Uncharted territory: daylight performance and occupant behaviour in a live classroom environment

In 2013, in an effort to improve the visual environment in future schools, a UK regulation specified mandatory daylight evaluations using, for the first time, climate-based metrics. Existing research on the daylighting performance of classrooms is limited and challenged by poor light measurement instrumentation, as well as the practicalities of the ‘live’ classroom setting. This paper describes an ongoing project aimed at providing evidence that will improve the understanding of how building occupants perceive daylight; how they respond to daylight performance due to the building design; and how their needs and actions shape the actual daylight performance of classrooms. A mixed method qualitative and quantitative approach is presented for the investigation of the aforementioned in four classrooms located in two secondary schools in the UK. Previously mentioned challenges are addressed by employing a High Dynamic Range imaging technique for monitoring physical data and the behaviour (blind and electric light use) of the occupants. The challenges encountered in the current study are discussed.