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Page 1: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the





Page 2: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the





A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the

requirements for the award of the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy (Architecture)

Faculty of Built Environment

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

MARCH 2016

Page 3: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the


Specially dedicated to my husband, children, parents, and family

Page 4: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the



Part of my tomorrow depends on this achievement as this thesis has not been

possible to produce without the mercy, blessing and help from the greatest Allah.

The work done on this thesis is not been realized without the implicit support and

priceless advise from all people who go through the path together with me. I wish to

express my appreciation to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Zin Kandar and Ar. Assoc. Prof.

Dr. Dilshan Remaz Ossen for their guidance, support and faith in my abilities to

complete this thesis. Their countless hours, encouragement and passionate to share

their experience in conducting research is inscribed in my memory.

A special thanks to Public Service Department of Malaysia for awarding me

this scholarship namely ‘Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan Session 2011’, Prof. Dr. Mohd

Hamdan Ahmad for your support, En. Zaini (Head of Electrical Department of

Public Works Department, Malaysia) and staff, Ar. Yong Razidah (Head of

Research and Innovative Department of Public Works Department, Malaysia) and

staff LKMD Sdn. Bhd and students of Diploma in Architecture in Razak’s School

Session 2014/2015, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

I also wish to express my strongly gratitude and dedicated this thesis to my

beloved husband, Azrin, my daughter, Adriana and son, Amir Razin and Ilham for

your great understanding spiritually, the hardship, the source of strength and

unconditional love. My dedication and thankful also goes to my beloved mother,

Masripah, father, Mohd Husini Tahir, and siblings, Eziany and M. Ainuddin.

Despite all of this help, I would like to especially thank my best friends, Dr.

Haslina Jaafar, Ar. Fadli Arabi, Ar. Wan Norisma Ismail, Azlina Abd. Hamid for the

support and never stop giving me the advice.

Page 5: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the



Daylighting has yet to be fully utilised in the office interiors even though

Malaysia has abundant natural light throughout the year and highly dependent on

artificial lighting. However, there is always fluctuation of illuminance in office

spaces and this can cause problems to occupants which affect visual and work

performance. The aim of this study is to investigate fluctuation in daylight

illuminance that affects visual comfort and visual performance. This study also

investigates the effects of occupant density in office space in a typical layout of

office building. In the first phase of the study, a visual test has been conducted

involving seventy two office workers and assessment using a questionnaires survey

on one hundred and eighty one office workers. Experiment through visual test was

conducted in the office space which involved groups of occupants in office

buildings. Furthermore, four groups of office workers numbering five, ten, fifteen

and twenty per group were subsequently assigned to the office to detect fluctuations

by computer simulation using IES<VE> Software. The result of the experiment

evidenced that the level of illuminance in the office was 300 lux to 400 lux while

preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the occupants

performed their tasks well in higher illumination range of 400 lux to 600 lux.

Findings from experiment of visual performance and daylighting simulation showed

there was fluctuation influenced by the number of occupants. When occupancy was

less than 50%, the fluctuation was acceptable for visual comfort. However, when the

occupancy was more than 50%, it would lead to higher fluctuation and the

illumination level of recommended standard (300 lux to 400 lux) was not achievable.

The findings contribute towards the improvement of an acceptable visual comfort

ranges for Malaysian Standard of lighting condition and assist architects and

designers to have better understanding in quality and quantity of daylighting and

strategies on energy saving.

Page 6: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the



Pencahayaan siang masih belum dimanfaatkan sepenuhnya di dalam ruang

pejabat walaupun Malaysia mempunyai pencahayaan yang berlebihan sepanjang

tahun dan amat bergantung kepada pencahayaan tiruan. Namun, sering terdapat

iluminasi pencahayaan yang berubah-ubah di dalam ruang pejabat dan

menimbulkan masalah kepada penghuni kerana mempengaruhi prestasi visual dan

kerja. Tujuan kajian ini adalah untuk mengkaji keadaan berubah-ubah iluminasi

pencahayaan siang yang memberi kesan kepada keselesaan serta prestasi visual.

