Understanding controls, behaviors and satisfaction in the daylit perimeter office: A daylight design case study

TitleUnderstanding controls, behaviors and satisfaction in the daylit perimeter office: A daylight design case study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDay, J, Theodorson, J, Van den Wymelenberg, K
JournalJournal of Interior Design
Date PublishedMar
ISBN Number1071-7641
Accession NumberWOS:000318470500004

Daylight has the potential to positively impact occupants and reduce energy consumption in buildings if utilized correctly (Edwards & Torcellini, 2002). However, unintended negative outcomes can arise from unsuccessful daylighting schemes. Common issues, such as glare and heat gain, are important architectural considerations in design of the building envelope, but less studied are corresponding interior design considerations (such as furniture layout and access to controls) and associated occupant interactions and appraisals. The purpose of the current study is to expose some of the key issues related to the occupant use of daylight and daylight control in perimeter offices, to discuss the contributing design process factors, and to suggest possible improvements to the design process including an increased role for interior designers. The research methodology followed a case study approach and included post-occupancy evaluation (POE) questionnaires, interviews, and observations of a single higher education building with intentionally daylit perimeter offices. We discovered that the building in question was passed between three separate design teams throughout the design process, which may have contributed to the lack of integration between the architectural daylight design and the interior furniture and daylighting control fit-out. More than 50% of total respondents (n = 35) reported obstructed blind controls due to poor furniture design and layout. Of these, nearly 60% of occupants modified their office environment to gain access to blind controls. Ultimately, findings of this study demonstrate the importance of an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to daylighting design, one that considers both the specific building context and the human response.