Determining daylight and view preferences from the use of blinds in apartments

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Present research focuses on the use of blinds and curtains in apartments and inhabitants’ operation of them. The objective of the present research is to develop a better understanding of how curtains and blinds are operated by the inhabitants in apartments and the possible consequences it has for the inhabitants’ health and well-being, as well as the energy consumption. Present research is an important contribution, because of the increased knowledge about daylights impact on health and well-being as well as daylights impact on the energy consumption in our buildings. However, it is often seen that curtains or blinds, often close off new apartment buildings with large glass areas in dense urban context. Such observations indicate that there can be a discrepancy between the intentions of the design team or architect and the perception of the user. The paper presents the results of observations of a building façade in the centre of Aalborg.The research presented here is a pilot-study based on photographic observations of an apartment building in a dense context of Aalborg, Denmark. Two similar facades on a building were under observation. They were pointing towards different contexts and different directions. The observations took place during the course of 6 months and were done approximately every second week. There were no strict protocol for the photographs, though all of them were taken around noon. All images were analysed and the use of blinds were manually assessed from the images where three different states were used – open, half closed, closed. With the current procedure, the research can give an indication of how inhabitants operate the blinds, but it is limited in its scope.The results indicates that the use of curtains and blinds in the apartments are very static. Once adjusted to a certain position, the curtains and blinds appear to stay there and are only rarely changed. Furthermore, the results indicates there is significant difference between the uses of curtains on the two facades. It is seen in the observations that there is significantly higher use of curtains and blinds on the southern façade, facing a busy street, whereas the western façade facing a recreational area have a lower use of curtains and blinds. Furthermore there are very little change in the use of blinds with changes in the daylight conditions.From the present study based on photographic observations of two facades in the same building there is no indication of curtains and blinds being operated based on daylight. However, it appears that view and context plays a significant part in the use of blinds. Furthermore, it appears that the amount of traffic and the perception of privacy plays a role for the inhabitants, as the façade towards the busy street is much more closed off than the one to the recreational area. Present pilot study indicates that the window preferences changes according to view, which is supported by previous research within office spaces and that the lack of understanding of window preferences have significant influence on the daylight level and view as well as possible impact on the building’s energy consumption. Therefore, it is important to conduct further studies in the area in order to be able to design solutions that supports the user preferences better and through that improves the daylight level and quality as well as better prediction of energy consumption in buildings.
TitelProceedings of the 28th Session of the CIE, Manchester, United Kingdom, 28 June-4 July 2015
Antal sider8
Publikationsdato28 jun. 2015
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-902842-55-8
StatusUdgivet - 28 jun. 2015
Udgivet eksterntJa