conditions, describing thermal comfort can be achieved in
occupant comfort as a relationship between ther- warm climates, without air conditioning,
mal contentment and human imagina- by using natural ventilation, solar shad-
The air temperature [C] in the room tion. We as humans are capable of rec- ing and intelligent building design. This
ognising, remembering, and adapting allows significant reductions in energy
The relative humidity in the room. ourselves to most thermal experiences. use (see section 5.4.4).

! Remember
People are all different and want different thermal environments.


3.2 Health impacts of the
Temperature [C]

3.2.2 Effect of uniform temperature

30 thermal environment indoors

25 Time spent indoors with a fairly uniform

The previous sections discussed how temperature may have negative health
20 the thermal environment affects the effects. Spending time indoors with
comfort of building occupants. And the slightly cool temperatures (e.g. below
impact on comfort is the main influence 20C) may stimulate bodily processes
10 the thermal environment has on building that help prevent obesity (van Marken
occupants. But the thermal environment Lichtenbelt et al., 2009; Bluyssen,
5 also has some health issues, which will 2013).
be discussed in the following.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 3.2.3 Sleep quality
3.2.1 Heat strokes
Comfort range Outdoor air temperature The temperature in the bedroom has an
Figure 3.3 The figure shows the comfort range for Denmark. Calculation is based on the principles
Heat stroke is the most serious heat- impact on sleep quality. There are large
of adaptation of EN 15251 (CEN, 2007). related condition. It occurs when the personal and cultural variations in pref-
body becomes unable to control its erence. Some prefer always to have
temperature: the body's temperature their bedroom window open and the
rises rapidly above 40C, the sweating heating switched off, even in mid-win-
mechanism fails, and the body is unable ter, while others prefer the bedroom
to cool down. Body temperature may temperature to be the same as in other
rise even further within 10 to 15 min- rooms of the house. Some prefer thin
utes, and many of the important func- sheets or blankets, while others prefer
tions of the body will begin to shut a thick duvet.
down. Heat stroke can cause death or
permanent disability if emergency Surprisingly few studies give a scientific
treatment is not provided. response to this discussion. There is no
Infants, children and the elderly are clear guideline as to what temperature
more vulnerable to heat illness than and bedding will give the best sleep
other age groups. quality. What is known is that overheat-
ing reduces sleep quality. The bedroom
should not be too warm, and it is par-
ticularly important that the time at
which you fall asleep is not too warm.
CIBSE Guide A states that sleep may be
impaired above an operative tempera-
ture of 24C (Laverge et al., 2011; CIBSE,


3.3 Productivity and learning work, the effect is seen when a very

high temperature is compared to a

Most studies on the impact of tempera- more typical temperature; the relative
performance is typically improved up to 0.95
ture have been conducted in climate
chambers. They show that the ability to 10%. (Wargocki and Wyon, 2006;

Relative Performance
learn and perform work tasks is influ- Wargocki et al., 2007).
enced by the thermal environment. For 0.90
both school work and office work, the It is not known whether increased tem-
relative number of errors made is not in- peratures decrease performance in nat-
fluenced by temperature, whereas the urally ventilated buildings where the 0.85
relative speed of learning and working occupants are adapted to the tempera-
is decreased. For both office and school ture.

15 20 25 30 35

Temperature, [C]
Normalized Performance, Speed

Figure 3.5 The impact of temperature on the relative performance office work (Wargocki, 2006)

100% Psychological mechanisms may affect how performance is influenced; both office workers and
school children may be aware of the number of errors made in a task, and adjust their speed
to keep the number of errors at an acceptable level.



18C 20C 22C 24C 26C

Figure 3.4 The impact of temperature on the relative performance of school work
(Wargocki, 2006)


Example: solar shading reduces experienced temperature for different glazing and
3.4 Thermal comfort with 3.4.1 Blinds and shutters accessories under strong solar radiation.
roof windows and solar
Blinds and shutters block solar radia- The measured values are the results of a small experiment. The operative temperature was
shading tion and thus reduce the amount of measured behind a glass unit with different shading accessories to illustrate the effect of
different types of shading.
heat entering a room. Overheating dur-
ing summer can be efficiently reduced,
Windows combined with a heat source and even eliminated, by the use of prop- Glazing (V21) Accessories Operative
(e.g. a fireplace) are one of the oldest er solar shading. It can also improve the temperature [C]
methods of achieving thermal comfort thermal insulation of windows in winter.
in buildings during cold periods. Today This can reduce thermal discomfort 59 Low energy 34.0
the simplest way to achieve thermal from cold radiation and temperature
comfort is to install a system that can asymmetry. Even better, when applied 76G Low energy,
adjust the parameters. Most houses at night, this extra insulation can de- solar protected
have a heating system installed and, in crease the demand for heating. In terms 59 Low energy RFL Roller blind 29.0
warm climates, possibly a cooling sys- of energy, shading should only be used
tem. However, windows can cool down at night during winter, because the so- 59 Low energy MHL Awning blind 28.7
a building on a warm summer day. lar gains are often of greater impor- 59 Low energy MHL + RFL Awning blind + roller blind 26.6
tance than the heat loss
(see section 5.4.3). Shutter 26.2
Draught and temperature asymmetry
can be caused by windows, as men-
tioned earlier. It can be difficult to deter-
mine whether the sensation of coldness
is caused by draught from the windows
or by cold radiation. A leaky window
can be fixed by replacing the gasket
and/or pane or the whole window
could be replaced. To some extent, cold
radiation can be limited with the use of
an internal blind that will increase the
inside surface temperature.

! Remember
Expectations of the thermal environment in naturally ventilated buildings are
dependent on the outdoor temperature..


Example: Solar shading as cooling

A study from CSTB in France made for an attic room investigated how solar shading could be
used to assist or replace a mechanical cooling system. Simulations were made for Hamburg,
Munich and Stuttgart in Germany, and Paris, Lyon and Marseille in France (Couillard, 2010).
The conclusion was that the experienced temperature could be lowered by up to 7C when using
a solar shading device for locations in both Germany and France. Energy for cooling was eliminated
in all locations except Marseille, where it was reduced by 90%. The figure shows the experienced
temperature on a typical hot and sunny summer day in Paris with and without solar shading.


Experienced temperature [C]





00:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00 00:00

Time [hh:mm]

No solar shading Intelligent solar shading

Figure 3.6 Experienced temperature on a hot and sunny day summer day in Paris, France
(Couillard, 2010).

Roller blind.


3.4.2 Ventilative cooling speed due to increased airflow will
increase the cooling of the body and
Ventilative cooling refers to the use of reduce the thermal sensation.
natural or mechanical ventilation strat- For ventilative cooling, a division could
egies to cool indoor spaces. The use of be made between two strategies in
outside air reduces the energy consump- terms of natural ventilation day venti-
tion of cooling systems while maintain- lation and night ventilation.
ing thermal comfort. The most common
technique is to use increased ventilation Ventilation during the day removes
airflow rates and night ventilation. Ven- excess heat from the building by cre-
tilative cooling is applicable in a wide ating high air movements by natural
range of buildings and may be critical to ventilation.
realising low energy targets for reno-
vated or new Nearly Zero-Energy Build- Night ventilation (also referred to as
ings (NZEBs) ( night cooling) will cool down a build-
ing's thermal mass at night by using
Natural ventilative cooling by opening cool outdoor air. The following day,
windows is a very direct and fast meth- less cooling energy (or none at all) is
od of influencing the thermal environ- needed in the building, as the ther-
ment. An open window will cause in- mal mass has already been cooled
creased air motion, and if the outdoor down. Buildings with high thermal
temperature is lower than indoors the mass soak up more heat during the Figure 3.7 Passive cooling at night (night cooling)
temperature will fall. Even when the day, that needs to be removed an
outdoor air temperature is slightly high- ideal situation for night cooling Night cooling is an aspect of ventilative cooling, see section 3.4.3.
er than the indoor, the elevated air strategy (see Figure 2).
Example from MH 2020:
In the French Model Home, Maison Air et Lumire (MAL), the airing rates and resulting indoor
temperature were studied during the summer of 2012. Through a combination of measurements
and detailed simulations, the effects of ventilative cooling on indoor temperature were deter-
mined by the Institute Armines (Favre, 2013). The first step was to verify the simulation model
against the measured values based on the chosen control of the building. The next was to simu-
late variants of the control using actual weather data. This made it possible to determine the ef-
fects of e.g. ventilative cooling (window openings) compared to closed windows.

When ventilative cooling was used as intended, the indoor temperature was typically 5-8C lower
than if it had not been. It was even possible to keep the indoor temperature below the outdoor
during daytime (especially when the control system in MAL was used), only opening windows
when the net effect on thermal comfort was positive.



Temperatures in [C]





13/08 13/08 13/08 13/08 13/08 13/08 13/08 13/08
2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012

Simulation closed windows Simulation open windows

Temperature-bedroom ground floor Outdoor temperature

Figure 3.8 Ground floor bedroom in MAL. Blue curve shows the simulated indoor temperature
when windows are constantly closed. Dark grey curve shows the simulated indoor temperature
when windows are constantly open. Red curve shows the measured indoor temperature when
windows are controlled by the MAL control system. Light grey curve shows the outdoor tempera-

Maison Air et Lumire.


Example: Ventilative cooling in northern Europe
3.4.3 Night cooling reduced to e.g. 21C in the morning.
The VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer is used to find the effect of ventilative cooling in During the day, the indoor temperature
a house in Stockholm. The ventilation flows achieved per window are in the range of 40-70 l/s Night cooling makes use of the fact that will increase, but the temperature in the
when the windows are used to maintain a pleasant temperature and the ventilation rate of the the outdoor temperature is lower dur- afternoon will be lower than if night
house is in the range of 5-8 ACH where 15 windows are opened.
ing the night than during daytime. cooling had not been used. Often, indoor
When windows are opened during the daytime temperatures below the out-
night, the temperature in the house is door temperature can be maintained.
Indoor temp. 23.4 C
Outdoor temp. 21.2 C
Air flow, l/s
Ventilation rate 7.7 ACH

Example: night cooling in Southern Europe.

The VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer is used to find the effect of night ventilation in
a house in Rome. The ventilation flows achieved per window are in the range of 50-100 l/s when
8 roof windows are used for night cooling, and the ventilation rate of the house is in the range of
4-6 ACH.

Indoor temp. 23.1 C

Outdoor temp. 19.0 C
Wind = 2.8 m/s, W Air flow, l/s
Ventilation rate 4.1 ACH

2010-07-04 20:03:47
VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Vizualizer



Wind = 1.9 m/s, W

Occupied part of year with

temperatures out of comfort range

2010-08-02 05:00:00
VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Vizualizer

No summer ventilation 3% (304 hours)

With summer ventilation 0% (0 hours)

Occupied part of year with
temperatures out of comfort range
The results in the table show that without ventilative cooling, overheating will occur for 3% of the
occupied hours of a year; with ventilative cooling the problem is eliminated. Using natural No night cooling 12% (1043 hours)
ventilation thus improves the thermal environment during the summer.
With night cooling 9% (757 hours)

The results in the table show that without night cooling, overheating will occur for 12% of the
occupied hours of a year; with night cooling the problem is reduced to 9%, which could be further
reduced with solar shading. Using natural ventilation for night cooling thus improves the thermal
! Remember environment in the house.
Opening of windows reduces overheating efficiently.


Example: night cooling in ModelHome 2020 project LichtAktiv Haus

The use of windows for ventilative cooling and particularly night cooling has been investigated in
the VELUX ModelHome 2020 projects. The window openings were controlled automatically to
maintain an indoor temperature within category 1 or 2. Figure 3.8 from the kitchen-living room
in LichtAktiv Haus shows when this was achieved and how windows were used. The overall result
is that category 1 or 2 was achieved almost all year, with the exception of approx. 10 afternoons;
a very good performance. The dark green indicates closed windows, light green indicates open
windows. It is clear that windows were open intermittently during daytime in the spring and au-
tumn, and almost permanently during daytime in summer. It is also seen that during the summer,
windows were also open during the night, which means that night cooling was part of achieving
the good thermal environment (Foldbjerg et al., 2014).

