The quality of indoor environment in buildings is one of the key factors of user satisfaction, as it affects their health and well-being. The indoor environment comprises of several components; the chief among them being the thermal and humidity microclimate, lighting, acoustics and indoor air quality. These can also be summed up by the term building physics. The quality of the final indoor environment is largely decided in the initial phases of the building design. The spatial and material configuration of the house determines most of the daylight, acoustics and thermal qualities of the designed spaces. While, to some extent, it is possible to fix the indoor environment of a finished building by installing additional technologies, it is of course costly in terms of both money and energy efficiency. It is therefore a crucial skill for architects to be able to foresee the impact of their decisions in the early design stages on the indoor environmental quality in the finished building. Finding a compromise between the often contradictory demands on individual qualities (for example daylight versus heating) and optimizing the building design in a holistic manner is the other expertise necessary for ensuring a quality indoor environment. This article illustrates the architectural design process and its connection to the building physics on 3 examples/case studies of contemporary residential buildings. The individual factors (daylight, thermal qualities and acoustics) are analyzed mostly using software simulation methods. The factors and their significance for the building design are synthesized, taking into account also the legislative requirements for residential buildings. The article is a part of a larger research project which tries to answer the following set of questions: Which architectural features influence the individual factors of the indoor environment and how? and How do the individual factors of the indoor environment interact and influence each other?
Nowadays, when the population of the developed world spends more than 90% of their time indoors, the quality of the environment in the interior of buildings is gaining in importance, especially in the case of residential development. How does the architectural concept of residential buildings affect the parameters of the resulting indoor environment?
In the article, case studies of three residential buildings in Prague are presented: a tenement house from the late 19th century in a block development in Prague Vinohrady, a precast panel house in a neighbourhood from the late 20th century and a residential complex from the twenty-first century. The light, acoustic and thermal microclimate in the apartments is assessed in the context of current requirements, taking into account the requirements at the time of construction. In the nineteenth century, the requirements for the quality of the indoor environment were not explicitly set, with a few exceptions, but the parameters of the apartments in tenement houses often hold up in the current context. In the second half of the twentieth century, specific criteria for the indoor environment were already laid down in legislation, with demands for daylight and sunlight playing a disproportionate role in the architecture of buildings and the urban design of residential neighbourhoods.
At present, the requirements for residential buildings are very complex, not only in terms of the quality of the indoor environment, and are usually met to the minimum necessary extent, with the economic aspect playing a key role. The architect plays the role of coordinator; whose task is to achieve a balance between a number of often conflicting requirements.
Daylight in buildings is evaluated using the daylight factor DF [%], which is defined as the ratio of the light level inside a structure (Ei = illuminance due to daylight at a point on the indoors working plane) to the light level outside the structure (Eo = simultaneous outdoor illuminance on a horizontal plane from an unobstructed hemisphere of overcast sky). The illuminance values are calculated for the overcast winter sky with Eo=5000 lx.
In the Czech republic (and many other European countries), the daylight factor in residential buildings is evaluated in two points in the room, located in the middle of the room’s depth and 1 m from the side walls on a horizontal working plane 0,85 m above the floor.
The students of architecture are taught to calculate the daylight factor in the specific points of a room and to determine whether the values fit the legislative requirements. However, they have a hard time imagining what the room and its daylighting actually looks like.
Therefore, a practical experimental simulation was performed. Various values of daylight factor were simulated and the participants were asked to perform several task in three different lighting conditions The goals of the experiment were:
To demonstrate to the participants what the required daylight factor values actually look like, so that they are able to connect the abstract values to real rooms.
To determine whether the architecture student perception of daylight inside of buildings corresponds with the reality.
To verify whether the daylight factor values required by the legislative are sufficient for performing certain visually demanding task commonly done at home.
The experiment is a part of a larger research project, which aims to improve the teaching of building physics (designing buildings with a good indoor environmental quality) in architecture universities.
This article follows the development of the views and requirements for the indoor environmental quality in buildings throughout the course of the history of architecture. How is the quality of the indoor environment in architecture as a whole perceived by contemporary architects and experts?
One of the primary reasons for building was to create a space “inside”, protected from the surrounding world. The importance of the indoor environmental quality in buildings has already been recognized and described by Vitruvius in the first century BC. Yet only in the first half of the twentieth century, the requirements for the individual aspects of the indoor environment (thermal technology, indoor air quality, lighting and acoustics) were established accurately. These indoor environmental quality requirements are currently ingrained in standards and legislation, and for most of them compliance with the set values is required by law.
