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(21-22) POE as a tool for architects providing for human-related building skin design

Master thesis proposal Faculty of Architecture KU Leuven

Supervisors: Prof. Monika Rychtarikova and arch. Nelly Moenssens

21-22, Brussels

Adaptive building skins respond to changing environmental conditions, including the dynamic behavior of natural light. The increasing awareness of daylight benefits for building occupants (such as circadian stimulation) recently has accelerated building skin design for optimized daylighting. Earlier was demonstrated how daylight distribution through the building skin can be improved to enhance daylight comfort indoors. It was also established how the daylight behavior of the building skin can be predicted pragmatically, showing a realistic precast. Nevertheless, daylight comfort indoors is not only described by the amount and distribution of daylight inside; it is a more complex issue enclosing objective and human-related parameters, quantitative and qualitative parameters. Indoor comfort depends on how users perceive the indoor environment.

Needs and values of building occupants can be emphasized by post-occupancy evaluation (POE). Learning from previous projects, via POE, systematically is essential to improving building performance, resulting in a built environment that better fits the needs of users and the environment. For designers POE is a tool to identify and evaluate the behavior of the building and the impact of its’ building envelope.

The master thesis would consist of a parametrical study on building skin performance through post-occupancy evaluation. The student will learn the state of art through literature review (POE and human-related assessment of building envelope). Different envelope types, comprising adaptive features or not, of recently constructed office buildings are subject of research for indoor environmental quality (IEQ) assessment via post-occupancy evaluation (questionnaires, on-site measurements). IEQ assessment will be based on parameters for daylight comfort indoors (daylight distribution, spatial quality, view,…etc).

The student will enlarge his/her knowledge in building envelope design for optimized daylighting considering occupants’ needs.

Image: Bio 21 Institute, David Pennington Building, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australië, 2004


Façade design to modulate the daylight, wind and glare in varying ways, with each façade responding specifically to its orientation.