Kajian ini juga mengkaji kesan kepadatan penghuni pejabat di dalam ruang kerja

terhadap susunatur piawai bangunan pejabat. Pada tahap pertama kajian, melalui

ujian visual yang dijalankan melibatkan tujuh puluh dua orang pekerja pejabat dan

penilaian menggunakan kajian selidik dari seratus lapan puluh satu pekerja pejabat.

Kajian eksperimen melalui ujian visual di ruang pejabat melibatkan kumpulan

penghuni telah dijalankan di bangunan pejabat. Tambahan pula, empat kumpulan

pekerja pejabat yang berjumlah lima, sepuluh, lima belas dan dua puluh

kemudiannya dimasukkan ke dalam pejabat untuk mengesan keadaan berubah-ubah

oleh simulasi komputer dengan menggunakan Perisian IES <VE>. Keputusan

daripada kajian lapangan kaji selidik membuktikan bahawa tahap iluminasi di

dalam pejabat yang diperolehi dalam keadaan sedia ada adalah 300 lux hingga 400

lux sementara tahap iluminasi yang dikehendaki adalah 280 lux hingga 350 lux.

Walaubagaimana pun, pencapaian penghuni adalah lebih baik dalam tugasan pada

tahap iluminasi yang lebih tinggi iaitu 400 lux hingga 600 lux. Penemuan daripada

eksperimen pencapaian visual dan simulasi pencahayaan semulajadi menunjukkan

terdapat keadaan iluminasi yang berubah-ubah dipengaruhi oleh pertambahan

bilangan orang di dalam pejabat. Impak daripada penghunian yang berkurangan

dari 50% menunjukkan tahap keadaan yang berubah-ubah masih boleh diterima

untuk keselesaan visual. Apabila penghunian yang melebihi 50% akan

menyebabkan pertambahan keadaan yang berubah-ubah lebih tinggi dan tidak

mencapai tahap iluminasi piawaian iaitu (300 lux hingga 400 lux). Penemuan ini

menyumbang ke arah penambahbaikan julat keselesaan visual yang boleh diterima

untuk keadaan pencahayaan dalam Piawaian Malaysia dan membantu para arkitek

dan pereka untuk pemahaman yang lebih baik dalam kualiti dan kuantiti

pencahayaan siang serta strategi penjimatan penggunaan tenaga.

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1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Problem Statement 3

