WIT Press

Daylight, Architecture And People’s Health


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WIT Press


M. Boubekri


While the evidence linking light to a plethora of health issues is plentiful, building industry and its regulatory bodies are yet to address this issue in a manner that reflects its saliency. It has been suggested that one way to cultivate support for daylighting legislation is to underscore its health effects. Though these may be long term ones, they are, nonetheless, real and should be taken into serious consideration. Many cities around the world have now zoning ordinances that legislate public access to sunlight in streets and public parks, but this legislation still doesn’t go far enough to command the presence of sunlight inside people’s homes and workplaces. For the most part, sunlight (or daylight) is still considered as an amenity in our living and workplaces. The question that remains unanswered is whether it is really only an amenity? This paper examines the relationship between light and human health and discusses daylighting standards in light of this relationship. Keywords: sunlight health vitamin D lighting standards. 1 Introduction Neither current lighting design guidelines nor the illumination standards address health issues related to light and building occupants despite the large body of evidence connecting light to range of health issues. Lighting standards have been largely based on visual performance as the sole criterion for prescribing lighting quantities (Boubekri [1]). The use of visual performance as the single criterion for prescribing illuminance levels, concerns about energy efficiency and consumption and improvement in lighting technologies have caused requirements for light levels to decrease over the last fifty or sixty years (IES [2, 3]). Research indicates that electric lighting alone cannot address health needs of the occupants. In fact, electric light may be the cause of several health problems. If one must address the health issues, it becomes necessary to look at daylighting


sunlight health vitamin D lighting standards.