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A word about daylight

Fast and reliable daylight validation in the browser

Building expertise

To help designers with daylight design, we released in autumn 2021 our first product: OTONOMI Daylight. Indeed, this last years I have helped architects in designing their buildings with daylight, from early phases massing studies to compliance documentation for municipalities and BREEAM / WELL. In total and with Stian’s help, we are proud to have evaluated over 1 000 000 m2, from small residential projects to larger ones, kindergartens and universities, office buildings and restaurants, nursery homes and large-scale hospitals.

Our challenges at the time were multiple, and I am sure most daylight experts will agree on the difficulties to:

- not create daylight models but to convert the architect’s BIM models (pre-processing)

- find appropriate validated software for computation, both for daylight factors and climate-based simulations, that can run fast enough (processing, or computing)

- to convey our results to the design team and make sure the project improves (post-processing)

For three years we developed all the imaginable solutions, some of them we are so proud of in terms of their hacks and genius (we gave many talks on those, invited by Graphisoft for their Masterclasses or parametric design events), and on every projects we strengthened our understanding of daylight of course, but also of the digital processes that truly need to be in place to be able to advise on daylight in ways which are:

- Fast

- Reliable

- And convenient

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Making you the expert

Starting DataTrees, we continued this journey and grew our ambition into becoming the best daylight consultant in the Nordics. It may sounds bold, but our strategy is simple: we make You the expert.

First of course we would have to solve the three points above:

- About pre-processing, or how to solve the interoperability problem and re-use the already created value, we developed a very efficient IFC to daylight model converter, which take any IFC and outputs a geometrical model with preserved (from IFC) and added (for daylight, such as reflection values) metadata.

- Regarding computing, I cannot say too much here, but we can simulate any (yes any!) project size in a record time (counting in minutes, even for 100 000+ m2), while maintaining compliance with the standards.

- Finally, for post-processing, or how to present results, we created a 3d interactive web-app where the daylight model is displayed with all the metadata (project information) and the results in a user-friendly fashion.

Our clients can now in a record time after inquiry visualise the fully simulated project in a web browser, in a clean, neat, easy to navigate and familiar 3d environment. Putting emphasis on educating about daylight as well, we advise our clients while looking at the overall model together and not at 2d screenshots. Because we spend little time in the delivery and QA (quality assurance), we have plenty of time to spend with the design team, in consulting, really consulting, and lift up the project.

Smarter workflows also allow for a more iterative process: we propose package deals including several simulations, knowing from experience that it is difficult to achieve optimal daylight performances from the first shot. Fast deliveries + iterations = guaranty for success. Success also in the fact that, when well taken care of, clients grow their knowledge in daylight and naturally design better daylit buildings onwards.

Take a look at https://otonomi.no/viewer if you haven’t already.

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Design exploration

OTONOMI Daylight is essentially a tool for validation purposes, and was not designed with the intention to give clients full control over the model and the tools we are using internally.

For that purpose, we are developing a daylight module for Spacio, in which 2 workflow will be proposed:

- Instant feedback on several daylight metrics based on our ML-trained data: visualise as you draw, as you place windows and edit any part of the model, the estimated daylight performances of your project, on a room level.

- Validated results on demand: choose anytime to validate the predictions against all norms and industry standards, when you feel your project is mature enough.

With this we really intend to reshape the way architects are designing with daylight. More basic metrics such as the Vertical Sky Components (VSC) are already implemented and I can tell you, they feel great to use in early massing studies.

Daylight recommendations

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The last big news is regarding the wisdom pyramid. How to interpret daylight results when you have no or little experience regarding daylight as a science or regarding the standards / regulations? We help you with that, so don’t you worry:

- The first layer, the data layer, are the thousands of point data the daylight simulation generates for every hour of the year. It is simply a long dataset.

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- The second layer represents this data post-processed to create daylight metrics, each informing on different aspects of daylight, this is what you usually see out of other daylight softwares on the market. We call this information.

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- Thirdly, we choose to contextualise the information to give a practical understanding, to give knowledge. We answer for you simple questions such as: “Does my design meet the requirements?”, so that in an instant you get a concrete understanding of your project.

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- Last but not least, Spacio will give you wisdom, a sensible judgement and recommendations on what can be done to improve the daylight conditions. Using trained data where we take care in digitalising our expertise, Spacio is able to identify performances gaps and to advise on them, so you can build your own intuition and experience and design buildings with great daylight qualities.

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We are very excited about this and the potential impact it has for architectural projects. As daylight consultants we see so many projects where the ambitions are really not missing, but the design team lacks a proper toolbox and therefore face difficulties along the way to meet early targets.

Do you face challenges in designing with daylight?

Take contact and let’s look at your project together, we can work together with www.otonomi.no . I guarantee you and everyone involved will love this new workflow.

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Spacio helps to sketch, design and optimise buildings using an intuitive and easy to use web tool built for architects and engineers.