LichtAktiv Haus









Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Category 1 or 2, windows closed Category 3 or 4, windows closed

Category 1 or 2, windows open Category 3 or 4, windows open

Figure 3.9 Temporal map for kitchen-living room in LichtAktiv Haus showing open or closed win-
LichtAktiv Haus. dow in combination with thermal comfort category according to Active House specification.


Example: Use of external solar shading in ModelHome 2020 project Sunlighthouse
3.4.4 Automatic control VELUX ACTIVE Climate Control and
Energy Balance are good examples of The VELUX ModelHome 2020 project Sunlighthouse is used as an example of how external,
An automatic control system for ther- automatic controls. Energy Balance is dynamic solar shading (awning blinds) is used to prevent overheating. The solar shading was
mal comfort includes those dynamic a time-controlled feature available in controlled automatically, based on external solar radiation and indoor temperature. Figure 3.9
from the living room in Sunlighthouse shows when solar shading is used and the thermal comfort
elements that have an influence on the all VELUX Integra and Solar products
category. The overall result is that category 1 or 2 was achieved practically all year; a very good
thermal environment: electric window controlled by io-homecontrol. VELUX performance. The dark green indicates inactive solar shading, light green indicates Active solar
openers, external shading and/or inter- ACTIVE Climate Control is a sensor- shading. Solar shading was used intensively during mid-summer and also often used in spring
nal blinds. The most reliable solution is based control that can also be used and autumn. Solar shading played an important role in maintaining good thermal comfort
sensor-based control. Time control can with all VELUX electrical products (Foldbjerg and Asmussen, 2013B).
also achieve good performance. compatible with iohomecontrol.
LichtAktiv Haus
The advantage of an automatic control The VELUX ACTIVE Climate Control
system is the ability to adjust the window algorithm has been validated by the
and its accessories to match the actual French building research institute, 00:00
needs of the occupants. If solar gain CSTB, for both German and French
causes overheating, external shading is locations (Couillard, 2010). Its findings 21:00
used; when it makes sense in relation are that dynamic shading control can
to energy and comfort, the shading is reduce the experienced temperature by 18:00
deactivated. up to 7C in summer and, in most cases,
eliminate overheating (or reduce the 15:00
cooling demand by up to 90%).




Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Category 1 or 2, awnings up Category 3 or 4, awnings up

Category 1 or 2, awnings down Category 3 or 4, awnings down

! Remember
Figure 3.10 Temporal map for Living room in Sunlighthouse showing active or inactive solar shading
Automatic control of windows and shading can reduce overheating and the (awning blinds) in combination with thermal comfort category according to Active House specifi-
need for mechanical cooling. cation.


3.5 Building types and It is particularly important to prevent
climate overheating in bedrooms, as it has a
negative impact on sleep quality
(see section 3.2.3).
Many of the considerations in the
Ventilation chapter on building types 3.5.2 New residential buildings
and climate also apply to thermal com-
fort. The section in this chapter pro- New residential buildings ususally face
vides additional information specifically even greater overheating challenges
related to thermal comfort. than renovated buildings. However, in
new building projects it is much simpler
3.5.1 Renovation of residential buildings to include the right measures in the
design phase, rather than fixing an
Many houseowners are interested in inadequate design after the building is
improving energy performance as part completed.
of a renovation. This will generally im-
prove thermal comfort during winter, It is important to evaluate the perfor-
as interior surface temperatures are mance on thermal comfort with reliable
increased; it is easier to maintain the simulation tools, e.g. VELUX Energy and
desired temperature and draughts are Indoor Climate Visualizer.
less likely. However, renovation can also
increase the tendency to overheating. 3.5.3 Low-energy buildings
In many situations, measures to prevent
overheating need to be added that were Overheating can occur in most residen-
not used before the renovation other- tial and office buildings if no ventilation
wise overheating is likely to occur more and solar shading strategy has been
frequently (Orme, 2003; Carmichael, implemented from the start. In many
2011). buildings, overheating is handled by air
conditioning, but natural ventilation
Ventilative cooling by natural ventila- (passive cooling) is a good substitute as
tion, combined with dynamic, external it saves energy compared to air condi-
solar shading, has proved to be success- tioning.
ful (Foldbjerg et al., 2013C).
There have been many cases in the past
Solar protective glazing is an economical few years of overheating in low-energy
alternative to external shading that can houses, where the main goal has been
be efficient at preventing overheating, to achieve a low heating consumption.
but reduces the window's energy per- In these cases, passive technologies,
formance during winter and reduces such as solar shading and natural venti-
Sunlighthouse. daylight transmittance. lation, are often not fully utilised (Larsen


et al., 2011). Learnings from these cases Performance can be verified by a simu- 3.5.6 Effects of climate change and
have been to better implement natural lation in VELUX Energy and Indoor urban heat islands
ventilation and openable windows into Climate Visualizer (see section 2.6.1),
the design of the building to prevent which determines temperatures and The risk of overheating in buildings will
overheating, instead of installing me- includes the effects of solar shading, increase as outdoor temperatures in-
chanical cooling systems. Buildings ventilative cooling and solar protective crease due to climate change (Orme,
built to Active House principles focus glazing. 2007). Another effect influencing the
primarily on user well-being by creating risk of overheating is the urban heat
a good indoor climate. In the design of See figure 3.12 for an example of meas- island effect. Large and densely popu-
Active Houses, solar shading and natu- ured thermal comfort in a kindergarten. lated urban areas have a higher temper-
ral ventilation allow the full potential of ature than the surrounding countryside,
passive cooling to be utilised. VELUX roof windows perform well most likely caused by the increased use
in schools. In larger rooms, VELUX of energy in urban areas. During the
3.5.4 Schools and kindergartens Modular Skylights perform very well. 2003 heat wave in London, tempera-
ture differences between the city and
There may be legislative requirements 3.5.5 Commercial buildings the surrounding rural areas at times ex-
for the maximum temperature in ceeded 9C (Carmichael et al., 2011).
schools and kindergartens. The follow- It is becoming a de facto standard in of- These two effects underline the impor-
ing considerations can be used to pre- fice buildings to include mechanical tance of not only designing buildings
vent overheating: cooling (air conditioning) in the design, to perform well under todays outdoor
also in buildings in northern Europe. conditions, but also considering the
In summer, opening windows has a Some office buildings are designed conditions that can be expected in the
good effect on both thermal comfort without mechanical cooling, using natu- future at the building's location.
and indoor air quality and should be ral or hybrid ventilation instead.
done frequently
VELUX Modular Skylights are designed
Dynamic external solar shading effi- for use in commercial buildings and per-
ciently reduces solar gains form well as extract openings in an atri-
um roof. The solar shading that can be
Automatically controlled natural integrated in VELUX Modular Skylights,
ventilation allows for the full poten- as well as the opportunity to open every
tial of solar shading and natural ven- second module, provides good opportu-
tilation and is recommended in nities to prevent overheating.
schools. If the schedule of lessons
and breaks is rarely changed, a The control of shading and opening of
schedule-based control of ventila- VELUX Modular Skylights will often be
tion may be sufficient (Dhalluin et performed by the buildings BMS sys-
al., 2012). tem in a control setup that integrates
all systems of the building.


Example from the VELUX Model Home 2020 project, Maison air et Lumire
The thermal environment in Maison Air The house achieves category 1 (corre-
The thermal environment in Maison Air et Lumire has been evaluated according to Active House et Lumire has been evaluated accord- sponding to EN 15251 category I (CEN,
specifications (see 3.6.4). The high daylight levels in the house increase the risk of overheating, so ing to Active House specifications 2007). This excellent performance is
its prevention has been a top priority. The result is seen in figure 3.12. The house achieves catego- (see section 3.6.4). The high daylight achieved by designing the house to take
ry 1 (corresponding to EN 15251 category I (CEN, 2007)). This excellent performance is achieved
levels in the house increase the risk of maximum advantage of natural ventila-
by designing the house to take maximum advantage of natural ventilation, and to use shading and
window openings to their full potential (Foldbjerg and Knudsen, 2014). overheating, so its prevention has been tion and to use shading and window
a top priority. The result is seen on fig- openings to their full potential
ure 3.11. (Foldbjerg and Knudsen, 2014).
Active House Category
Total (over) 3 2 2 3 2 2 3 3 3 3 2
[under] 100





Percentage of the year

Hours of the year



0 0

Bedroom 2

Mezzanine 1

Bathroom 2

Bedroom 3

Mezzanine 2


Bathroom 1

Bedroom 1

Living room


Too low 4 low 3 low 2 low 1
2 high 3 high 4 high Too high
From 2012 Sep 1 to 2013 Aug 31 Thermal comfort in Maison air et Lumire Categories are based on Active House Specifications 2.0

Figure 3.11 Thermal comfort for each of the rooms in Maison Air et Lumire evaluated according
to Active House specifications (based on adaptive method of EN 15251 (CEN, 2007)). Criteria are
differentiated between high and low temperatures.
Example from the Active House project, Solhuset Active House Category
Comfort 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 3
The kindergarten Solhuset in Denmark was built to Active House principles. It has good daylight category 100
conditions, so prevention of overheating has been a priority. External solar shading (awning
blinds) and natural ventilation have been used in an automatically controlled system. 8000
The thermal comfort categories are seen on figure 3.12. It is clear that there is practically no over-
heating (no red or orange colours on the right side of the coloured bars) it has been efficiently
prevented. The results show that passive measures (solar shading and ventilative cooling) can 80
also be applied in a kindergarten to efficiently prevent overheating (Foldbjerg et al, 2014B).



Percentage of the year

Hours of the year



0 0

Common room
Group room 1

Group room 2



Group room 3

Group room 4


Group room 5

Group room 6


Group room 7

Too low 4 low 3 low 2 low 1
2 high 3 high 4 high Too high
From 2012 Jan 1 to 2012 Dec 30 Categories are based on Active House Specifications 2.0

Figure 3.12 Thermal comfort for each of the rooms in Solhuset evaluated according to Active
House specifications.


3.6 Evaluation methods more abstract term to many people. influence on the temperature we accept urements, questions like: Do you feel
From the PMV index, it is possible to indoors on a given day; the higher the hot/cool? or Would you prefer it to be
3.6.1 Parameters calculate the percentage of people who outdoor temperature, the higher an warmer or colder? can help to identify
would be dissatisfied with a specific indoor temperature we accept. Adapta- user preferences. A disadvantage is
Operative temperature thermal environment (the Predicted tion requires access to openable win- that thermal sensation is subjective and
Percentage of Dissatisfied, PPD). dows, and that the occupant has is based on expectations. Again, the
The operative temperature is an at- freedom to adjust clothing. Part of the psychological state of the occupants
tempt to provide a figure corresponding Experienced temperature explanation of adaptation is that a psy- will play a large role. If a survey is made
to the temperature actually experi- chological process is involved. in a house occupied by one family and
enced by the body. The operative tem- PMV is a very technical term and can adjusted to their preferences based on
perature includes air temperature, radi- be difficult to communicate. Instead, a See section 3.6.4 for an explanation of surveys, other families might not agree
ant temperature asymmetry and air fictive temperature, the experienced how the adaptive approach is used for with that.
velocity in one figure, which corre- temperature, can be calculated from classification of thermal comfort.
sponds to the temperature a person the PMV value. This can be done to
would experience in a space with uni- explain effects of changes in PMV, for 3.6.2 Evaluation of an existing building 3.6.3 Tools and calculation methods for
form air and surface temperatures and instance higher or lower air velocity, evaluation during the design phase
no air movement. The operative tem- humidity or radiant temperature. Expe- Measured results
perature is an intuitive representation rienced temperature can also include Dynamic simulations
of the temperature experienced in a the effect of direct solar radiation and The thermal environment can be evalu-
room. However, it does not provide an is often relevant when the effect of ated by measurements of four of the six A dynamic simulation can be used to
indication of how the thermal environ- windows in combination with shading parameters: air temperature, humidity, predict the risk of overheating in a
ment is experienced, as activity, cloth- is evaluated. radiant temperature and air velocity. building. The simulation calculates the
ing and expectations are not taken into The last two parameters need to be heat balance of the building consecu-
account in the value. Adaptive comfort estimated from tables, for instance in tively for each time step. The results
(CEN, 2005). Measured data can be show the energy use of the building, but
Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) Most of the background for the PMV used to illustrate the effects of changes also the temperature. When evaluating
index is based on studies in climate in the parameters. It cannot always be dynamic results, the number of hours
PMV is commonly used in scientific lit- chambers, which can be very different used to evaluate the thermal environ- out of the thermal comfort range is the
erature and is described in ISO 7730. from a normal office or home environ- ment as it applies only to the situation typical method. The hours to be count-
PMV takes into consideration the six ment. As an alternative approach, thou- when measured. Also, other factors in- ed are the occupied hours 5% of those
parameters mentioned in section 3.1.2 sands of building occupants have been fluence occupants' thermal sensation. are allowed to be out of range, based on
(metabolic rate, clothing index, air ve- involved in field studies in real buildings, For instance, moods can have a positive EN 15251 (CEN, 2007). When making
locity, radiant temperature, air temper- where measurements and question- or negative effect on expectations. dynamic simulations, the criteria are
ature and RH). PMV is a seven-point naires have been used to correlate the taken from various standards or legisla-
scale ranging from cold (-3) to hot (+3) temperature to the thermal sensation Occupant surveys tion and will apply to the average popu-
with 0 as neutral. The PMV value can be experienced by the occupants. lation. The VELUX Energy and Indoor
a better indication of how the thermal The results show that, in buildings with Surveys made by occupants can help Climate Visualizer can be used for such
environment is experienced than the natural ventilation, the outdoor temper- identify possible problems with the evaluations. For a description,
operative temperature alone, but it is a ature during the previous week has an thermal environment. Alongside meas- see section 2.6.1.