1.3 Research Questions 6

1.4 Research Aim and Objectives 6

1.5 Research Gap 7

1.6 Scope of Study and Limitation 10

1.7 Significance of the Study 11

1.8 Thesis Structure 12

1.9 Conclusion 13


2.1 Introduction 15

2.2 Principle of Lighting 16

2.2.1 Theory of Absorption 17

2.2.2 Transmission, Reflection and Refraction 20

2.2.3 Impact of Light Absorption to Humans 21

2.2.4 Illuminance 22

2.3 Visual Comfort in Office Environment 24

2.3.1 Visual System 26

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2.3.2 Visual Quality 28

2.3.3 Assessment of Visual Performance and

Visual Tasks 28 Illuminance and Criteria of Task

Illuminance 32

2.3.4 Fluctuation of Illuminance 34

2.4 Effect of Daylight on Humans 36

2.4.1 Daylight Quantity, Lighting Quality and

Energy Saving 39

2.4.2 User Perception, Preferred Illuminance

Level and Human Satisfaction in

Daylighting 40

2.4.3 Daylight Illuminance in Office Buildings 43

2.4.4 Review of the History of Illuminance

Levels 44

2.4.5 Parameters that Influence Visual Comfort 45

2.5 Daylight Zone and Daylight Metric Performance 46

2.5.1 Horizontal Illuminance 50

2.5.2 Daylight Factor 50

2.5.3 Illuminance Ratio 52

2.6 Daylight in Office Design 52

2.6.1 Review of Existing Office Buildings in

Malaysia 54 Sky Conditions in Malaysia 56

2.6.2 Daylight Illuminance Level in Office

Buildings 57

2.6.3 Window Design 57

2.6.4 Room Layout and Room Size 59

2.6.5 Occupant Density And Room Index 62

2.6.6 Building Organization 64 Density 64

2.6.7 Fluctuation of Illuminance in Offices 66 Effect of Illuminance Change

under Daylight 67 Effect of Illuminance Change

under Different Sky Conditions 68 Effect of Illuminance Change on

Fatigue and Mood 68 Effect of Illuminance Change

under Window and Building

Facade 69

2.6.8 The Computer Simulation Approach 69 Simulation Setting 69

2.7 Recommendation of Lighting Level 70

2.7.1 Local Regulations and Lighting Guidelines 73

2.8 Summary 75

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3.1 Introduction 76

3.2 Research Purpose and Framework 76

3.3 Research Methodology 78

3.3.1 Limitation 79

3.4 Research Procedure 81

3.5 Research Phase and Working Planning 81

3.5.1 Survey 84

3.5.2 Experiment 2 89

3.6 Data Collection 91

3.6.1 Field Investigation 91 Data Collection Procedure 92 Field Measurement Procedure 97 Data Analysis 99

3.6.2 Questionnaire 99 Data Collection Procedure 100 Data Analysis 107

3.6.3 Visual Performance Test 108 Data Collection Procedure 110 Experiment Set-Up 110 Data Analysis 116

3.6.4 Computer Simulation 119 Limitations 119 Simulation Procedure 120 Modeling Approach: Base Case 121 Observation 124

3.7 Summary 124


4.0 Introduction 125

4.1 Analysis and Result 1 : Introduction 125

4.1.1 Survey : Preferred Lighting Condition

( Objective 1) 127 Preferred Lighting Condition by

Occupants for Office Buildings in

Malaysia 127 Findings from Questionnaires of

Six Office Buildings in Malaysia 134

4.1.2 Survey : Preferred Illuminance Level by

Occupants in Daylight Condition for Office

Buildings 134

4.1.3 Factors Influencing Preferred Daylight

Level by Occupants 138

4.1.4 Summary 143

4.2 Analysis and Result 2 : Introduction 143

Page 10: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the


4.2.1 Experiment 1 : Illuminance Level and

Visual Performance (Objective 2) 145 Factors Influencing Illuminance

Level and Visual Performance 149 Findings 158

4.2.2 Experiment 2 : Fluctuation Of Daylight

Illuminance Level (Objective 3) : 160 Optimum Fluctuation Discomfort

Based on Occupant Density 161 Result of UTM MJIIT

Office Building 161 Result of TIMA

Building 170

4.3 Analysis and Result 3: Introduction 185

4.3.1 Acceptable Range of Daylight Fluctuation

of Different Room Configurations

(Objective 4) 185 Prediction Model of Illuminance

Fluctuation by Different Room

Size 185 Results of Five Rooms were

Based on Occupancy Number,

Percentage of Fluctuation

Distance of Daylight Zone and

Daylight Factor 188

4.3.2 Overall Results 206

4.3.3 Summary 211

5 Conclusion 212

5.1 Introduction 212

5.2 Main Research Findings 213

5.3 Contribution of he Research 215

5.4 Recommendation 216

5.5 Summary 217


Appendices A1 - D4 235-257

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1.1 Past studies on lighting and illuminance level 9

