(Exclusive online content.)
PROJECT TEAM
Lord Aeck & Sargent Architecture John Starr, Principle in Charge; Joshua R. Gassman, Project Architect; Linda Warming, Interior Designer
Arup Lighting Andrew Sedgwick, Director, Arup Lighting; Arfon Davies, Associate; Trevor Loveland, Senior Modeller

» Several different computer software tools were used to evaluate and predict daylight conditions at the High Museum. These programs aided the architects and lighting designers in their decision-making process regarding the remedial steps to be taken towards corrective daylighting measures, and also served as new ground in improving the presentation of technical data to clients.

In order to produce the two main software presentations-the sun penetration animations and the Daylight Analysis VR application-the building geometry was first modeled in 3D Studio Max using detailed plans and sections provided by the architect. The detailed geometry was then imported into Radiance, a powerful UNIX-based daylight and electric lighting analysis and visualization tool, developed by Lawrence Berkley Labs in California. Radiance was used to visualize the penetration of the sun into the building for a number of key dates of the year via a series of individually rendered Radiance images combined in Quick Time Professional. Radiance was also used to calculate the luminance due to daylight at thousand of point within the 3D model for every daylight hour of the year, based on real measured weather data.

The combination of 3D model and analysis data from Radiance was used as the basis for Arup Lighting's Daylight Analysis VR application. Key navigation position points are established on the plan to direct users to areas of interest. The user can navigate through the model using the keyboard and select a display wall for further study. When a wall is selected, the user can select a day and time of the year, which then generates a false color image on the wall highlighting the daylight distribution at that time. The false color image is automatically regenerated when the user selects another time or day of interest. Detailed statistical data such as average and maximum footcandle levels are also generated. The annual exposure distribution can also be viewed for each wall. The High Museum renovation project was used as a case study in the development of this VR application. It is the result of internally funded work by Arup Lighting, as the firm seeks improved methods of conveying large amount of highly technical data to clients in a clear and direct means during the design process.

The other form of presentation/study tool used was a series of QuickTime animations. Two hundred individual Radiance renderings were merged together using Quick Time Professional to study the sun penetration within the building. Four views were studied on each gallery floor at the three main solar dates: the summer solstice on June 21, the winter solstice on December 22, and the vernal equinox on March 21. Different colors are associated with the building's five different glazing systems. When viewing the animations, the sun patches each have a unique color depending on the glazing system through which the sun penetration occurs; thereby informing the design team where shading systems were required to prevent unwanted sun penetration in the galleries.

These tools make it possible to work with an ever-increasing volume of complex data, enabling architects and designers to advance the design process and daylighting technology.

Exclusive online content. View this movie for a demonstration of the sun penetration studies in the Fourth Floor Galleries at the Summer Solstice. (Please note: The file is large and will take a few minutes to download. It also requires QuickTime 5.0.)

Exclusive online content. View this movie for a demonstration of the sun penetration studies in the Fourth Floor Galleries at the Winter Solstice. (Please note: The file is large and will take a few minutes to download. It also requires QuickTime 5.0.)

Exclusive online content. View this movie for a demonstration of the sun penetration studies in the Fourth Floor Galleries at the Vernal Equinox. (Please note: The file is large and will take a few minutes to download. It also requires QuickTime 5.0.)

This text was prepared with the assistance of Arfon Davies, Associate, Arup Lighting.