Example: passive cooling in warm climates

Temperature [C]
A study made on passive cooling methods in warm climates is an example of the use of the VELUX 40
Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer for thermal comfort evaluations. Simulations made for Malaga,
Spain show that passive measures, such as airings and the use of solar shading, can almost elimi-
nate the use of a cooling system (Asmussen and Foldbjerg, 2010). The figure illustrates how the
operative temperature is kept in the comfort band (shown in grey) with the use of passive cooling
methods, whereas no actions result in significant overheating. The results are also quantified as
the part of year with good and poor thermal comfort, again showing large improvements of thermal
comfort. 30


100% 93%
Percent of occupied hours

12 -jul 13 -jul 14 -jul 15 -jul 16 -jul 17 -jul 18 -jul
80% Date

70% 65% Manual Control Automatic Control Outdoor Temperature

60% Figure 3.14 The part of year within and out of comfort range by different control methods in
Malaga, Spain (Asmussen and Foldbjerg, 2010).

40% 35%


3.6.4 Regulations and standards on dicators, e.g. a maximum temperature
10% thermal comfort of 26C that can be exceeded for 100
hours per year.
Building regulations have traditionally
Manual Control Automatic Control
focused on minimum temperatures dur- A classification of the thermal environ-
Within comfort range Out of comfort range ing winter to ensure an adequately ment is defined in most standards. In
heated indoor environment. With the EN 15251 (CEN, 2007), three classes
Figure 3.13 The indoor and outdoor temperature by different control methods in move towards more energy-efficient (I, II, III) are defined. Each class defines
June in Malaga, Spain (Asmussen and Foldbjerg, 2010). buildings, and the associated increased a range of temperatures around an op-
risk of overheating (as discussed earli- timal temperature, e.g. between 21C
er), some countries are introducing re- and 26C. When the indoor temperature
quirements for thermal comfort during remains within this range, the room is in
summer. This can be based on simple in- category I. For naturally ventilated


buildings the adaptive approach is used, to consider the needs of the building
so there is no fixed upper limit, occupant when deciding on the design
see figure 3.15. target category. For most building oc-
cupants, category II will be sufficient.
Some situations will require an increased
use of energy to achieve a higher cate- The Active House specification 2.0
gory as more heating may be required uses the adaptive method as defined
during winter. It is therefore important in EN 15251 (CEN, 2007).

33 33
Indoor Operative Temperature [C]

31 31
29 Category 29
4 ... the higher
27 3 27
2 we accept
25 1 25
23 23
21 4 21
19 2 The warmer it is ... 19
17 17
15 15
-5 -3 -1 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29

Exponentially-weighted Running Mean Outdoor Temperature [C]

Figure 3.15 The adaptive comfort principle as used

in Active House specificatio, based on EN 15251.



4.1 Noise or sound ing, or whether it represents a danger.
If a danger is recognised, we will imme-
Human perception plays an important diately be in an alert state and ready to
role in identifying whether it is noise or run or defend.
sound that we hear. Our ears are always
listening and cannot be turned off. Our Sound is defined as what you as a per-
subconscious mind will constantly eval- son can hear; noise is defined as un-
uate whether a sound is known or un- wanted sound, even at normal or low
known, whether it is pleasant or annoy- intensity levels.


One important function of the building

envelope is to protect the interior from
unwanted outdoor noise. Sound insulation
is an important parameter of building
components, as outdoor noise can have
negative effects on health, mood and
learning capabilities.


Figure 4.1 Noise or sound? What we in one situation describe as noise (e.g. music in the room
next to bedroom) can in other situations be perceived as sound.


It is important to have a good acoustic Scientists believe that noise can:
environment for the specific activity
taking place, e.g. sleeping, watching TV, Lower productivity
talking. What we describe as noise in
one situation can be perceived as sound Cause increased metal fatigue Thunderstorm and
in another. Birdsong in the early hours bad weather
of the morning, for example, can be per- Trigger stress
ceived as noise and disturb sleep quali-
ty. Traffic in the city can have a nega- Result in extra sick leave.
tive influence and be evaluated as noise,
but in other situations it can be per- It is known that noise can cause prema-
ceived as sound; it can make you feel in ture death. In 2003, it is believed to
Aircraft noise
contact with the surroundings and na- have been instrumental in the deaths of
ture, and allow you to feel included in an estimated 200-500 people in Den-
the community. mark (Danish Ministry of Environment,
Noise can have a significant impact on
the health and performance of building
occupants. Stress, headache and learn-
ing difficulties can all be caused by
noise. Sleeping problems and lack of
rest can also be caused by noise
(National Institute of Occupational
Health in Denmark, 2006).

Neighbours, Toys Radiator

Traffic noise and garden noise Rain noise
and vibration

Hood Boiler and


Kitchen noise

Figure 4.2 The complexity of acoustics environment in buildings

! Remember
Noise can cause stress, headache and learning problems.


4.1.1 Technical description of noise or of decibel in dB. The (A) means the
sound sound measured is a total sound level
(consisting of many individual frequen- dB
The physical description of sound is vi- cies) that is A-weighted and thereby

brations (longitudinal waves) of the air corresponds to human subjective per-
with a frequency (in Hz) that people can ception of sound. In the figure below,

Jet aircraft
hear. Decibel (dB) is the unit used to typical sound levels and sound pressure
measure sound level; it is a logarithmic levels (CEN, 2007; WHO, 2009; SBI,

unit that describes a ratio. Sometimes 2014b) are given. Jackhammer
you see decibel written as dB(A) instead

140 Industry noise
Sound level [dB]

120 Loudspeaker


Open plan office

Rain noise


(living room/kitchen)



31,5 63 125 250 500 1000 2000 4000 8000 16000 Whisper

Frequency, f [Hz]
Hearing threshold Speech Risk of hearing impairment Pain threshold Leaves in soft wind

Figure 4.3 Sound pressure levels for speech and threshold levels Figure 4.4 Typical sound levels


4.2 Good acoustic Helping occupants to live with and desirable the sounds of street life Intelligibility of speech is often a key
environments follow the daily and seasonal cycles through an open window during day- factor in a room and large rooms,
of the outdoor environment time, for example. And sounds of nature with hard, paralle surfaces, can be a
Enabling occupants to adapt to (birdsong, flowing water) can help alle- challenge.
Describing or defining good acoustic changing conditions (daily, seasonal) viate stress..
environments is a complex and multi- and needs Stimulation/absence of stimulation: the
disciplinary task. Below, different as- Protecting the occupant from noise level of stimulation from environmental
pects are examined but they are far and allowing him to be in control. 4.3 Indoor noise factors (light, sound, air, temperature)
from comprehensive. should be higher during day than night.
The acoustic environment provides the 4.3.1 General
Like any other building parameter, a good framework of the sound picture, but Silence/sounds: the presence of sound
acoustic environment must fulfil basic there are sounds that are expected In principle, sound generated inside a and contact to sounds from outdoors
needs such as: and wanted, more acceptable and building can be separated into two are desirable during daytime, whereas
sources of transmission airborne quiet spaces are needed at night.
sound and sound transmitted through
the building itself. Airborne sound, from The correct internal acoustics can play
human activities in adjacent living spac- a major role in overall well-being.
es or from mechanical noise, travels
through air, walls, floors and ceilings. 4.3.2 Bedroom, living room and kitchen
Building-transmitted sound can come
from occupants in living spaces above, Adequate sound insulation between
or low frequency noise transferred rooms and adjacent dwellings (neigh-
through the ground and buildings. bours) is important to acoustic privacy.
Measures for controlling noise and Both quiet and noisy activities must be
reducing unwanted sound are interior possible without disturbing others or
sound reverberation reduction, inter- being disturbed by others.
room noise transfer mitigation and
exterior building skin augmentation. Noise at night is perceived as being
particularly annoying, and special
Reverberation time is an important pa- consideration must be taken with
rameter for the acoustical experience sound insulation of bedrooms
of indoor spaces. Buildings with soft (Miljstyrelsen, 2010).
interior surfaces are often more appre-
ciated by occupants and visitors. Typi-
Sound and noise preferences are individual. cal examples of expected reverberation
time are; 3-10 seconds in a church; 2
seconds in a concert hall or auditorium;
! Remember
0.6-1 second in a classroom: and 0.5
Our mood influences our perception of sound and noise second in a home (SBI 2014b).
Choice of interior surfaces influence the quality of the acoustic enviromnemt.


4.3.3 Mechanical equipment 4.4 Outdoor noise The source itself plays a role traffic
generates low frequency noise, bird-
Installation noise levels should be kept 4.4.1 General song high frequency noise.
below 25-30 dB (A) in the main living
spaces. There is often a trade-off effect in noise Other factors that affect the sound
control. For example, higher noise levels level and how it can be redirected
At night, even lower noise levels are de- can be accepted in meeting a specific are a building opposite, trees (summer
sired. It is important that occupants need; though this usually requires that or winter appearance), and the geome-
can adjust the settings of ventilation the occupant is in control. try of the noise barrier and its surface
systems manually in order to limit noise absorption properties.
levels when needed. Noise from heating Many parameters will affect the out-
and cooling systems must also be limit- door noise level at a specific location. 4.4.3 Traffic noise
ed. Modern, energy-efficient buildings Some of these are described here.
have increasingly complex service sys- Traffic noise increases stress levels and
tems (e.g. heat pumps) the noise from the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A
these has been a problem in numerous 4.4.2 Parameters affecting outdoor conservative estimate is that between
cases. noise level 200 and 500 people in Denmark are
dying prematurely from cardiovascular
Location diseases and hypertension every year in
Denmark because of traffic noise
The surroundings of a building have a (Miljstyrelsen, 2010).
major influence on the expected out-
door noise level. For example, the aver- In the first example shown below, a roof
age outdoor noise level can be 60 dB(A) window experiences 8 dB lower noise
in a city centre and 50 dB(A) in a subur- levels than a facade window in the same
ban residential area (NORM, 2006). building. For a roof window facing the
back yard, that figure even falls to app-
The distance to the noise source has a roximately 15 dB lower noise levels.
decisive influence on the perceived
sound level. Doubling the distance from The second example shows that an op-
the source reduces the sound level by posing building will reflect some of the
approximately 3-6 dB. Unobstructed noise and reduce the diminution in noise
noise from a single source will be re- level experienced by the roof window
duced more than noise from a linear by 5 dB (NORM, 2006).
source, such as traffic.

The presence of noise barriers, and re-

! Remember flections from and absorption in their
Roof windows in a house situated in farmland will normally require less sound surfaces, will affect the sound level at a
insulation than roof windows in a city house. specific location.


-15 dB
-8 dB

10 m

0 dB

1) shows the reduction of the outdoor noise level on the building envelope
when there are no buildings opposite.

-15 dB
-5 dB

12 m 10 m

0 dB

2) shows the reduction of the outdoor noise level on the building envelope when
there are buildings opposite.

