New book: What about daylight?

Henning Larsen Architects

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Henning Larsen Architects is an international architecture company with strong Scandinavian roots.

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By Henning Larsen Architects, April 25, 2013

A new design manual sheds light on how to take utmost advantage of daylight

With support from the Realdania Foundation, Henning Larsen Architects has published the book "What about daylight?". The book provides suggestions for how to incorporate daylight as a key parameter in building renovations.

Incorporating daylight in the renovation of housing developments has a wide range of advantages. For instance, new windows both reduce energy consumption and benefit our health. "What about daylight?" is based on specific research results that document the positive effects of daylight. The book also offers advice on how we get more and better daylight into our dwellings.

Private homeowners, consultants and urban planners in municipalities and ministeries will benefit from reading the book, which argues that complete renovations should integrate daylight.

"When we wish to integrate life quality as a key parameter in the built environment, daylight should be a central element. In our view, energy renovations often have a too narrow focus. For instance, re-insulation can benefit the heating bill – but could also mean thicker walls and darker rooms for the resident. By taking the benefits of daylight as a starting point rather than energy savings, we achieve holistic buildings that take the entire value chain into account", says project manager Lars Autrup, Realdania.

The gain of more daylight in our dwellings is not just financial savings and lower energy consumption; greater comfort and health is a significant derived benefit. The book presents several research results that demonstrate the positive effects of daylight.

The conclusions of the book are based on a specific analysis of the dense city districts of Copenhagen, among others. The structure of the shady building blocks in Copenhagen is well-known in entire Scandinavia as well as in a number of European cities. However, daylight has poor conditions in the structure of these building blocks of which many are facing renovation in the years to come. "What about daylight?" gives a number of suggestions for how to integrate daylight in the planning of this type of renovation.

"The value of a building is not only determined by technical installations, constructions, materials and energy. It is also about the activity in the building – about human relations and safety. The same applies to daylight, which is often considered purely a technical discipline but which has a signifcant influence on the atmosphere and human behaviour inside the building", says architect Signe Kongebro, Henning Larsen Architects.

The book is currently only available in Danish, which can be found on

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