DAYLIGHT GLARE ANALYSIS FOR AN ALL GLASS CATHEDRAL: INTEGRATING SIMULATION WITH COMMON SENSE TO IMPROVE VISUAL COMFORT
Visual comfort in heavily glazed indoor environments is
a growing concern in contemporary architecture.
Significant progress has been made toward
understanding and even quantifying daylight glare using
modern software tools. The simulation tools are
proficient in their evaluation of daylighting glare
conditions. However, the creative design process and the
pace at which decisions must be made do not lend
themselves to the iterative, simulation-based workflow
that practitioners have become accustomed to. The
process with which to validate proposals and optimize
solutions, therefore, must combine intuition and
experience alongside analytical horsepower, and perhaps
a traditional sun path diagram.
The Christ Cathedral (formerly known as the “Crystal
Cathedral”) is an existing all-glass structure in Orange
County, California – an exemplary case study in glare
simulation. The building walls and roofs consist almost
entirely of curtain wall, so the building energy and
daylighting performance was incredibly sensitive to the
strength and position and of sun. A glazing replacement
was ruled out early on, so the design team developed a
system of interior panels to serve not only as aesthetic
components to enhance visual diversity, but also as
shading devices to reduce the excessive daylight
exposure to future occupants. The basic design condition
was evaluated using DIVA for Rhino for daylight glare
analysis based on geometric information gathered from
the architectural 3-D models and local climatic data. The
iterations of analysis simulated solar position throughout
the day and year, intolerable glare hours using Daylight
Glare Probability (DGP) as a main metric, and various
RADIANCE simulations to identify specific issues at
critical points in time. The simulation helped detect
problematic times and areas where glare issues occurred.
Focused more on the detected time and area, each
shading panel was analyzed in a small scale with 2D Sun
angle diagraming, in order to find out how the design
could be improved. Several alternatives for the shading
panels, which came to be known as “quatrefoils,” and
configuration thereof were analyzed and evaluated in
order to help inform the ultimate design decisions.
Jan Wienold & Jens Christoffersen. 2006. Evaluation methods and development of a new glare prediction model for daylight environments with the use of CCD cameras, Energy and Buildings 38: 743–757.
Solemma LLC. 2014. Diva for Rhino, Version 3.0.
Kera Lagios. 2016. Diva for Rhino. http://diva4rhino.com/
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