The quality of indoor environment in buildings gained importance especially at the end of the twentieth and early twenty-first century, when the developed world population spends more than 90 percent of the time inside. Epidemiological studies from the 1990s explored the causes of the so-called Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and the link between the indoor environment in buildings and the health of its inhabitants. The perception of the indoor environment is shifting from the optimisation of individual parameters to a holistic approach, with emphasis not only on the connections between individual aspects of the indoor environment, but also on their relationship to the architectural qualities of the built environment
Neighborhoods of standardized concrete block buildings form a significant part of the post-socialist build heritage. It is very important to renovate the houses to suit the needs of the current user. The reconstructions typically affect the apartment layout (e. q. uniting the kitchen with the living room, bathroom renovation) and also the indoor environment (thermal insulation, window replacement, installing air conditioning units).
One of the alterations that has a major impact on both the apartment layout and the indoor environment is extending the loggia (the standard width is 1,2 meters). The construction companies offer several designs, enabling expansion ranging from 0,2 to 2,5 meters.
This article examines the possibilities of loggia extension on a specific example a mass housing neighborhood Velká Ohrada in Prague, built in the years 1988-1993 in the standard system VVU ETA (one of the most frequently used systems in the Czech Republic). The aim of this research is to determine the optimal width of the loggia. Several viewpoints are considered: the functionality of the layout and the indoor environment, particularly the interior lighting conditions and the overheating in summer.
The research proves that it is possible to extend the loggia of precast panel building enough to majorly improve the comfort level of the apartments (from the functional and overheating point of view) while still meeting the lighting requirements.
The residential building design must place an emphasis on daylight in interiors, in terms of quality as well as quantity. The legislative requirements are more or less unified across the spectrum of residential building types. The article compares the daylighting conditions in three different types of residential development in Prague: a tenement house from the 19th century, a neighbourhood of precast panel buildings from the second half of the 20th century and a contemporary housing complex. The urban situation, such as distances between the buildings and street profiles, majorly influences the daylight and insolation in the apartments. The apartment layout, the proportions of the room and the size and proportion of the windows are also important factors affecting the distribution of daylight in the rooms.
The case study is a part of a larger research project, which aims to create a supplementary teaching material for architecture students, who are learning to design the suitable interiors.
In: 18th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Geoconference SGEM 2018 - Nano, Bio, Green ans Space - Technologies for a Sustainable Future. Sofia: STEF92 Technology Ltd., 2018. p. 537-544. vol. 18. ISSN 1314-2704. ISBN 978-619-7408-52-2.
The environmental performance of buildings needs to be considered in the early stages of the design process. Therefore, emphasis is nowadays placed in integrating the teaching of building performance with the design studios at schools of architecture. Preparing students for the complex role of an architect as a coordinator of all the aspects of a building design is gaining more and more importance. This article describes and compares the methods of teaching building performance to architecture students at several universities in Europe and in the USA. It identifies the main tendencies in the syllabuses of building physics courses and is especially targeted to the relevance of these courses to the design studios at those schools. It also reviews some of the learning materials, recommended or accessible to students of those courses. To achieve a relevant comparison, each of the countries where these schools are located is described in terms of the specific conditions of building physics design and the resulting problematics for an architect. These conditions include technical standards and requirements, the methods of building performance evaluation used and the climate.
In: 18th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Geoconference SGEM 2018 - Nano, Bio, Green ans Space - Technologies for a Sustainable Future. Sofia: STEF92 Technology Ltd., 2018. p. 605-610. vol. 18. ISSN 1314-2704. ISBN 978-619-7408-52-2.
Our paper is focused on translucence of daylight through micro-glass-bubbles. We applied Glass Micro Bubbles as outside thermal insulation on a cargo container and researched their influence on quantity of Daylight in interior. In the roof of the cargo container is a lengthwise roof skylight and its outside surface was coated of this innovative glass material.
We used simple mono-cellular hollow spherical elements, known as the - Glass Micro Bubbles. They are made of borosilicate glass, which is resistant to water and is chemically stable.
For this research we chose two identical cargo containers with a lengthwise roof skylight. Our input variables were - thin (2mm) external coating layer of Glass Micro Bubbles.
Glass Micro-Bubbles were applied on the whole external surface of one of the container - including a roof skylight. Therefore, it was possible to measure translucence of daylight through the 2 mm layer of Glass Micro Bubbles on these two samples (containers).
Our main question is: Is it possible to use this innovative material - Glass Micro Bubbles as outside thermal insulation in order to improve thermal and technical parameters and at the same time not to radically worsen daylighting parameters of indoor environment?