2.1 Current visual comfort criteria 25

2.2 Glare criteria based on glare index 30

2.3 Performance indicators and their interpretations 39

2.4 Lighting quantity and lighting quality 40

2.5 Metrics used to assess daylight quality in the offices of

the’ Caisse de Depot et Placement’ 49

2.6 Summarizes the average daylight factor required in an

interior to give a satisfactory daylit environment 51

2.7 Distribution of energy consumption in Malaysian

buildings (%) 55

2.8 Factors that captured in the study of building energy

efficiency technical guideline for passive design 58

2.9 Standard room size according to hierarchy 60

2.10 Open-plan office density and environmental satisfaction 65

2.11 Recommendation from various countries 73

2.12 Recommended average illuminance levels 74

2.13 Comparison of recommendation in various lighting

performance indicators for office cultural habits, such as

spending part of the day outside 74

2.14 Indoor daylight illuminants 75

3.1 Summary of data collection and analysis for field

investigation techniques


Page 12: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the


3.2 Procedure for survey 88

3.3 Procedure for experiment 1 88

3.4 Study variables 91

3.5 Occupancy pattern and optimum performance zone on

visual test 113

3.6 Occupancy pattern 114

3.7 Procedure of realizing visual test program 115

3.8 Average daylight measurements on each work surface

and its visual field 117

4.1 Descriptive statistic: mean rated distribution of daylight

in workplace 129

4.2 Do you consider daylighting when arranging your

office? 130

4.3 Window in the office 131

4.4 The importance of side window in office 132

4.5 The percentage of comfortable level in daylighting 136

4.6 Percentage of subjects feeling natural daylight distracts

from visible ability 137

4.7 The illuminance ranges of preferred and performed 138

4.8 Mean of preferred in quality of daylighting 140

4.9 The advantages of window 141

4.10 Mean of variables used for experiment for office room

in Mid Valley 141

4.11 Mean of variables used for experiment for office room

in MJIIT 142

4.12 Mean of variables used for experiment for office room

in TIMA 142

4.13 The ranges of preferred illuminance level and

performance level achievement 146

4.14 Mean score and standard deviation 147

4.15 Anova table of visual test 147

Page 13: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the


4.16 Comparison of scores and speed and ranges of

illuminance level 148

4.17 The effect of illuminance change at daylight zone of

three office buildings 150

4.18 The effect of illuminance change at window-to-wall

ratio of 70% 151

4.19 Mean response in the room with less than 300 lux 156

4.20 Mean response in the room based on 300-400 lux 156

4.21 Mean rated in the room based on more than 400 lux

(401-600 lux) 157

4.22 Summary of mean rated in the experimental room in

three ranges of illuminance level 157

4.23 Pearson correlation between illuminance level (lux) and

occupant 162

4.24 Pearson correlation and occupant density, range of lux,

performance mark and room distance in MJIIT office

building 162

4.25 The percentage of fluctuation in zone A 167

4.26 Average DF at zone A, B and C at MJIIT building based

on three points 168

4.27 Percentage of fluctuation 168

4.28 Occupancy density of MJIIT office 170

4.29 Correlation between illuminance level and occupancy 171

4.30 Correlation between illuminance level ( lux) and

performance 171

4.31 Summary of average illuminance level at zones A, B

and C at TIMA Building 172

4.32 Summary of illuminance level at zones A, B and C 172

4.33 Comparison of correlation between rooms at MJIIT and

TIMA office buildings 174

4.34 Comparative of significant of R square between rooms

at MJIIT and TIMA buildings 175

4.35 Average fluctuation measured in daylight factor (DF)

for MJIIT and TIMA buildings from 1100 to 1300 with

Page 14: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the


15-minute time intervals 176

4.36 Percentage of fluctuation and illuminance level for

rooms at MJIIT and TIMA buildings 176

4.37 Numbers of occupants and variables for computer

simulation 179

4.38 Room A: percentage fluctuation based on occupancy 190

4.39 Fluctuation based on occupancy and time 192

4.40 Percentage of fluctuation based on occupancy density 195

4.41 Percentage of fluctuation 198

4.42 Percentage of fluctuation and distance 201

4.43 Fluctuation based on the distance and occupant density 204

4.44 Highest percentage of fluctuation in five room

configurations 206

4.45 Daylight factor and distance in five rooms

configurations 208

4.46 Acceptable range of daylight fluctuation of different

room configurations 209

Page 15: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the




1.1 Summary of thesis structure 14

2.1 The visible spectrum 16

2.2 Concept of absorption 17

2.3 Lambert’s law of absorption 17

2.4 Heat balance mechanisms for the human body 19

2.5 Transmission and refraction 20

2.6 The visible spectrum and specular vs. diffuse 21

