Daylighting Parametric Workflows Used for Adaptive Reuse

Three Case Studies





Daylighting & Solar Glare control, which affect both the energy consumption of the building as well as the comfort of the occupants, become rather limited when repurposing existing buildings for new uses. Many variables are fixed (among others, window to wall area ratios, current orientation and the visible light transmittance of glass) and have to respond to certain historical parameters. Nevertheless, in this era of Data-driven design and Performance-based design, the art of daylighting has undergone a radical evolution, which also has affected the way Adaptive Reuse is approached. Using the metrics specified in the IESNA LM 83 Standard, (Spatial Daylight Autonomy SDA & Annual Sunlight Exposure ASE), daylighting workflows could be parameterized in order to establish an “optimization best path”. Using either cumulative or comparative (or both) parametric strategies, these historical structures are analyzed in order to establish optimal levels of daylighting (using SDA) while establishing the best strategies for solar glare control (using ASE). For this study, 3 repurposed structures are analyzed: 1) a renovated historic high school from the 1930’s, 2) a renovated historic office building from the 1910’s occupied by the local chapter of a national a non-profit and 3) an iconic repurposed domed stadium from the 1960’s. The three buildings are located in Houston, Texas.


The relatively recent integration of daylighting simulation software together with graphic scripting interfaces such as Grasshopper for Rhino has opened up mainstream façade design to the parameterization of daylighting simulations

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Case Study #1: New Offices for a Professional Non-Profit Organization

The original building was designed in the 1910’s and functioned as a warehouse until the 1960’s, when it was abandoned. In the 1990’s, a major intervention was made, leaving the

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Case Study #2: Historical High School

This project is a renovation of and a expansion to the original high school, initially built in the 1920’s. As the original’s High School façade was listed, the fenestration couldn’t

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Case Study #3: Iconic Domed Stadium Turned into a Parking Garage

Note: at the time of writing this paper, this project was still being designed. There may be changes between the final building after renovation and the results shown in this

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In conclusion, as shown with the previous case studies, strategizing for daylighting/glare control in Adaptive Reuse projects follow a different path than doing it for a new construction project. However

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Rights and Permissions

Illuminating Engineering Society Of North America “IES Spatial Daylight Autonomy (sDA) and Annual Sunlight Exposure (ASE).”

Moe, Kiel. “Convergence: An Architectural Agenda for Energy”. Routledge, 1st Edition. 2013.

Reinhart, Christoph “Daylighting Handbook I”. MIT Press, 1st Edition. 2014.

Torres, Santiago & Valerio R.M. Lo Verso. “Comparative analysis of simplified daylight glare methods and proposal of a new method based on the cylindrical illuminance”. White paper 6th International Building Physics Conference, IBPC 2015.

Altomonte, Sergio & M. Kent, R. Wilson, P. Tregenza. “Temporal effects on glare response from daylight”. White paper under a creative commons license.