A survey on daylighting potentiality in the offices of Dhaka Bangladesh

2012-10-11T12:42:49Z (GMT) by Md. Ashikur Rahman Joarder
In the offices of Dhaka, artificial light is the main contributor to the visual environment, even though there is an abundance of daylight and the working hours in offices utilise much of the daylight hours. Electric lighting costs, peak demand charges, and work interruptions during power brownouts can be greatly reduced by using daylighting. Daylight should be encouraged in office spaces because, not only would it save on energy, but it also carries immense physiological and psychological benefits. So, strategies for more daylight inclusion is needed for office interiors in context of any city which has a growing demand on electricity, far in excess of its production. This work started with a physical survey on offices located in different places of Dhaka to explore the current lighting practice and to identify key design issues where daylight could broadly enhance the luminous environment for offices. A pilot survey on a total number of 50 offices, determined by random sampling, was conducted. The survey covered a broad area through a questionnaire. During survey, importance was given on the surrounding context and external and internal elements of the offices that directly affect daylight inclusion into the office interiors and the overall luminous environment. The findings of survey helped to identify some problems on window configuration, sill height, lintel height, false ceiling, internal partition, blind configurations etc. Survey shows that lighting design in general is a neglected aspect of the overall design of spaces. Most of the cases it was found that the popular practice is against the common strategies of daylight. Survey also indicate that there is a considerable potential for more daylight inclusion into offices by some simple modification of the existing spaces and awareness about daylighting issues during the design phase. Recommended guidelines are specific to general problems found during survey, at the same time for introduction of building elements that were not found in Dhaka offices, e.g. light shelves, skylights etc. The author tried to draw simple recommendation that can be applied easily in any time from design phase to even after occupancy. It is expected that these suggestions will improve the luminous environment of offices of Dhaka under daylight.