2.7 The skin, hypodermis and chromophores 21

2.8 Influence of daylight on visual comfort. 23

2.9 The semi-lattice relationship of environmental

parameters of indoor comfort 24

2.10 Section of the human eye 26

2.11 A conceptual framework setting out the routes that can

influence human performance 29

2.12 Letter test with higher luminance and low luminance 30

2.13 An example of pseudo text displayed as a block of

characters 31

2.14 Different angular positioning of The Landolt C Gap 32

2.15 Diagram of subjects under study 33

2.16 Variables used in the analysis that influence the

decision of preferred illuminance level


2.17 Rule of thumb of daylit zone for windows without

shading devices 47

Page 16: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the


2.18 Rule of thumb of daylit zone for windows with

shading devices 47

2.19 Task zoning according to Malaysian context, which

calculated WPI for optimum case during overcast day

with 20,000 lux external illuminance 47

2.20 Private office layout with modulation: single loaded

and double loaded 59

2.21 Possible layouts for individual room and open-plan

offices according to EPU standards and JKR structural

grid standards for office buildings 60

2.22 Isometric view showing the five room ratios 61

3.1 Conceptual framework of the study 78

3.2 Flow chart of the process 80

3.3 Research phase 83

3.4 Selected office buildings for survey (questionnaires) 87

3.5 The three different illuminance ranges were used to

conduct field measurement, visual test and

questionnaires 89

3.6 Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology

(MJIIT) 90

3.7 The Lutron digital light meter LX100 94

3.8 Data logger 94

3.9 Light meter (OHM LP-PHOT 01) with data loggers for

indoor illuminance 94

3.10 Menara TIMA office tower 95

3.11 Mid Valley office tower (a) a front view and (b) Floor

plan 96

3.12 Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology,

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (MJIIT - survey and

experiment) 97

3.13 Flow chart of section 1 to achieve Objective 2 99

3.14 Flow chart of how to derive results from experiment 1

and experiment 2


Page 17: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the


3.15 The design process of the experiment 111

3.16 Room size for experimental in MJIIT 112

3.17 (i) An experimental set-up room within sun patch (ii)

Experimental set-up for the research 113

3.18 Seating facing the window 118

3.19 Simulation Procedure 120

3.20 Flow chart of base model 121

3.21 Five types of room modeling 121

3.22 Office base model configuration 122

3.23 Tool modeling and rendering: rendering of scene for

lighting analysis process 123

4.1 Flow chart of work process in Chapter 4 126

4.2 Percentages of lighting preference in offices 127

4.3 Percentage of occupants that found lighting was

distributed evenly in the office room 128

4.4 Are you comfortable with the daylighting that

penetrates through the window of your office room 130

4.5 Percentage of occupants’ responses in regards to items

that need to be improved in current condition in the

office 133

4.6 Room configuration and respondents from deep room,

linear room and center of the building 133

4.7 Mean rating based three factors in daylighting 139

4.8 Flow chart of work process 144

4.9 Percentage of performance by subjects from crosstab



4.10 Occupants setting during visual test performance

starting at point A (1500 meters from window)


4.11 Examined window size of 70% window-to-wall ratio 151

4.12 Range of performed lux at three office buildings 152

4.13 Occupancy density and lux level 153

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4.14 Percentage of daylight distraction by 5 occupants

based on lux level 0-299 lux


4.15 Percentage of daylight distraction by 10 occupants

based on lux level 0-299 lux


4.16 Percentage of daylight distraction by 15 occupants

based on lux level 0-299 lux


4.17 Percentage of daylight distraction by 20 occupants

based on lux level 0-299 lux


4.18 The optimal performance zone in A room 159

4.19 Work process 160

4.20 Occupants in the experiment room 163

4.21 Experiment room with occupants 163

4.22 Group A and Group B in the test room 163

4.23 Setting of the experimental room without subjects 164

4.24 Subjects in the daylight zone at a range of 400 lux to

600 lux


4.25 (i) False color (ii) Average illuminance level based on

three points


4.26 Percentage Score Of Visual Test Performance 165

4.27 Average global illuminance (outdoor lux - 13554 lux) 166

4.28 Fluctuation of illuminance level during increasing

number of occupants


4.29 Percentages of fluctuation and occupant density 169

4.30 (i) False color at maximum occupancy in MJIIT office

room (ii) 3D modelling


4.31 Fluctuation of illuminance and occupant density 173

4.32 Position of subjects at zones A, B and C for

experiment room in TIMA Building


4.33 Pattern of daylight factor (DF) with time 175

4.34 Coefficient of determination on fluctuation based on

distance (meters)