Figure 4.6 The examples show that facade windows experience higher outdoor noise levels than
roof windows situated in the roof.

! Remember
65.0 - 75+ dB(A) 60.0 - 64.9 dB(A) 55.0 - 59.9 dB(A) 00.0 - 54.9 dB(A)
A roof window will experience an outdoor noise level that is typically 5 dB
lower than a facade window. Figure 4.7 Illustration of noise levels in a city.


4.4.4 Rain noise 4.4.5 Heavy noise
(aircraft, trains, trucks)
The sound/noise of rain on the roof is
perceived differently. For some it is a Aircraft, trains and trucks generate
pleasant sound, for others it is noise. At very high noise levels (aircraft engines
night, most will perceive it as noise if emit more than 110 dB), often in the
they are woken up by it. low frequency area, which are difficult
to reduce.
To enable comparison of different
products, the international test stand- 13% of the population of Europe is high-
ard EN ISO 140-18 (CEN, 2006) has ly disturbed by the noise of road traffic,
been developed to measure rainfall 5% by air traffic and 3% by railways
sound pressure levels. (WHO, 2009).

Furthermore, French authorities have Due to the high-energy noise and its
made requirements limiting the rainfall low frequency range, noise distribution
indoor sound pressure level to and noise reduction solutions must be
SPLmax<50 dB so children will not calculated by specialists.
be woken up by the sound of rain
(Ministre De La Sant, 2005).

The VELUX Group has developed the

first roof window that can reduce rain
noise. With a sound pressure level of 48
dB, it fulfils the French authorities rec-
ommendation of a rainfall sound pres-
sure level of max. 50 dB indoors.

! Remember
The VELUX Group has developed the first roof window capable of reducing
rain noise so children will not be woken by it at night. VELUX roof window with rain noise reduction.


4.5 Evaluation and 4.5.2 Sound insulation 4.5.3 Measurement of sound insulation
measurements according to European standards
Individual building components, and
joints between components, contribute EN ISO 10140 series and EN ISO 717-1
4.5.1 General aspects to the overall sound insulation of the (CEN 2010; CEN, 1997) apply to the
building envelope. testing and classification of the sound
The most effective way of reducing the insulation of a window. The sound insu-
noise is by the reducing the source The consequence is that a building lation found from the measurement
e.g. reduce traffic noise by reducing the envelope that fulfils a certain sound is expressed as Rw(C, Ctr) in dB.
number of cars, prohibiting trucks, im- insulation level can consist of various The Rw value expresses the ability to
posing speed limits or installing noise building components with lower and reduce noise from outside to inside the
barriers close to the road. If this is not higher sound insulation, but together building. Two correction factors (C and
possible, the building envelope's ability they will reach the required level. Ctr) are also found from the measure-
to reduce the noise level has to be eval- ment.
uated/calculated (see principle below)
so as to obtain acceptable noise levels The C factor should be used if the
for the occupants (SBI, 2014a). source of sound is speech, Ctr if the
source of sound is rhythmic music or
traffic noise.

A typical roof window with a standard

construction of 2 layers of 4 mm glass,
16 mm cavity and 4 mm glass will attain
an Rw of 32 dB.

If further sound insulation is needed,

then windows with a pane construction
of 2 layers with different glass thick-
Calculation Selection of Calculation of Requirements ness (4mm and 6 mm) will achieve a
and measure- the envelope indoor noise for Ldcn better sound insulation than a window
ment of components (inside) with a standard glazing unit. Panes
outdoor noise fulfilled?
with 3 layer glass units with different
distances between glass, and glass
thickness, also perform better than the
standard solution. Using a different gas
The process to be repeated if requirements filling will also have an effect krypton
are not met gives better sound insulation. And final-
ly, laminations are another way to
Figure 4.9 Main principle of process by calculations of indoor traffic noise levels (Lden (inside)). achieve higher sound insulation of the
The process is repeated if the requirements for the highest value of Lden (inside) have not been glazing unit.


Roof window with a glazing unit of 4 mm glass, 16 mm cavity with argon, and 4 mm glass

Sound level [dB]





125 250 500 1k 2k 4k
Frequency, f [Hz]
4 mm glass and 16 mm cavity with argon and 4 mm glass (4-16-4)
6 mm laminated glass and 14 mm cavity with argon and 4 mm glass (3.3.1-14-4)

Figure 4.10 Example of sound insulation of roof window with two glazing types.
Keep noise in bedroom low.


4.6 Acoustics requirements
in building codes

The building envelope is a mix of con-

struction units with different sound in-
sulation properties. A window cannot
be compared to more compact building
parts such as external brick walls
or a roof construction.

The various building components will

contribute with different levels of
sound insulation. It is reasonable, there-
fore, that regulation of noise impact is
made for the building as a whole and
not for the components alone.

A location on the roof will alter the out-

door road noise level and the sound in-
sulation required can be less for a win-
dow facing the back yard than for the
facade facing the road. A typical
change in the outdoor sound level
would be -5 till -8 dB on the roof con-
structions facing the road and app. -15
db for the roof constructions facing the
back yard (NORM, 2006), see figure

Legislation should take into account the

fact that the various building compo-
nents have different sound insulation
properties, and that the variation of the
outdoor sound level depends on the
building location (city/country) and the
location in the building envelope.


5.1 Energy based on cost-optimal levels and strate-
gies for the energy system.
The worlds energy demand has doubled
in the last 40 years (International Ener-
gy Agency, 2009 ) and the increasing 5.2 Energy sources
amount of fossil fuel used to meet this
demand has had, and is still having, a se- Energy for use in buildings can be pro-
vere impact on the climate (IPCC, 2007 ). duced locally at the building or at a re-
Estimates suggest that, with our pre- mote location. Local production is often
sent dependence on fossil fuels, we will a furnace burning oil, natural gas, wood
only have supplies for the next 200 and so on, or it can be a geothermal
years (Europes Energy Portal, 2010). resource utilised by e.g. a heat pump.
All over the world, there is increasing Furnaces are mainly used for heating
concern about these issues and most and hot water. Other local supplies are
countries are taking steps to reduce renewable sources such as solar collec-
both the the amount of energy we con- tors or photovoltaic panels (PV).
sume and our dependence on fossil fuels.
Remote production of electricity is
Energy In Europe, buildings account for 40% based mainly on the combustion of fossil
of all energy consumption (European fuels, biomass or waste, or by nuclear
Commission, 2002). In the European power. Heat can also be produced in a
During recent decades, there has been an Union, there is a saving potential of remote location in the form of district
increasing focus on energy consumption, not 20-50% by refurbishment of existing heating. This can be generated in combi-
buildings and, with more stringent reg- nation with electricity plants (combined
least on the energy consumption of buildings, ulations, of new buildings (Eichhammer, heat and power, CHP) making it a more
2009). Products such as solar thermal energy-efficient method. In recent years,
where efficient use of energy is an important
systems, PV panels and more costly central solar heating plants have been
part of the solution. Reduced dependence on options like small windmills, make it built in connection with district heating
possible for homeowners to produce systems. Generally speaking, there is a
fossil fuels and increased use of renewable their own renewable energy and there- great interest in renewable energy
energy are also important. by change the source of energy. sources but most of the worlds energy
demand is still met by fossil fuels.
The VELUX Group supports the use of
onsite cost-optimal renewable energy Fossil fuels emit CO2 when converted into
when it is used directly in buildings, like heat or electricity. The CO2 causes climate
solar thermal energy for hot water and change (IPCC, 2007) and reserves are on
space heating. However, renewable en- their way to depletion. Renewable sourc-
ergy produced and exchanged with an es (wind energy, hydro power, solar pow-
external energy system, like the elec- er, etc.) are all powered by the sun, a virtu-
tricity grid, should be evaluated and ally unlimited source of energy.


World energy use per year
5.3 Energy terminology included). Energy performance is often
expressed in kWh per year per m of
16 Tw-yr
The VELUX Groups current terminology heated floor area (kWh/m). The lower
per year
on energy use and windows includes the value, the better. Energy perfor-
two concepts: Energy Performance and mance can be used to find the differ-
Energy Balance (VELUX Group 2009). ence between two scenarios, e.g. im-
Renewable energy resources per year pact of more or fewer VELUX roof
Energy performance refers to the total windows on the energy performance
yearly energy demand of a building, in- of a building. It can be calculated with
cluding heating, cooling, hot water and dynamic simulation tools, among others
Solar electric lighting (household appliances the VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate
23,000 Tw-yr
per year or other electrical equipment are not Visualizer.
25-70 Tw-yr per year

0.2-2 Tw-yr per year

3-11 Tw-yr per year

2-6 Tw-yr per year

3-4 Tw-yr per year
0.3 Tw-yr per year
0.3-2 Tw-yr per year

Fossil energy resources - total reserve left on earth

900 Tw-yr Uranium
total Petroleum Natural gas
90-300 Tw-yr
total 240 Tw-yr 215 Tw-yr
total total

! Remember
Buildings represent 40% of the energy consumption in the EU. Windows have a
Figure 5.1 Total energy resources are compared to total energy demand. Estimates suggest substantial impact on the energy consumption in buildings and on the indoor
that we will run out of oil and gas in the 21st century and coal and uranium in the 22nd century environment. However, the effect can be both positive and negative and care
(Europes Energy Portal 2010), whereas the sun will not burn out for billions of years. must be taken to use the advantages of windows and avoid the disadvantages.


For more information, see section 2.6.1. 5.4 Energy use in buildings risen (Marsh et al., 2006). Similar and keep us comfortable and healthy.
Energy balance refers to a single win- trends in electricity consumption are However, considerate design can reduce
dow and is expressed in kWh/m per Most of the energy used in buildings is expected to be seen in the rest of the energy demand significantly.
year for the window. The value express- used to maintain a comfortable indoor western world. The reason is an in-
es the energy efficiency of the window environment in terms of thermal com- creased number of consumer electron- 5.4.1 Primary energy vs net energy
alone and can be used to compare dif- fort (heating or cooling) and air quality ics, such as TVs, computers, stereos,
ferent windows with regard to type, (ventilation). Other energy uses are portable music players, etc., which Net energy (or final energy) is often the
size, pane and other parameters. For electric light, domestic hot water and apart from stand-by consumption, are result of energy performance calcula-
more information on this subject, household appliances or other electrical not covered by legislative requirements tions. Different energy sources have dif-
see section 5.5.3. equipment (refrigerators, computers, for energy efficiency. ferent utilisation factors and different
TVs etc.). impact on the environment, and should,
When designing a building or planning therefore, be weighted differently. The
While energy consumption for heating for refurbishing, it is important to use concept of primary energy is that a
in Denmark has been reduced during energy-efficient solutions, and perhaps factor for each energy source is used to
the last four decades due to efforts in even more important to do so without weigh each source with regard to envi-
legislation, electricity consumption has compromising the quality of the indoor ronmental impact. The factor is multi-
environment. In the end, buildings are plied by the energy demand and can be
built to protect us from the weather different for different types of energy.

b c

Energy demand [kWh/m2]



f 30
a e

a) External energy source e.g. fossil energy. d) Electrical devices e.g. television, kitchen aids
b) Renewable energy from e.g. solar collectors. e) Warmth from humans and pets. 0
c) Solar gain. f) All energy will eventually leaving the building. Net energy / Primary energy
Energy Demand
Heating Electricity

Figure 5.2 Illustration of the flow of energy through a building on an annual basis. The amount of Figure 5.3 Energy demand of an existing Danish house for heating and electricity (cooling,
energy supplied from an external source is less than the total heat loss of the building, because oc- ventilation fans and lighting) compared with the primary energy (factor = 2.5).
cupants, electrical devices and especially windows add free energy.


