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Home Lighting Design – Daylighting Design
Home Home Decorations
By: Ralph Pressel Email Article
Word Count: 972 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it



This article develops a unique, extensive home lighting design Daylighting Design Schedule to address code and a whole lot more.

Home lighting design policy for most any home these days: let the daylight in. . . with qualifications – maybe not too much, not too little, depends on where, depends on how, how about when, depends what it's shining on, etc. This is about a Daylighting Design Schedule.

Home lighting design code: IRC 303.1 presents effectively and round-about that for daylighting design, at least in a sleeping room, "aggregate glazing area" should be not less than 8% of that room's floor surface area. (CABO's tougher, fewer exceptions.) [Please note that this presentation has no direct connection with emergency egress.]

Home daylighting design practice? Who knows. The author has had reactions from "exactly, right" to "not so important around here" to "what are you talking about" from building authorities having jurisdiction. If considered at all by others, it'd be for sleeping areas only is my expectation.


To start, the term aggregate glazing area – otherwise undefined – is interpreted to mean translucent surface – glass, clear plastic, etc. and not associated frame, sash, muntins, trim, and the like. What Marvin Windows and Doors defines as "Lite", Pella as "Visible Glass", Loewen as "Exposed Glass Area," etc.

Note, please, that if some folks weren't interested in these surface areas, the big players in windows wouldn't work it out in print. This custom home designer's interested.


A home lighting Daylighting Schedule, or Illumination Schedule, achieves four ends.

First, it defines the proportion of aggregate glazing area to interior surface area in each major space of a residence, including habitable rooms, halls, walk-in closets, utility spaces for workshop and laundry and such, garage(s), etc.

Second, it compares actual aggregate glazing area to calculated code target for each major space and presents the difference either in square feet of glazing area or, increasingly likely, in percent of glazing area target – the latter seems easier to usefully understand.

Third, it comments selectively by suggestion, indication, and definition about daylighting aspects of importance as designers' opinions warrant.

Fourth, it provides an opportunity to identify persistently darkish spaces or parts of spaces sufficiently distant from a natural light source so as to be considered unlighted, or not penetrated, by a natural light source, e.g., a space considerably back from the daylight from a covered porch, an exceptionally deep interior space.

The structure of the schedule presents as a table of several columns. From the left, let's see: a give space; its surface area in square feet; 8% of that surface area in square feet; aggregate glazing area of that space in square feet (usually to one decimal); the arithmetic and percentage difference between the 8% and the aggregate glazing column; and comments as appropriate. Comments can include, among others, modulate, dark, code compliant (for sleeping areas), etc.

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Before The Architect’s Ralph and Jean Pressel have worked together since the ‘60s on home designing, home plan drafting and repairing, home design and building consulting and on home building as contractors and subcontractors in every major trade. Home Design Standards - Home Building Standards at 570 pages 3Q07 edition and nearly 1000 page are enterprises of Before The Architect.

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