Daylighting improves users’ experience in visual comfort, aesthetics, behaviour and perception of space and plays an important part in enhancing the health and wellbeing of occupants inside a dwelling. However, daylighting design is challenging for high rise living since configuration of multiple apartments together often results in deep plans and wrongly oriented apartments with poor daylighting. Melbourne considered as the most liveable city in the world has witnessed a boom in high rise apartments in recent years, where bedrooms were designed without windows or with one small opening. Previous studies indicated that one out of two apartments in Melbourne’s central business district (CBD) failed to provide daylighting in the bedrooms. This has led to amendments in planning policy with the aim of providing access to daylight in all habitable rooms. This paper investigates the daylighting conditions in apartment buildings using field measurement and daylight simulations. Daylight levels in 12 apartment units in Melbourne CBD were measured. Additionally, daylight simulations were conducted to identify ways for optimizing light levels in standard layouts. The field measurements showed that daylighting levels were insufficient in one third the apartments due to the presence of deep floor plates and external obstructions. The results from the daylight simulations showed that window to floor area ratio (WFR) of approximately 30% is required for achieving acceptable daylighting levels in bedrooms that have south orientation.
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