In Norway and Sweden, a considerable 5.5 Window systems The optimum cavity thickness is about
proportion of electricity production is 15 mm for argon and about 10 mm for
hydro powered and thus has no great 5.5.1 U value krypton. VELUX roof windows are usu-
impact on the environment; the primary ally made with argon.
energy factor for electricity in Sweden The U value of a building component ex-
is 2.35 (Smeds and Larsen, 2007). In presses the amount of energy transmit- U value for sloped windows
Germany, the main energy source for ted from the warm side to the cold side. (roof windows)
electricity production is still coal, which The lower the U value, the less energy
has a much greater impact; the primary is transmitted. It is often the aim to As roof windows are installed in sloped
energy factor for electricity in Germany reduce the U value of building compo- constructions, the Uw value will be high-
is 2.7 (Reiser, 2008). For some types of nents in order to reduce the heat loss, er than for windows installed vertically.
energy use, the conversion factor may and thereby the heating demand, of The convection in the gas between the
become less than 1. An example is dis- the building. glass panes is minimum for
trict heating in Denmark, where the a vertical glazing, increases when the
factor is 0.8 due to the increasing The U value is expressed in W/m2K. glazing starts sloping, and is at maxi-
amount of renewable energy in the sup- In glazing constructions, heat is trans- mum with horizontal glazing. Convec-
ply of district heating. ferred from the inside through the insu- tion also depends on the type of gas
lating glass unit to the outside by radia- and cavity thickness. In general, the
In the UK, the primary energy factor for tion, convection (warm air rises, cold air cavity is independent slope when the
natural gas is 1.02 and 2.92 for electric- falls) and conduction. The U value for cavity thickness is around 10 mm or less.
ity, (British Research Establishment, windows is denominated Uw and is a
2009). Figure 5.3 illustrates the differ- combination of the frame Uf value, the This has an effect on the energy perfor-
ence between net energy and primary glazing Ug value and the cold bridge mance of a building, since the heat loss
energy; the net heating demand is sub- effect between glazing and frame, . through the roof window is increased
stantially higher than the net electricity To reduce the convection loss inside due to the larger Uw value. On the other
demand, whereas the primary energy the glazing cavity, the cavity can be hand, the solar gain and daylight are
demand for heating and electricity is filled with gas, e.g. argon or krypton. also increased. Roof windows are also
approximately the same. To reduce the radiation heat transfer, exposed to a larger part of the sky than
low emissivity coatings can be applied facade windows and are normally in-
to the glass panes facing the cavity. stalled without any constructive shad-
Low emissivity coatings are thin layers ows, thus increasing the amount of day-
of metal, invisible to the eye but with light and solar gain, as seen in
emissivity values down to almost 0. section 1.5.3.
A standard glass pane has an emissivity
! Remember of 0.84. By adding internal or external Traditionally, the U value is the single
Primary energy is different from net energy. Primary energy includes the shading devices to the window, the U parameter used for evaluating the energy
effect of converting e.g. coal to electricity. Electricity production requires value can also be lowered by reducing performance of windows. It is common
more fuel (e.g. coal or gas) than heat production, which is the background for the radiation to the sky and by improv- practice to declare Uw for roof windows
the primary energy conversion factor - between 2.5 and 3.0 for most Europe- ing the thermal resistance. at 90, i.e. as facade windows.
an countries.


Dynamic window systems with VELUX ACTIVE Climate Roof windows have in general a better energy balance than
Control improve both the winter and summer energy balance facade windows during the heating season
of window systems

Even though heat transmittance in- and allow as much of the visible radia- The higher the energy balance, the bet- amount of incident solar gain on the
creases with increased slope, passive tion as possible to penetrate the coat- ter. Energy balance is quantified in kWh window. It is very dependent on the
solar gains increase even more. So the ing. For clear coatings, the goal is usual- per m of window. building type and location.
vertical value leads to fairer indication ly to allow as much of the total solar
of the performance than the sloped val- radiation as possible to penetrate the The amount of solar gain has to be de- If a building is well insulated, the utilisa-
ue. VELUX is striving to have the U val- coating. Even clear uncoated glass will termined for both the heating and the tion factor is low (about 70%), while for
ue of windows replaced by energy bal- reduce some wavelengths more than cooling season. For the heating season, a poorly insulated building it is high
ance (see section 5.5.5). others. Coated glass will always affect the useful solar gain is determined by a (about 90%) .
colour perception indoors. utilisation factor multiplied by the
5.5.2 g value
5.5.3 Energy balance
The g value (total solar energy trans-
mittance) is quantified by the amount The term energy balance is used to de-
of solar energy entering through the scribe the energy characteristics of a
glazing. The g value is defined as the ra-
window. The intention is to communi-
tio between the solar gain transmitted cate the balance between solar gain
through the glazing and the incident so- and heat loss. Energy balance is calcu- _ =
lar gain on the glazing. g value will be in
lated as the sum of usable solar gain
the range of 01 (or 0 100%). through the window during the heating
season minus any heat loss. Energy bal-
Dynamic window systems ance is a more accurate way of describ- Solar gain (g value) Heat loss (U value) Energy balance
ing the energy characteristics of a win-
The g value of a combination of window dow than the U value alone, as energy
and accessories (for example solar balance includes both Uw value and g
shading) is dynamic and can be changed value to provide a more complete pic-
according to indoor and outdoor condi- ture.
tions. The shading can be controlled by The amount of solar gain reaching the The energy balance of windows for the
the user or automatically with VELUX Methods window is dependent on the slope of heating season can be expressed as:
ACTIVE Climate Control. the window and its orientation.
In general, the energy balance of a win- The total heat loss from a window is Energy Balance = Isolar x gw
Coatings dow is evaluated by determining the dependent on Uw value and air permea- D x (Uw, slope + Lair permeability) [kWh/m2]
amount of useful solar gain during a bility. The heat loss through a window is
By using coated glass, part of the solar year and subtracting from that the total found for both the heating and the cool- Lair permeability expresses the heat loss
gain is blocked by reducing the g value. heat loss through the window. However, ing season, and determined by the through the window due to air
Depending on the type of coating, dif- since solar gain during the heating sea- number of heat degree hours for a year permeability.
ferent parts of the spectrum can be son contributes positively to heating where there is heat loss in the heating
blocked. For solar protective coatings demand, it may have a negative effect and the cooling season. It is dependent In some European countries (UK, DK) a
the goal is usually to block as much as during a possible cooling season. on the building type (insulation level) simplified definition of energy balance
possible of the near-infrared radiation and climatic conditions. for facade windows during the heating


The use of energy balance ensures that the best available For existing buildings the tendency is that the g value is at
window product can be chosen. The higher the energy balance, least as important as the U value for the energy performance
the better the window performs

season has existed for some years. It is Building Regulations (Danish Enterprise
important to note that the energy bal- And Construction Authority, 2010), en-
ance for roof windows during the heat- ergy balance for windows is recognised
ing season is generally better than the as a legislative requirement for window
energy balance for facade windows, replacements.
which is why it is important that they
are distinguished from each other. The VELUX Group is convinced that
energy balance is a more correct and
The simplified method for energy bal- robust metric for the performance of
ance considers only existing buildings windows than Uw value and it is work-
with a specific distribution of windows ing for the acceptance of a standard-
per orientation. This method is shown in ised method for determining Energy
(Kragh et al., 2008). In the 2010 Danish Balance (ISO, 2009).

Energy balance
Energy demand [kWh/m ]

As roof window As facade window

North East South West
--59 --60G --65G --76G --73G
--59 --60G --65G --76G --73G

Figure 5.4 Energy balance for roof windows for each orientation during the heating season based Figure 5.5 Energy balance for roof and facade windows with different pane types for the heating
on the method proposed for the Danish 2010 Building Regulations (Danish Enterprise And Con- season, based on the current draft for the Danish 2010 Building Regulations (Danish Enterprise
struction Authority, 2010). And Construction Authority, 2010).

! Remember ! Remember
Energy balance is expressed in kWh/m window. If the figure is positive, The energy balance of a window depends on the type of building in which
the window adds energy to the building. ! Remember The Energy balance for the window is installed, the orientation and slope of the window, and the
south-orientated windows is better than other orientations. geographical location.


Example: Energy performance of a house with no windows
5.6 Energy performance The optimal use of windows in buildings
of different building types to provide good daylight conditions In a typical house, the light level achieved with daylight is determined for every hour of the year.
with good energy performance requires Four locations are investigated: Berlin, Paris, Rome and Istanbul. High light levels (above 2 000
careful selection of the window charac- lux) are achieved achieved all year round, as illustrated in the figure below.
5.6.1 Energy aspects of daylight teristics v, g (and Uw). Due to the laws
of physics, the g value will always be at
By using daylight to its full potential, least 50% of v.
the electricity demand for lighting dur-
ing daytime can be significantly re- The best solution is often a combination
duced or even eliminated. of window and solar shading. A window
with high g value and high v value will
The Architectural Energy Corporation generally provide a good result. High
has stated (Architectural Energy Cor- values of g and v will perform well in
poration, 2006) that Daylighting can that part of the year with least light; in
drastically improve the energy efficien- parts of the year with excessive light,
cy of a space with adequate control of solar shading should be used. It is im-
electrical lighting and solar heat gain. portant that the design of the building 1200

No. of occupied hours

In offices, the electricity demand for and the placement of windows in it are
lighting can account for as much as planned as part of a holistic process 1000
40-50% of the total energy demand where the requirements for daylight
(Walitsky, 2002), which can result in and energy performance are continu- 800
significant savings if replaced by day- ously evaluated and used as design
lighting. In order to quantify the energy parameters (Moeck, 2006).
savings on electric lighting, the number 400
of hours for which daylight is an auton- The following example illustrates that
omous light source in the interior must high light levels are achieved with day-
be known. The relevant light levels for light and that windows are very energy-
residential buildings were discussed in efficient light sources.
section 1.7.1.
Cooling Heating Cooling Heating Cooling Heating
season season season season season season

Berlin Paris Rome

Above 500 lux Above 2000 lux

What impact does daylight have on the energy use in a building? To answer this, it has been inves-
tigated what would happen if there were no windows in the house and the light levels had to be
achieved with electric lighting. As the amount of electric light influences the heating and cooling
need, the resulting energy use for lighting, cooling and heating in the building must be evaluated
together. The results from VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer are shown in the figure.


Windows are low-energy light sources The use of roof windows will result in higher daylight factors

Example: Impact of roof window area on daylight and energy performance

Primary energy demand [kWh/m ]


It was shown in the Daylight chapter that roof windows deliver more daylight than facade win-
700 dows. For an actual building that means that a specific daylight factor can be achieved with less
window area if roof windows are used.
Primary energy demand [kWh/m ]

800 A low energy 1-storey house with an 8 x 18 m footprint located in Berlin has been investigated.

700 The VELUX Daylight Visualizer was used to find combinations of roof and facade windows areas
400 that reach a daylight factor of 4% and 6% respectively.
300 0 By increasing the percentage of roof windows, a higher daylight factor can be achieved. A total
window area of 25 m of facade windows only will provide a DF of 4%, while 25 m with a mix of
200 Berlin Paris Rome Berlin Paris Rome Berlin Paris Rome
64% facade windows and 36% roof windows will provide a DF of 6%, as indicated by the dotted
100 With windows, No windows, No windows, lines on the figure.
no electric light electric light electric light
0 Next the VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer was used to determine the heating demand
levels as daylight levels as daylight,
Berlin Paris Rome Berlin Paris Rome Berlin Paris Rome
500 lux limit for each combination of RW and FW. The results are shown in the figure below
With windows, No windows, No windows,
Lighting Cooling Heating
no electric light electric light electric light
levels as daylight levels asMax.

Heating demand [kWh/m2]


500 lux limit 14

Lighting Cooling Heating

12 Reduction of 31% from
13.4 to 9.2 kWh/m
For each location, the lowest total primary energy demand is achieved by the building with light
provided by windows. The energy demand of the building with no windows is approximately five 10
times higher than that of the building with windows if we use electric light to obtain the same
light levels. This underlines the fact that windows are low-energy light sources (Foldbjerg, 2010).

Reduction of 31% from

6 9.1 to 6.3 kWh/m

0 20 40 60 80 100

Percentage of roof windows [%]

DF = 6% DF = 4%

Figure 5.6 The energy performance is improved by increased roof window area.
With DF = 4%, the heating demand is reduced from 9.1 to 6.3 kWh/m, and with DF = 6%,
from 13.4 to 9.2 kWh/m. Both reductions correspond to 31%.


