Seeing the light: an integrated design approach for Australian conditions
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The field of lighting design is a highly specialised one. The control and manipulation of both natural and artificial light is a difficult aspect of building design. Proficient architects, interior designers and engineers must currently draw on their own experience and resources to evaluate their lighting designs. However, most often lighting design is overlooked and not fully understood by building designers. Those lighting designers that do have a good understanding of lighting are hampered by current conventional design methods when dealing with alternative and creative lighting designs. This is especially the case when dealing with natural daylight which tends to be under utilised, particularly in climatic areas that differ greatly from the European standard daylight design skies.There is clearly a need for a tool that enables building designers to quickly and accurately evaluate their use of localised natural light and specific artificial light in their building designs.The recent development of accurate, physically based computer models and the resulting photo realistic computer rendered images, can provide the basis of a platform for lighting designers to visualise their lighting designs. Such lighting platform enables designers to make more informed design decisions when looking at new approaches and unusual situations.The aim of this thesis is to explore and formulate a working example of such a lighting design platform, where by designers can easily evaluate lighting and daylighting designs based upon real world lighting and localised atmospheric conditions.The designer is presented with an easy to use graphical user interface, that is able to produce a photometrically accurate photo realistic computer image.This platform was achieved through the development of three key areas. The first was the creation of a process of integrating a specific physical based rendering program, RADIANCE (Ward 1996)into an existing three dimensional computer aided design modelling package. The second area consisted of creating a localised daylight model suitable to improve the accuracy of the physical based renderer when dealing with specific local atmospheric conditions. This daylight model was based on Kittlers' sky irradiance model (Kittler 1982a). The final area was the development of a graphical user interface that provides an easy to use, front end to the lighting design platform.The results of this thesis exist in a working suite of programs and graphical user interfaces where local daylight and atmospheric condition can be specified and a photo realistic image of a design produced. The success of this platform can be demonstrated by the quality of the images that are produced. A designer can begin to use the interface with ease after very little instruction and thus start to quickly evaluate their design in terms of lighting manipulation and control. This ability to visualise and assess lighting and its effects, both natural daylight and artificial, will inevitably lead to a higher quality of successful building designs.
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