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LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

PLANNING FOR SOLAR ACCESS.

Manso Covarrubias, Alejandro LU (2021) AEBM01 20211
Energy and Building Design
Department of Architecture and Built Environment
Abstract
Swedish cities are getting denser. People spend a lot of time indoors, it therefore becomes important to guarantee daylight availability and solar access in buildings, in order to save energy and ensure human well-being. However, this becomes important in the case of outdoor spaces as well. Outdoor spaces can become places that invite people to stay. Thus, spending less time indoors, having as a possible outcome a lower energy demand for heating and air conditioning. Nowadays there are no evidence-based recommendations, nor research-based guidelines to guarantee good daylight within urban spaces. An approach based on the understanding of people’s insights meanwhile experiencing the direct sunlight could support the development of these... (More)
Swedish cities are getting denser. People spend a lot of time indoors, it therefore becomes important to guarantee daylight availability and solar access in buildings, in order to save energy and ensure human well-being. However, this becomes important in the case of outdoor spaces as well. Outdoor spaces can become places that invite people to stay. Thus, spending less time indoors, having as a possible outcome a lower energy demand for heating and air conditioning. Nowadays there are no evidence-based recommendations, nor research-based guidelines to guarantee good daylight within urban spaces. An approach based on the understanding of people’s insights meanwhile experiencing the direct sunlight could support the development of these recommendations.

Therefore, this study was carried out using a qualitative approach, based on surveys analyzing people’s experience about solar and daylight access in public spaces in Lund and Helsingborg. Additionally, point-in-time technical measurements and observations were conducted to support the surveys. The temporary context of the study was placed around the spring equinox. As an outcome of the study, no correlation was found between the questionnaire results and the level of illumination, although there was slight relationship between illumination and pleasantness under cloudy or overcast days for some respondents.
Furthermore, a second survey took place, based on qualitative observations of activities and behavior of space user. The second survey took place in the same locations as previously. This time, the observations occurred during spring weather conditions. It could be observed that people usually choose areas with direct sunlight for activities like eating, reading or hanging out. In this situation, it could be observed that direct sunlight the development of necessary activities like passing by or waiting was considered less important. An outcome of the observations revealed a clear willingness to be more socially active and interact with people under direct sunlight.