Natural ventilation combined with mechanical ventilation is
more energy efficient than mechanical ventilation alone

5.6.2 Energy aspects of ventilation is low. So mechanical ventilation with lation can be used during daytime Internal shading does, though, provide
heat recovery is an energy-efficient so- (summer ventilation) to control the some reduction of overheating. Internal
Ventilation and particularly natural lution for new, airtight buildings during temperature, as mentioned in shading is generally more efficient at in-
ventilation has an influence on the en- winter. However, leaky buildings will section 2.4.5. creasing the insulation of the window
ergy demand for heating, cooling, and have less benefit from heat recovery as system, which means that the heating
electricity for fan operation. mentioned in section 2.2.2. Mechanical Natural ventilation can also be used at demand of the building can be reduced
ventilation also requires maintenance night (night cooling), to cool the build- if used correctly. Internal shading also
Ventilation and heating (filter changes, cleaning, etc.), which ing and thus eliminate the need for air serves the purpose of controlling day-
should be taken into consideration. conditioning the following day, as men- light.
When the outdoor temperature is be- tioned in section 2.4.6.
low the indoor temperature, energy for When the outdoor temperature is in the VELUX ACTIVE Climate Control is an
heating is required to raise the temper- range of 14-18C (depending on the Night cooling works by cooling the con- example of a dynamic window system
ature of the fresh air to the desired in- building), there is no need for energy to structions in the house. The effect is in which the use of the solar shading is
door temperature. The magnitude of heat the supply air. In this situation, nat- larger if the building is heavy. Con- optimised automatically, with no inter-
the energy demand depends on the ven- ural ventilation is more energy efficient crete and bricks are heavy materials, action from the user. It thus reduces
tilation rate and the temperature differ- than mechanical ventilation, since no so a building with concrete or bricks as the need for heating and cooling, yet
ence. electricity is used for fan operation. The wall, ceiling or floor materials is heavy. improves indoor comfort significantly
combination of natural and mechanical (Philipson, 2010).
Heat recovery units can be used to re- ventilation is called hybrid ventilation. 5.6.3 Energy aspects of solar shading
cover (reuse) most of the heat in the ex- See section 2.2.3 for an example of the 5.6.4 Building energy performance in
tract air to heat up the fresh outdoor air energy savings that can be achieved Solar shading has an important influ- cold climates
before it is supplied to the building. with hybrid ventilation, and section 2.1.4 ence on the energy performance of
Heat recovery systems are generally for an example of the impact on energy buildings. The use of solar shading af- In cold climates, an important design
only available with mechanical ventila- demand of the ventilation rate. fects both g value and U value, so solar objective is to minimise the heating de-
tion as it requires a physical unit shading can be used both in warm and mand and the electricity demand for
through which both the supply and ex- Natural ventilation and cooling cold climates to improve the energy lighting. Secondarily, the electricity
tract air can be circulated. Up to 90% performance of buildings. And as solar demand for fan operation (etc.) should
of the heat can be recovered. When the outdoor temperature, in shading is dynamic it can be activated be minimised and the building should be
combination with solar gains, causes when needed it is an important part designed with no need for cooling. The
Electricity is used to operate the me- the indoor temperature to rise, there is of the window system. latter has been shown to be of increas-
chanical ventilation system, but this a risk of overheating. In some buildings ing importance the over-heating chal-
amount of energy is small compared to this is handled with air conditioning, but External shading prevents solar heat lenge has been overlooked in the design
the amount of energy that can be re- natural ventilation is an efficient alter- gains more efficiently than internal of many low-energy buildings.
covered when the outdoor temperature native that saves energy. Natural venti- shadings. External shading is, therefore, Windows provide useful solar gains
the best choice when the purpose of every month of the year, also during the
shading is to prevent overheating and summer months. However, solar gains
reduce the electricity demand for cool- are a double-edged sword and may lead
! Remember ing. to overheating. The energy evaluation
Hybrid ventilation uses no electricity for fan operation during the should, therefore, be based on annual


The energy performance of an existing house could be
worsened if the windows were removed

Example: energy performance of a house with no windows

calculations for which tools such as 5.6.5 Building energy performance in
the VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate warm climates The heating energy performance of a building with windows is compared to a building with no
Visualizer can be used. The example in windows. The building is located in Berlin. The table below shows the results for four different
Figure 5.7 shows that the useful solar In warm climates, the main design ob- construction periods. The calculations were performed in BSim.
gains in May to August in Denmark are jective is to achieve thermal comfort
substantial, which means that even during the warm part of the year. Sec- GGL 59 GGL 65G No windows
though there are cold days and nights in ondarily, to minimise the heating de-
summer as well, heating is usually not mand during the cold part of the year. Low-energy 25 kWh/m 20 kWh/m 20 kWh/m
needed during the warm months. As seen in the previous sections, the building (2020)
The importance of solar gains during electricity demand for cooling can be
New building 61 kWh/m 56 kWh/m 61 kWh/m
the summer is illustrated in the follow- minimised, and often eliminated, by us-
ing example. ing natural cooling technologies. Such
technologies include ventilative cooling Existing building 87 kWh/m 82 kWh/m 93 kWh/m
and solar shading. In combination with (1980)
intelligent building design that takes
Existing building 146 kWh/m 143 kWh/m 162 kWh/m

For a new or future building, the energy performance of the house with no windows is of the same
1000 magnitude as the house with windows, which means that the solar gains of the windows are of
the same magnitude as the additional heat loss.
Solar gains [kWh]

800 For existing buildings, the house with windows performs better than the house with no windows.


into account the shape, thermal mass and natural ventilation to avoid unnec-
and orientation of the building, peak essary energy use.
cooling loads can be kept low or even
eliminated. Automatic control will enable 5.6.6 Consequences of future require-
the maximum potential of natural cooling. ments for better energy performance
Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec It was shown in section 3.3 that ther- Current trends in European and national
mal comfort in naturally-ventilated legislation point towards a continued
Total Solar Gains Useful Solar Gains buildings can be achieved at indoor focus on energy in building legislation,
Figure 5.7 Example of useful solar gains in an existing building in Denmark. temperatures above 26C due to adap- which means that the minimum require-
tation. ments for the energy performance of
new buildings as well as refurbishments
! Remember The main target should, therefore, be will be tightened.
Windows provide solar gain all year round not just in the wintertime. The to design the building without a cooling
solar heat gain through windows is the main reason why we can often turn system and instead use solar shading
off the heating during summer, even in cold climates.


The houses without air conditioning also achieve acceptable thermal comfort. The graph below
Cold climates In high-performing buildings, the focus represents results from Athens and shows that acceptable thermal comfort can be achieved for
of windows will be on low Uw value 98-99% of the time with automatic control of natural ventilation, solar shading and night cooling.
As seen in section 5.4.3, the energy rather than high g value.
balance of windows depends on the 30%

Percent of occupied hours with discomfort

building where they are installed. In The example shows that the relative Manual control of
section 5.5.5, there was an example saving by using 3-layered glazing is natural ventilation
of how much of the annual solar gains largest for low energy buildings, while
can be utilised in an existing building in only small savings are seen for existing 20%
northern Europe. In a high-performing buildings.
building the heat loss is low, so less Manual control of natural
15% ventilation, solar shading and
solar gain can be used. night cooling
Automatic control of
natural ventilation
Example: solar shading and natural ventilation provide good energy performance and ther- 5% Mechanical
Automatic control of natural ventilation,
mal comfort in warm climates. solar shading and night cooling cooling
The performance of a typical building in four cities in warm climates was investigated with the
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180
VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer. Different combinations of solar shading and natural
ventilation were investigated and compared to an air-conditioned house. The investigated cities Primary energy demand [kWh/m2]
were Athens, Istanbul, Malaga and Palermo (Asmussen, 2010). The energy performance of the
building with air conditioning was in the range of 150 160 kWh/m2, which is 3 to 10 times Figure 5.8 The figure shows both energy performance and thermal comfort for Athens and shows
worse than the buildings without air conditioning. that the thermal comfort achieved with automatic control is as good as with mechanical cooling.

200 Example: relevance of 3-layered glazing in high-performing buildings

Primary energy demand [kWh/m2]

The previous example showed the impact of using 2-layered vs 3-layered glazing in Berlin in a
typical house of four different construction periods. In the table below, the relative reductions
140 by using a 3-layered pane compared to a 2-layered pane are shown.
100 Low-energy New Existing Existing
building building building building
80 (2020) (2005) (1980) (1940)
Relative reduction 17% 7% 6% 2%
40 of heating demand
Manual control of
natural ventilation
Automatic control of
natural ventilation
Manual control of
natural ventilation,
Automatic control of
natural ventilation,
Air conditioning ! Remember
solar shading and solar shading and For high-performing buildings, the window U value is becoming increasingly
night cooling night cooling
important compared to the g value, because less solar gain can be used in
Athens Istanbul Malaga Palermo low-energy buildings


5.7 Renewable solar energy The area of solar panels required for a
supply specific house depends on the solar in-
tensity at the location of the house.
The annual energy gain from the sun in
In the previous sections on energy, it southern Europe is approximately 40%
was discussed how the space heating higher than that in northern Europe.
and cooling demand of buildings can be Solar panels have the highest perfor-
reduced by using the optimal combina- mance when they are installed on a
tion of windows and accessories. The south-facing roof with a 42-60 slope,
focus of this section is the potential of depending on the location in Europe.
using renewable energy from the sun to Nevertheless, panels installed at a dif-
supply part of the remaining energy ferent slope or orientation will still have
demand of a building. a performance close to optimal. For
instance, south-facing solar thermal
Apart from daylight and passive solar collectors perform at 91% if installed
gains, the energy from the sun can be close to vertical or horizontal position,
utilised in the building for two main as illustrated by the table below. The
applications: optimal slope for solar thermal collec-
tors and solar cell modules (PV) is
Solar thermal system, providing hot slightly different, because of the Figure 5.9 Solar energy gain depends on the orientation and slope of the panels.
water. utilisation of the produced energy.

Photovoltaic system (PV), providing


The two systems both use panels to

South SE or SW East or west
collect the solar energy, very often in-
stalled on the roof of the building, but Slope 15 91% 97% 89% 95% 82% 89%
the two systems are based on very
different technology. Slope 30 96% 100% 92% 96% 82% 86%

Slope 45 100% 98% 95% 95% 81% 82%

Slope 60 101% 93% 96% 89% 79% 76%

Slope 75 98% 84% 93% 81% 75% 67%

Slope 90 91% 71% 85% 69% 69% 58%

The table shows the approximate relative performance of solar thermal collectors and solar cell
modules depending on slope and orientation located in Denmark.


5.7.1 Solar thermal system the roof or integrated into the roof ma- litres. The optimal area of solar collec- domestic hot water demand is supplied
terial. Less common is the Evacuated tors for a building will meet the daily by the solar thermal system. Systems
A solar thermal system only produces Tube collector, which can only be in- domestic hot water demand of a house are designed to provide a solar fraction
energy when there is daylight. Most so- stalled on the roof. Evacuated Tube during the summer months. In the less between 60% and 75%.
lar thermal systems are designed to collectors are more suitable for high sunny parts of the year, the solar ther-
produce domestic hot water (DHW), as temperature applications like cooling mal system will also produce energy, The only running cost associated with
described in the following. and industrial applications, where as but will need a supplementary heater. solar thermal systems is the electricity
Flat Plate collectors are used for lower for the pump and control system, which
Solar energy will heat up a glycol/water temperature ranges for commercial and Solar fraction is only about 80 kWh annually.
mix in the panels on the roof (called col- private applications.
lectors), from where the heat will be The heat produced by the solar thermal
transferred to a storage tank by use of The heat is stored in a water tank, of system in a year is divided by the do-
a pump and a controller. The most com- a size that can store the domestic hot mestic hot water demand of the house;
mon collector type is the Flat Plate col- water consumption of a house for 1-2 this number is called the solar fraction
lector, which can be installed either on days - for a typical family, 200-300 and expresses how large a part of the


Solar fraction [%]





Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Year

Figure 5.11 Example of the monthly solar fraction in London, UK. The solar fraction is almost 90%
in the summer and 60% on an annual basis.

! Remember
Solar collectors can provide up to 75% of the energy demand for domestic
hot water.
Figure 5.10 Diagram of a solar thermal system for domestic hot water production.


