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Elsayed, Nourhan Gamal
Rakha, Tarek
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Human health and well-being concerns have been brought to the forefront of building performance assessment through contemporary practices of sustainability design. Within the bounds of sustainability, daylighting plays a critical role in human well-being, specifically non-visual effects such as regulating circadian health, which contributes to alertness and sleep cycles of individuals. Accordingly, interior spatial investigations have been developed through simulation-based workflows, including several modeling tools such as Adaptive Lighting for Alertness (ALFA) (Solemma, 2019). However, research did not yet address challenges in vulnerable communities such as elders and individuals with dementia, focusing specifically on the impact of the non- visual effects of light on their overall health and well-being. This thesis aims to identify the daylighting requirements and metrics that are needed to design a space for elderly individuals that could entrain their circadian rhythms, promote their health, and well-being while providing an overall enhanced environment. The objectives are: 1) Explain several types of disability challenges facing the elderly population and its relationship to daylighting and circadian rhythms. 2) Define daylighting thresholds and metrics that entrain circadian rhythms and target vulnerable groups such as elderly individuals with certain disabilities. 3) Present a case study of a standard nursing home that showcases simulation techniques that focus on daylighting and health modelling for this vulnerable population, with recommendations for future work validation by deploying an ecologically valid experimental design. 4) Propose a design framework and recommendation guidelines to assist designers when designing for vulnerable groups to promote their health and well-being. A standard nursing home model is referenced from the Neuferts Architects Data 3rd edition Architectural Standards and was used as an example model. A simulation experiment is implemented using DIVA for Rhino and Climate Studio to analyze annual point in time illuminance with a threshold divided into three parts: 1500-2000 lux (minimum), 2000-2500 lux (most efficient threshold), 2500-3000 lux (maximum). The hours meeting these thresholds are analyzed into useful daylight hours. Also, Daylight Glare Probability (DGP) is simulated to understand the challenges accompanying high illuminance values that entrain circadian rhythms. The goal of the experiment is to ensure that a standard bedroom includes interior locations that can maintain a threshold of 1 to 2 hours per day with these illuminance values with minimal to non-existent glare. The results of the simulations are divided into: 1) Baseline with the standard bedroom facing north, south, east, and west orientations and 2) Design alterations of the north and south orientations to meet the threshold and increase the number of hours annually that entrain the circadian rhythm for the elderly and individuals with dementia. The simulations are run using the Atlanta, GA, TMY3 climate file. The baseline case demonstrates that the north orientation hardly receives any adequate daylight throughout the entire year at the head of the bed in the middle of the room. The annual daylight glare probability showcases an average of 17.8% disturbing and intolerable glare annually. On the other hand, the baseline results of the south orientation present an average of 62.8% disturbing and intolerable annual DGP. The south orientation functions slightly better meeting the minimum, required, and maximum lighting thresholds for almost 30% of analyzed daylight hours/ month. The east, and west orientations function better in terms of percentage of daylight hours/ month meeting the threshold, along with less annual DGP. Therefore, the south and north orientations only are expanded and investigated further in the design alterations. Both the north and south orientations in the design case show increased percentage of hours meeting the threshold in the analyzed locations. This shows the need for design enhancement and improvement to adapt to the needs of the users. Results presented difficulty in circadian entrainment in baseline case orientations due to either higher or lower annual point-in-time illuminance values rather than the required threshold, in addition to increased glare issues at the south, east, and west orientations. Overall, the results indicate that 1) Design alterations are needed for current standard nursing home designs. And 2) Thresholds that entrain the circadian rhythm for elders should be taken into consideration rather than relying on standards that do not focus on such elderly experiences. This thesis provides an overview of a simulation-workflow to create a framework for designers proposing recommendations for enhanced design options that promote the health and well-being of dementia and elderly individuals.
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