In addition, other factors played a minor role, but still they should be considered to be analyzed in future research. Special attention should be put in design stages regarding wind protection and functionality of the space in relationship with the available direct sunlight to maximize the use of public spaces. This research did not include microclimate, which may have a great impact in people’s evaluation of solar access in public spaces. (Less)
Popular Abstract
The United Nations estimates a 68 % of the world’s population living in cities and urban areas by 2055. A great number of new buildings and neighborhoods are being constructing, are under planning or being integrating into the existing urban fabric. This will make cities denser, including the Swedish main urban areas, reducing daylight and direct sunlight availability. Together with the well-known fact that people spend most of the time indoors, it could finally lead to an increase in energy consumption for electric lighting, heating and cooling. Therefore, it becomes important to guarantee daylight availability and solar access in buildings. However, daylight and solar access become important in outdoor spaces too, like public squares. If... (More)
The United Nations estimates a 68 % of the world’s population living in cities and urban areas by 2055. A great number of new buildings and neighborhoods are being constructing, are under planning or being integrating into the existing urban fabric. This will make cities denser, including the Swedish main urban areas, reducing daylight and direct sunlight availability. Together with the well-known fact that people spend most of the time indoors, it could finally lead to an increase in energy consumption for electric lighting, heating and cooling. Therefore, it becomes important to guarantee daylight availability and solar access in buildings. However, daylight and solar access become important in outdoor spaces too, like public squares. If urban planners and architects design attractive outdoor areas which already include daylight and solar access considerations and enhance social life, these spaces could invite people to stay. Thus, people would spend less time indoors, and potentially, the energy demand would decrease.
Nowadays there are no recommendations, nor guidelines based on evidence or research to guarantee good daylight within urban spaces. The thesis aimed to offer urban planners a better understanding of people’s evaluation of direct sunlight and the behavior related to it in the outdoors. Therefore, this study was carried out using two different surveys to analyze people’s experience about solar and daylight access.
The first survey consisted in questionnaire-based interviews with questions about two factors: pleasantness and visual comfort. It took place in two public squares in Lund (Katedralstorget and Clemenstorget) and another public square in Helsingborg (Mäster Palms Torget). Additionally, point-in-time technical measurements (illuminance levels) and observations were conducted to support the surveys. The study was carried out around the spring equinox under different sky conditions. As an outcome of this first part, no correlation was found between the questionnaire results and the level of illuminance, although there was slight relationship between illuminance and pleasantness under overcast skies and a slight relationship between illuminance and pleasantness for leisure activities like reading, eating, smoking, etc.
The second survey was based on direct observations of activities and behavior of space user. The second survey took place in Katedralstorget in Lund and Mäster Palms Torget in Helsingborg. This time, the observations occurred during spring weather conditions for different sky conditions and ignored necessary activities like working, waiting for public transport, passing by and every activity that people do because they need, and not for pleasure or election. As a result, it could be observed that people usually choose areas with direct sunlight for activities like eating, reading or hanging out. In this situation, it could be observed that direct sunlight the development of necessary activities like passing by or waiting was considered less important. An outcome of the observations revealed a clear willingness to be more socially active and interact with people under direct sunlight. People avoided partially shadows and mostly preferred sun, but still some of them, a minority, chose shadow for leisure activities.
In addition, other factors like function of the space and furniture had less importance in people´s evaluation and behavior, but still they should be considered to be analyzed in future research. Special attention should be put in design stages regarding wind protection and functionality of the space in relationship with the available direct sunlight to maximize the use of public spaces. Microclimate was not included in this research; however, it may have an important role in people´s evaluation of solar access in public spaces.
We cannot change the climate or choose the weather conditions. In this part of Sweden there are many cloudy and rainy days, but there are always ways to make public spaces more attractive. It is a matter of taking advantage of the solar potential that is already there, when it is there. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Manso Covarrubias, Alejandro LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Assessing people´s experience of solar access in public space.
course
AEBM01 20211
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Urban planning, daylight, solar access, Lund, Helsingborg, observations.
language
English
id
9048639
date added to LUP
2021-06-09 13:25:32
date last changed
2021-06-09 13:25:32
@misc{9048639,
  abstract     = {{Swedish cities are getting denser. People spend a lot of time indoors, it therefore becomes important to guarantee daylight availability and solar access in buildings, in order to save energy and ensure human well-being. However, this becomes important in the case of outdoor spaces as well. Outdoor spaces can become places that invite people to stay. Thus, spending less time indoors, having as a possible outcome a lower energy demand for heating and air conditioning. Nowadays there are no evidence-based recommendations, nor research-based guidelines to guarantee good daylight within urban spaces. An approach based on the understanding of people’s insights meanwhile experiencing the direct sunlight could support the development of these recommendations.

Therefore, this study was carried out using a qualitative approach, based on surveys analyzing people’s experience about solar and daylight access in public spaces in Lund and Helsingborg. Additionally, point-in-time technical measurements and observations were conducted to support the surveys. The temporary context of the study was placed around the spring equinox. As an outcome of the study, no correlation was found between the questionnaire results and the level of illumination, although there was slight relationship between illumination and pleasantness under cloudy or overcast days for some respondents.
Furthermore, a second survey took place, based on qualitative observations of activities and behavior of space user. The second survey took place in the same locations as previously. This time, the observations occurred during spring weather conditions. It could be observed that people usually choose areas with direct sunlight for activities like eating, reading or hanging out. In this situation, it could be observed that direct sunlight the development of necessary activities like passing by or waiting was considered less important. An outcome of the observations revealed a clear willingness to be more socially active and interact with people under direct sunlight.

In addition, other factors played a minor role, but still they should be considered to be analyzed in future research. Special attention should be put in design stages regarding wind protection and functionality of the space in relationship with the available direct sunlight to maximize the use of public spaces. This research did not include microclimate, which may have a great impact in people’s evaluation of solar access in public spaces.}},
  author       = {{Manso Covarrubias, Alejandro}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  note         = {{Student Paper}},
  title        = {{PLANNING FOR SOLAR ACCESS.}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}