5.7.2 Photovoltaic system (PV) Performance of solar cell systems tation and slope). The influence of ori- Because the square-metre efficiency of
(PV systems) entation and slope can be seen from ta- a solar cell module is generally less than
A photovoltaic system consists of solar ble below figure 5.9. that of a solar thermal collector, a PV
cells, arranged in modules, that produce The yield from a solar cell system de- system requires much more space on
electrical energy when it is daylight. pends on many parameters, but mostly The temperature of the cells also has a the roof than a solar thermal system to
The solar cell modules (or arrays) can on the solar cell materials, mainly great influence on efficiency, most in- provide the same amount of energy.
be installed on the roof or integrated monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon fluence on the crystalline cells and less
into the roof material (BIPV). Solar ra- cells (highest efficiency) or thin film on the thin film cells. Ventilation around
diation generates electricity in the solar cells (lower efficiency). The cells are the modules is therefore very important.
cells. The electrical current produced connected in a module, in series and/or
will normally be led to an inverter, parallel, so efficiency and other technical
which changes DC to AC current. The parameters should be based on module/
inverter is connected to the house's en- array or system figures. But perfor-
ergy meter, from where it can be used mance also depends on the same solar
by any electrical appliance in the house parameters mentioned in the Daylight
or exported to the grid. section (solar irradiation, module orien-


Energy yield per flashed kWp [kWh/kWp]






















25 inclination 12 inclination

Figure 5.12 Diagram of a solar cell system for private house application. Fig. 5.13 Examples of PV yield curve for two modules with 12 and 25 inclination.


Building Integrated PV (BIPV) Easy roof solution

For aesthetic reasons, Building Inte- The Easy Roof mounting system con-
grated Photovoltaic systems (BIPV) are sists of frames that match the sizes of
becoming much more popular. The PV modules from several suppliers and
modules are integrated into the roof, that can be installed directly onto the
more or less at the same level as the roof laths. Specially designed frames +
roof material. However, it is important for VELUX roof windows with BDX in
to consider the ventilation of the mod- the sizes MK06 and MK08 permit a
ules in the roof, as a temperature rise in complete BIPV solution.
the module will reduce the performance
of the system. InDax solution

However, the BIPV gives further oppor- Another BIPV solution is the Indax
tunities for integrating the modules to-
gether with one or more roof windows.
mounting system - PV modules from
Monier, integrated with a VELUX roof
VELUX A/S offers two solutions for the window with EDO flashing.
integration of certain types of PV mod-
ules together with a VELUX roof window.

Figure 5.14 Illustration of package solutions with photo of VELUX flashing for BIPV

! Remember
Use of solar energy is still beneficial even when the slope is not optimal and
orientation is not directly to the south.


5.8 Index
1) Flat Plate collector: 2) Evacuated Tube collector:
A Flat Plate collector consists of an An Evacuated Tube collector consists
absorber plate, covered on the top of several vacuum tubes installed
by a flat glass pane and insulated at together in a rack. In each tube, an
the bottom and at the sides by insu- absorber strip has been inserted into
lation material. the glass tube and insulated by a
surrounding vacuum.


6.1 Life Cycle Assessments 6.1.1 LCA

A life cycle assessment (LCA) is an as- An LCA consists of various stages, as

sessment of a given products global, shown in figure 6.1.
regional and local environmental im-
pacts and consumption of resources The extraction and production of the
throughout its whole lifetime. raw materials.

The manufacture of the product.

The use of the product (e.g. the

energyconsumed whilst used by
the customer).

The End-of-Life (EOL) of the product.

It can either be landfilled,
energy recovered or recycled.

Environment Between the various stages is the

transport of the raw materials, the
finished product, and the used product
The basis for most environmental assess- on its way to EOL.
ments, environmental legislation and private
schemes are life cycle thinking and life cycle
assessments (UNEP, 2009).
This chapter will introduce you to life cycle
assessments, the methodology for assessing
sustainability of buildings, and assessments of
buildings and construction products.
It will also provide an overview of the most
important environmental legislation in the
EU, with emphasis on chemicals.


Resources and Global environmental impacts 6.1.2 Other parameters of life cycle


Energy consumption

Global environmental impacts comprise

two parameters: Carbon footprint

Metals Primary materials Raw m
ria Global warming A carbon footprint is a subset of a full
Aluminium ls (emissions e.g. CO2) LCA, where only greenhouse gas emis-
Copper Transportation
Iron sions (e.g. CO2) are evaluated.

Ozone Depletion


(emissions of CFC gases) Cradle-to-gate

u ct

Fossil fuel



Crude oil Regional environmental impacts Cradle-to-gate is an assessment of a

Hard coal Disposal given product in which only the extrac-

Regional environmental impacts com- tion of the raw materials (cradle), trans-

Natural gas
prise three parameters: port and production are included.



Energy Acid lakes, acid rain (acidification of Cradle-to-grave


g soil and water)


Non- Transportation

U se
renewable A cradle-to-grave assessment consists
Renewable Disposal De-construction Algal blooms (eutrophication) of a full life cycle assessment. It thus in-
cludes extraction of raw materials,
Summer smog (photochemical ozone manufacture of the product, use of the
creation) product and EOL.
Environmental Impacts

Resource and energy consumptions Cradle-to-cradle

Global impact Regional impacts Local impacts
Global warming Acidification Human toxicity
Ozone depletion Nutrient enrichment Eco-toxicity
In an LCA, two types of consumptions Cradle-to-cradle is almost the same as
Photochemical oxidants are assessed; use of abiotic resources cradle-to-grave but with a different ap-
like metals (materials) and use of fossil proach to EOL. The approach is that all
Figure 6.1 Life cycle assessment (LCA) energy. materials should always be recycled
into new products. Hence chemicals
Figure 6.1 shows the life cycle of a product from the extraction of raw materials, to the manufac- Consumption of primary resources should be used with great care in order
ture of the product, the use phase and the EOL, which is divided into landfill, recycling and energy (depletion of abiotic resources to prevent discharge to the environ-
recovery. Transport is incorporated in all the life cycle stages.
elements) ment. In cradle-to-cradle, energy con-
sumption is not taken into account be-
Consumption of fossil fuels (deple- cause it is presumed that all energy is
Environmental impacts are divided into and resource and energy consumptions tion of abiotic resources fossil renewable (ECO platform, 2014).
global (effects on a global scale), Local impacts are not dealt with further fuels)
regional (effects on a regional scale), in this book.
local impacts (effects on a local scale)


6.2 The European methodol- come. The standards are voluntary, but Building life cycle information
ogy for assessing sustaina- created on a mandate given from the
Commission; the methodologies are ex-
bility of buildings pected to become mandatory.
Before use stage
Use stage End of life stage
Product stage Construction stage Module B1 B7 Module C1 C4
6.2.1 Framework The standards fulfil the general princi- Module A1 A3 Module A4 A5
ples for LCA (see 6.1) and sustainability,
The EU has asked the European stan- described in international standards Figure 6.3. Modular system for the building life cycle in the TC 350 standards.
dardisation organisation CEN to develop ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 (CEN,
Together, these two principles (Figure 2 and Figure 3) form a modular system in which the meth-
a common European methodology for 2006a; ISO, 2006b) and by UNEP and odology can be described and the assessment performed. For each of the modules A1 to C4 there
assessing sustainability of construction SETAC (UNEP, 2009; EPEA, 2014) is, in principle, a description of how to assess the environmental-, social- and economic perfor-
works. All major private scheme operators mance of that aspect of a building in the methodology standards.
have declared that they will follow the
Today, the series consist of ten Europe- principles of these standards or at least
an standards and technical reports acknowledge data derived from apply- 6.3 Assessments of 6.3.1 Active House
(CEN, 2012) probably with more to ing the methodology (EPEA, 2014). Buildings
Active House principles are used to de-
EN 15643-1 to 4 describes the framework for the methodology, which is a modular system. sign and renovate buildings that con-
There are many different schemes for tribute positively to human health and
A full sustainability assessment of a building requires investigation into its environmental, social assessment of buildings. The majority well-being by focusing on the indoor
and economic performance at all stages of its life cycle. The life cycle stages are divided into be- are private programmes with or with- and outdoor environment and the use of
fore use, and EOL.
out official recognition by national au- renewable energy. An Active House is
thorities. It is always advisable to check evaluated on the basis of the interac-
Sustainability Assessment of Buildings General Framework the background and reputation of a tions between energy consumption,
EN 15643-1 scheme. indoor climate conditions and impact
Framework for on the environment. An Active House
Environmental Social Economic the methodology The purpose of certifications of sustain- is energy efficient, with all its energy
Performance Performance Performance able buildings is to define the quality requirements met by renewable energy
EN 15643-2 EN 15643-3 EN 15643-4
level for sustainability. Based on perfor- sources, either integrated in the building
mance criteria, different buildings can or from the local collective energy sys-
Environmental Social Economic Methodology for be compared and benchmarked. The tem and electricity grid thus making
Performance Performance Performance assessment of number of global certification systems it CO2 neutral.
EN 15978 EN 16309 prEN 16627 buildings is growing. There are many national
systems but the best-known interna- An Active House creates healthy and
Environmental Methodology for tional systems are the English BREEAM comfortable indoor conditions for the
Product information about and the American LEED. Two newer occupants and ensures a generous sup-
Declarations construction systems are the French HQE and the ply of daylight and fresh air.
EN 15804 products
German DGNB.

Figure 6.2 Sustainability assessment of buildings standards overview.


An Active House interacts positively context, focused use of resources, and 6.3.2 BREEAM 6.3.4 French Haute Qualit
with the environment by means of an on its overall environmental impact Environnementale (HQE)
optimised relationship with the local throughout its life cycle.

The BRE Environmental Assessment

The vision of an Active House is to create buildings that give more than they take.
Method (BREEAM) was established in
The Active House Specifications 2.0 are openly available and include a self-assessment tool, at- the UK in 1990 by the Building Research
tractive for design scenarios, homeowners and other interested people, Establishment (BRE). It considers per- HQE is the French system for certifica-
A radar is used to illustrate the parameters evaluated. Below is an example from the French formance criteria for sustainability in tion of sustainable buildings. The ap-
Model Home, Maison Air et Lumire (MAL). ten categories. Projects certified to proach is to promote sustainable build-
BREEAM are rated on a scale of Pass, ings in accordance with HQE principles.
Good, Very Good, Excellent and Out- They comprise 15 goals, whose achieva-
standing. BREEAM is used by Green ble levels are high performance, per-
Building Councils in United Kingdom, formance or base. Several environ-
Holland, Spain, Norway and Sweden. mental impacts (e.g. energy performance, use of resources, recycla-
bility and indoor air quality) are taken
into account.
6.3.3 German Sustainable Building
Council (DGNB)

6.3.5 LEED

The DGNB method was developed by

the German Sustainable Building Coun-
cil (DGNB) and the German Govern- The LEED method was developed by
ment. There are 49 criteria in 6 catego- the US Green Building Council and is
ries. Certifications are awarded in one of the oldest systems. A building
bronze, silver and gold. DGNB is very can be certified silver, gold and plati-
closely linked to European standards num, based on an assessment of eight
and is currently in use in Germany, Aus- different categories of indicators. LEED
tria, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Den- is used in Romania, Italy, Spain, Sweden,
mark, adapted to national standards. Norway, Finland, Poland, Germany and France.

Figure 6.4 Active House radar for the calculated performance of the French Model Home, Maison
Air et Lumire (MAL).


