DesignBuilder Daylighting

DesignBuilder daylighting
Accurately assess natural daylight and visual comfort

Ensure good use of natural daylight and visual comfort in your designs through accurate illuminance contour plots generated by the state of the art Daylighting module.

We measured natural light levels in buildings that we have access to and the DesignBuilder results are very close to what we measured. It certainly makes us confident in the results we give to clients.

Warren Gray, Mechanical Engineer, Solid Green Consulting


The Daylighting module calculates a wide range of standard daylight metrics including Daylight Factor, Daylight Autonomy (sDA), Annual Sunlight Exposure (ASE) and Useful Daylight Illuminance (UDI) using the advanced Radiance and Daysim simulation engines.

If you are looking to simulate how reduced electric lighting use can lead to energy and carbon savings, please check out our EnergyPlus Simulation module.


Daylighting key features

  • Calculate LEED, BREEAM and Green Star credits.
  • Generate high quality illuminance contour plots to illustrate daylight availability within each zone, block or slice through the whole building.
  • Full multi-zone simulation covering transmission of light through exterior and interior windows.
  • Average daylight factors and uniformity data can be shown in tabular reports.


Technical specifications

  • Report on eligibility for LEED EQ8.1, BREEAM HW1 and Green Star IEQ4 daylighting credits.
  • Internal and external shading obstructions and daylighting features such as light shelves and window frames can easily be included in the model using component blocks or assemblies at building or block level.
  • Calculations are made using the accurate physics-based Radiance and Daysim simulation engines which are among the most well respected daylighting tools in use today.
  • The Daylighting module is fully integrated with the core DesignBuilder thermal simulation feature, so in most cases no extra data needs to be added following previous energy simulation or certification project work. In particular building geometry, zone layouts, surface reflection and glazing visible transmission properties from the thermal model are used in the daylighting calculations.
  • The DesignBuilder 3-D Modeller includes the thickness of floors and walls, reveals, window frames etc, so it can generate highly accurate results. Using 2-D surfaces can cause significant errors in daylighting calculations.
  • Calculations can be made for various sky types including the CIE overcast sky required for most daylight factor calculations.
  • The grid of calculation points can be edited through a maximum and minimum grid size allowing full coverage of zones of complex shape.
  • Default calculation options provide reliable and accurate results. More detailed parameters to gain full control of the daylighting simulation process can be accessed if required.



Daylighting is included in Energy Assessor Plus and all Architectural and Engineering packages.