Daylight in Buildings



Ataur Rahman Abul Basher, John Nguyen


Brady Peters


University of Toronto




Project Description

INTRODUCTION Making the Invisible-Visible is not about the literal sense of seeing, but a metaphor referring to our project as an endeavor to be prepared for an uncertain future, as students of architecture. At a news briefing talking about COVID-19, the Executive Director of the World Health Organization, Dr. Michael Ryan, stated that “this virus may become just another endemic virus, this virus may never go away, HIV has not gone away, but we have come to terms with the virus”. In this respective, to design responsibly in a post COVID-19 world, requires us as Architects to evolve our thinking process and skillset to meet this challenge. CONCEPT Our concept is to address this issue by proposing a workflow that leverages daylight as the main driver to help improve efficiency in terms of microclimate control, and mitigating exposure to pathogens by controlling how air flows through space. This workflow is demonstrated in our project through a light redirecting device that was created as a result of quantitative data collected in our investigation through the use of Daylight Simulation applications in tandem with Computational Fluid Dynamics(CFD) and physical wind tunnel testing. FUNCTIONALITY Micro climate in terms of warming or cooling the space by amplifying and/or redirecting how much light enters the space. Through the amplification of a particular area using our device, we can heat the air faster, similar to a magnifying glass. The fins on our device can also adjust the direction of passive air flow entering the space, to speed up the buoyancy effect similar to a heat stack chimney. Through our CFD study, we have come to realize that depending on the positioning and velocity air coming in from the window or mechanical outlets, conditions can occur where the areas of a room, such as corners, may allow for stale air or pathogens to accrue. Our device can assist in addressing this issue by redirecting daylight directly at the space or controlling the fins to allow fresh air to enter from the window and target the space if within feasible proximity. TECHNICAL Using physical fabrication techniques involving 3D printing, laser-cutting and electrical wiring, in combination with Arduino Development kits, we were able to create our device, pictured below. To develop a better understanding of air flow, we learned about fluid dynamics and created our own version of a scaled wind tunnel prototype, where lasers, cooling fans, water pumps, and modified vape pens were utilized to create and visualize our smoke flowing through space. We are living in a digital world, where all our devices are connected, and any problem has an APP’ as a solution. We understand that future generation will engage with this ideology as a new generic, which is why we developed an app that would act as a platform to control our devices, but also indirectly relate to our metaphor as an underlying basis.