4-2015 Innovative solutions for good daylighting and low energy use in multi-family dwellings

Researcher: Marie-Claude Dubois.

This report summarizes the aim, methods, results and conclusions of a research project on energy use and daylighting in the multi-family building Greenhouse located in Malmö, Sweden. This multi-family building located in the Ekostaden Augustenborg is a green innovative building integrating glazed sunspaces for urban gardening in addition to many other innovative environmental features. The building received the environmental certification Miljöbyggnad Gold in addition to the Swedish Passive House certification FEBY. The aim of the study was to first analyze and develop innovative design solutions for multi-family dwellings with good daylighting and low energy use, solving the conflict between these two aspects. The second objective was to validate the simulation tools normally used in the practice of a large architectural office (White architects). The third objective was to verify the appropriateness of the current minimum daylight factor requirement in relation to subjective assessment by building inhabitants.  These objectives were met by using a research method based on measurements, advanced lighting and energy simulations and subjective assessments to the inhabitants. The results indicate that the simulations allow predicting the measured values with a reasonably accuracy. The results also show that the presence of a glazed sunspace and balcony has a significant impact on daylighting indoors, reducing the daylight factor by at least 50%. The simulations also validated the relevance of having larger window sizes on the south orientation, intermediate sizes on the east and west orientation and smaller sizes on the north orientation, when highly insulated windows are considered. However, overheating issues need to be addressed at the early design stage with provision of efficient solar shading solutions. The study also shows that daylighting is generally preferred by the inhabitants over electric lighting and that although the highest daylighting level criteria was used for the certification of the building, a significant portion of tenants found the daylight level to be ‘neither bright nor dark’ or ‘dark’, which was an unexpected result. Overall, the research allows to establish relations between measurements, simulations and subjective assessment.

Full title: Innovative solutions for good daylighting and low energy use in multi-family dwellings: MKB Greenhouse, Malmö, Sweden
Svensk titel: Innovativa lösningar för bra dagsljus och låg energianvändning i flerfamiljshus: MKB Greenhouse, Malmö, Sweden


Marie-Claude Dubois M Arch PhD, Environmental specialist, White Arkitekter
Stephanie Jenny Angeraini, MSc, Environmental specialist, White Arkitekter
Iason Bournas MSc, Lund University
Ludvig Haav MSc, Lund University, Tengbom arkitekter
Therese Levin MSc, Lund University
Maha Shalaby MSc, Environmental specialist, White Arkitekter

Download PDF: ARQ 4-2015_Innovative solutions for good daylighting and low energy use in multi-family dwellings_Rapport2017