Alan Lewis will present his research, which was funded by a 2013 RIBA Research Trust Award and by Thomas Pocklington Trust.
British post-war planning guidance proposed that cities be rebuilt according to scientific principles. Mathematical tools were devised to determine built form; daylight levels within buildings were to be evaluated using a metric called the daylight factor. The daylight factor is still the principal metric used in daylighting guidance, despite recent calls to replace it with other metrics.
Recent research indicates that many new-build housing schemes do not comply with recommended daylight factors, and that few architects undertake daylight factor calculations when designing buildings, a cause for concern given the proven health benefits of daylight. Some commentators argue that the daylight factor is now obsolete.
This presentation explores whether the Modernist ambition, for buildings to be designed according to mathematically verifiable principles, was realised in relation to daylighting. Specifically, the presentation explores whether the daylight factor was successful in promoting good daylighting in housing. The research draws on eleven semi-structured interviews with practising and retired architects, lighting consultants and a planning officer.