6.3.6 Passive House 6.4 Assessment of Other Environmental Performance French indoor air quality labelling
construction products Declarations (EPDs)

VELUX France has conducted EPDs ac-

6.4.1 Construction products and cording to the French standard NF P
Environmental Product Declarations 01-010, known as FDES. There are
three different EPDs on Wooden Roof
The Passive House concept has existed In building assessments, construction Windows, PU Roof Windows and Flash- French indoor air quality labelling is a
in Germany since the 1990s, providing products are assessed by Environmen- ings. The EPD is the result of assessments mandatory labelling system for pro-
target values for heating requirements, tal Product Declarations (EPDs) per- done on a group of products typically ducts on the French market. The legisla-
building airtightness and total primary formed in accordance with EN 15804 sold in France. The EPDs are published tion covers interior products. The label-
energy demand. The Passive House (CEN, 2012), when applying the Europe- in the INIES database. ling system covers four categories: C, B,
concept is a certification scheme with an methodology. A and A+, of which A+ is the best cate-
calculations for annual energy con- gory. Electric motors, blinds and other
sumption for heating, hot water and All results of the assessment of the Consultation.aspx decoration products are not included in
household electricity evaluated against product are given within the modular the labelling system. Most VELUX prod-
the system's requirements. system of the methodology, with mod- 6.4.2 Other types of labels ucts have achieved A+.
http://www.passivehouse- ules A1-A3 (Chapter 6.2.1 product stage) as the mandatory part. There are many other types of labels for http://www.developpement-durable.
assessment of construction products,
An EPD cannot tell whether a construc- including materials labels and health la- html
3.3.7 Green Building Councils tion product is sustainable or not. This bels.
conclusion can only be reached in a Oeko-Tex
Green Building Councils support a certi- whole-building context.
fications scheme and the development
of Green buildings in their area. There is
a Green Building Council in more than a VELUX Environmental Product
100 countries. Assessment (VEPA)

The best place for more information is A VEPA is a statement from VELUX Oeko-Tex is an international voluntary
the World Green Building Council A/S regarding the environmental im- label used to certify textiles. The label an umbrella pacts and use of resources of products. concerns emissions and content of se-
organisation for Green Building Councils It is assessed and structured as an lected dangerous substances. Some
worldwide. Environmental Product Declaration VELUX blinds are certificated to Oeko-
(EPD) in accordance with EN 15804 Tex standards.
(CEN, 2012).


PEFC/FSC 6.5 Overview of EU considered a downstream user of chem- 6.5.5 Waste of Electrical and Electronic
legislation icals, which means it is obliged to pro- Equipment (WEEE)
vide information about chemical sub-
stances on the so-called candidate list. The scope of the Waste of Electrical
Environmental issues and sustainability and Electronic Equipment Directive
are addressed more and more in legi- 6.5.3 Restriction of Hazardous Sub- (WEEE) (European Commission, 2012)
slation. An overview of some of the stances (RoHS) is to prevent Waste of Electrical and
The Programme for the Endorsement most important and well known legisla- Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and to
of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the tion is given below. The scope of the Restriction of Hazard- reduce waste by setting targets for col-
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are ous Substances (European Commission, lection, reuse and recycling. It obliges
two labels concerning sustainable and 6.5.1 Construction Products Regulation 2011a) (RoHS) Directive is to regulate manufacturers of products containing
responsible forest management. VELUX (CPR) the use of six different chemicals in electrical or electronic equipment to la-
has obtained both labels. More informa- electrical and electronic equipment. bel all such components and be respon-
tion can be found here: The Construction Products Regulation VELUX electrical and electronic pro- sible for their correct disposal.
(CPR) (European Commission, 2011b) ducts will be covered by the RoHS Di- determines how construction products rective of 22 July 2019.
social_resopnsibility/environment/ should be CE marked as the license to
raw_materials, sell on the European Market. The CE 6.5.4 Battery Directive
marking on construction products is a or performance declaration; the require- The scope of the Battery Directive (Eu-
ments for which performance should be ropean Commission, 2006b) is to regu- declared are called Basic Work Require- late the use of and disposal of batteries
ments, BWR. Requirements regarding in the European Union. In practice, it
environment and sustainability are means that manufacturers of batteries
BWR 3 and BWR 7. or products with batteries are responsi-
ble for the correct disposal of those
6.5.2 Registration, Evaluation and batteries. Manufacturers are obliged to
Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) design products so that all batteries are
labelled and can be disposed of sepa-
The Registration, Evaluation and Au- rately. VELUX A/S is a member of bat-
thorisation of Chemicals (European tery collection schemes in EU countries
Commission, 2006a) (REACH) Regula- and its products are covered by the
tion is the main European Regulation re- Battery Directive.
garding chemicals. The main objective
of REACH is for all chemicals used in
Europe to be registered and evaluated
before use. The most harmful chemicals
can only be used with official authorisa-
tion. In most cases, VELUX A/S will be


6.6 Index Eutrophication
Discharge of the nutrients nitrogen and
Global environmental impacts phosphorus from agriculture and com-
bustion processes leads to eutrophica-
Global warming tion in lakes and seas also known as
Global warming potential, GWP (CO2 algal blooms. The eutrophication
equivalents), is a product's potential potential, EP (kg PO4)3- equivalents,
contribution to global warming in the is a product's potential to cause
course of its lifetime. Global warming eutrophication during its lifetime.
potential is the measure of how much a
given mass of greenhouse gases (e.g. Photochemical ozone creation
CO2 and CH4) contributes to global Photochemical ozone is better known
warming. The potential of any green- as summer smog. The photochemical
house gas is converted to the CO2 ozone creation potential, POCP (kg
equivalent. Ethene equivalents), is the reaction
between volatile organic compounds
Ozone Depletion (VOCs) and sunlight.
The depletion potential of the strato-
spheric ozone layer, ODP (kg CFC 11 Resource and energy consumptions
equivalents), is a product's potential
contribution to the breakdown of the In an LCA, two types of consumption
ozone layer. are assessed: use of abiotic resources
like metals (materials) and use of fossil
Regional environmental impacts energy.

Acidification for soil and water Depletion of abiotic resources-elements

Discharge of sulphur and nitrogen Abiotic depletion potential ADP ele-
causes a high degree of acidity, which ments for non-fossil resources (kg Sb
induces the death of fish (acid lakes) equivalents), refers to the consumption
and forest decline (acid rain). Acidifica- of primary resources such as alumini-
tion potential, AP (kg SO2 equivalents), um, copper, iron or rare earth metals, a
is a product's potential to release sul- problem that is becoming increasingly
phur- and nitrogen dioxides in its com- global in scale.
Depletion of abiotic resources-fossil fuels
Abiotic depletion potential (ADP - fossil
fuels) for fossil resources (MJ, net calo-
rific value) refers to the consumption of
fossil fuels, like natural gas and crude oil.


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A short period of time with high ventilation rate caused by open windows.

Building assessments 
Assessment schemes where different parameters are evaluated for their
environmental impact. The different building assessment schemes take
different parameters into account.

Candela (cd) 
Unit of luminous intensity, equal to one lumen per steradian (lm/sr).

Carbon footprint 
CO2 emissions in tons or kg CO2 -equivalent of a specific process or product.

Chronobiology is the science of biological rhythms, more specifically the impact
of 24-hour light-dark cycle and seasonal changes in day length on biochemistry,
physiology and behaviour in living organisms.

Circadian rhythms 
A biological cycle with a period of approximately 24 hours (from the Latin circa = about,
dies = day). Circadian rhythms can be found in almost all life forms animals and plants.
Not only the essential functions of the entire organism but almost every individual organ,
and even every individual cell, have their own genetically predefined circadian rhythm.

Clothing level. The clothing insulation level. [1 CLO = 0.155 mK/W].

Comfort range 
A range with a minimum and maximum value within which comfort is assumed.

Cradle to cradle 
An assessment model that follows a different philosophy than LCA and founded on
three different principles, one of which is that we cannot live on the earth if we
do not reduce the amount of waste.

Heat degree hours per year. The sum of temperature differences between indoor
and outdoor air temperatures throughout a year.

Daylight autonomy (DA) 

The DA is defined as the percentage of time over a year for which daylight
can provide a specific intensity of light (e.g. 500 lux) in interiors.


Dayligt factor (DF)  Forest certification schemes 
The DF expresses as a percentage the amount of daylight available indoors Certification schemes that promote sustainable forest management. FSC and PEFC
compared to the amount of unobstructed daylight available outdoors under are the most important and they are evaluated by an independent, third-party
standard CIE sky conditions. certification body.

dB(A)  Glare 
Sometimes decibel is annotated in dB(A) rather than dB. The (A) indicates that it refers to Glare is a sensation caused by an uncomfortably bright light source or reflection in
a total sound level (consisting of many individual frequencies) that is A-weighted and the field of view that can cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in performance and
thereby equals human subjective perception of sound. visibility.

Decibel (dB)  I 
Decibel is the unit used to measure sound level and is a logarithmic unit used to describe Usable solar gain reaching a window in kWh/m2.
a ratio.
Draught  Illuminance is the measure of the amount of light received on a surface. It is typically
Unwanted local cooling caused by air movements. Typically occurs with air velocities expressed in lux.
higher than 0.15 0.30 m/s.
Indoor air quality (IAQ). 
Dynamic simulation  The characteristics of the indoor climate of a building, including gaseous
A computer calculation that runs for a period of time with time steps, typically 1 hour. composition, temperature, relative humidity and airborne contaminant levels.
Examples are VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate Visualizer.
Electromagnetic spectrum  Uncontrolled ventilation through leaks in the building envelope.
A continuum of electric and magnetic radiation encompassing all wavelengths.
Infrared (IR) 
Energy balance  Electromagnatic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light. 
The balance between heat loss and solar gain for a window.
Energy consumption  An energy unit. Commonly used to quantify used energy, for instance for pricing energy.
The energy consumed to supply the energy demand.
kWh/m floor area 
Energy demand  The total energy demand for the building per m heated floor area.
The required energy.
kWh/m window area 
Energy Performance  Unit of the energy balance of windows.
The total energy demand of a building - including heating, cooling, hot water, electric light
and other electrical equipment. Life cycle assessment (LCA) 
A model used to assess the environmental impact of a specific process or product.
Experienced temperature 
A temperature calculated from the PMV value to illustrate what temperature it would be Luminance 
equivalent to. Luminance is the measure of the amount of light reflected or emitted from a surface.
It is typically expressed in cd/m.


Lux (lx)  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Unit of illuminance. One lux is one lumen per square metre (lm/m). Also called winter depression. A mood disorder caused by low light levels in winter.

Mean radiant temperature  Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). 

The area weighted mean temperature of all surrounding surfaces. Term sometimes used to describe situations in which building occupants experience
acute health and/or comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a
Melatonin  particular building, but where no specific illness or cause can be identified.
Melatonin is the most important hormone secreted by the pineal gland and can be described
as the bodys signal for the nightly dark phase. It promotes sleep in humans and activity in Sound Pressure Level (SPL) 
nocturnal animals. Sound pressure level is a logarithmic measure of the effective sound pressure.
Sound pressure level is expressed in dB.
Activity level of the occupants. Measured in MET, short for metabolism. Stack effect 
[1 MET = 58.2 W/m] Also called chimney effect. Ventilation principle that uses buoyancy of warm air.

Operative temperature  Surface reflectance 

A temperature that describes the total thermal environment and can be compared A figure showing how much light is reflected from a surface.
across cases.
Ultraviolet (UV) 
Particulate matter (PM)  Electromagnatic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light.
Small airborne particles (x = dimension of the aerodynamic diameter).
VELUX ACTIVE Climate Control 
Parts per million (ppm)  A sensor-based system for controlling internal and/or external shading products.
An expression used a.o. to quantify the concentration n of a specific gas Part of a dynamic window system.
(for example CO2) in atmospheric air. 1 ppm = 1 mL in 1 m (1000 L)
VELUX Energy Balance control 
Predicted Mean Vote (PMV)  A time schedule for controlling internal and/or external shading products.
An index that predicts the mean votes of a large group of people regarding thermal Part of a dynamic window system.
comfort. 0 is neutral, +3 is too warm and -3 is too cold.
Ventilation rate 
Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied (PPD)  An expression of how many times the air in a room is changed per hour.
A quantitative prediction of the percentage of people dissatisfied with the thermal Does not give any information about the efficiency of the ventilation.
Visible transmittance (v)
Renewable energy  The amount of daylight coming through a window is referred to as the visible
Energy produced by renewable sources, such as the sun, wind or biomass. transmittance (v) and is dependent on the composition of the window pane.

Running mean  Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

A weighted average over a period of time. The most recent period has the largest weight. Compounds that evaporate from the many housekeeping, maintenance, and
building products made with organic chemicals.
The sound insulation value, Rw expresses the ability to reduce noise from outside to Watt (W) 
inside the building. Sound insulation is expressed in dB. An energy unit. Often used to express how much energy a component uses.
E.g. a 60 W light bulb or a 200 W heat pump.


Window system 
A window system is a window and its accessories as a combined unit.
Accessories are shading devices or other devices that change the parameters of the
window as a whole.


Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate Basic Book

Version 3.0 2014

Basic Book
Daylight, Energy
and Indoor Climate