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4.35 Daylight illuminance fluctuation based on distance at

zone A


4.36 Daylight illuminance fluctuation at zone B 178

4.37 Daylight illuminance fluctuation at zone C 178

4.38 Daylight illuminance fluctuation at zone D 179

4.39 False image in empty room 180

4.40 The first group of five subjects inserted in a room 180

4.41 Increased number of occupants to ten subjects 181

4.42 Increased number of occupants to fifteen subjects 181

4.43 Increased number of occupants to twenty subjects 182

4.44 Fluctuation of illuminance for MJIIT office building

based on simulation


4.45 (i) Minimum occupancy and (ii) maximum occupancy 183

4.46 Daylight factor measurement based on occupant



4.47 Simulation procedure 186

4.48 The program of modeling and rendering based on

occupant density


4.49 Room A: distance of daylight zone and occupancy 189

4.50 Room A: percentage of daylight factor when 0

occupant in the experiment room


4.51 Room A: percentage of daylight factor when 36

subjects in the experiment room


4.52 Fluctuation based on distance and occupancy density 194

4.53 Room B: percentage of daylight factor when 0 subjects

in the experiment room


4.54 Room B: percentage of daylight factor 28 subjects in

the experiment room


4.55 Fluctuation based on distance and occupant density 197

4.56 Room C: percentage of daylight factor when 0 subjects 199

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in the experiment room

4.57 Room C: percentage of daylight factor when 15

subjects in the experiment room


4.58 Fluctuation based on distance and occupancy density 200

4.59 Room D: Percentage of daylight factor 2% was

achieved at distance 3.0 meter when 0 occupant


4.60 Daylight factor 2% was achieved at distance 3.0 meter

when 30 occupants in room D


4.61 Fluctuation based on the distance and occupancy



4.62 Room E: daylight factor when 0 occupants in the

experimental room


4.63 Daylight factor in room E 205

4.64 Significant R Squared for room A to room E 207

4.65 Comparison between measured and simulated data on

overcast sky conditions in selected office buildings


4.66 Comparison of fluctuation indoors between overcast

and intermediate sky


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ANOVA - Analysis Of Variance

ASEAN - Association of South East Asian Nations

ASHRAE - American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air

Conditioning Engineers

BOCA - Building Officials and Code Administrators


BPS - Building Performance Simulation tools

CIBSE - Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers

CIE - Commission Internationale de L’eclairage

DF - Daylight Factor

DGI 22 - Daylight Glare Index

EPU - Economic Planning Unit

IES - Illuminating Engineering Society

IESNA - Illuminating Engineering Society of North America

IES<VE> - Integrated Environmental Solutions <Virtual


JKR - Jabatan Kerja Raya

MJIIT - Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology

NRC - National Research Council of Canada

PWD - Public Works Department

SPSS - Statistical Package for the Social Sciences

TIMA - Tun Ismail Mohamad Ali Office

UBBL - Uniform Building By Law

UDI - Useful Daylight Illuminance

VC - Visual Comfort

VDT - Visual Display Unit

VP - Visual Performance

WWR - Window to Wall Ratio

Page 22: OCCUPANT DENSITY AND DAYLIGHT ILLUMINANCE LEVEL ...eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/77930/1/ElinaMohdHusiniPFAB2016.pdf · preferred illuminance level was 280 lux to 350 lux. However, the



Dv/Ev - Diffuse to extraterrestrial illuminance ratio

Ei - Interior illuminance (lux)

Ex - Exterior illuminance (lux)

L - Luminance of the light source

WWR - Window to Wall Ratio

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A1 Various Lighting Indicators for Offices 235

A2 Schematic of Relationship of Stimuli to the Visual

System 237

A3 Guide Ergonomic Design Recommendation 237

B1 Calibration between Measured di: Experiment

Room at Menara TIMA Office 238

B2 Example of Case Study Questionnaires Form 239

B3 Result from Questionnaires 243

B4 Example of Visual Test Form 245

C1 Summary of Selected Office Building on Field

Measurement 246

C2 Experiment Room at Mid Valley Office 248

C3 Summary of Visual Test for Experiment 2 (MJIIT) 250

D1 Daylight Simulation Experiment: Mid Valley

Office 252

D2 Daylight Simulation Experiment (Example Room

C) 254

D3 Fluctuation for Room A 255

D4 Fluctuation for Room B 257

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1.1 Introduction

Sustainable development strategies are an essential part of preserving the

natural environment, and need to be incorporated in standard or recommended forms

in order to achieve a balanced impact on the environment. The growth in awareness

of sustainable energy consumption and its impacts in Malaysia have been reviewed

to demonstrate energy efficient strategies. Starting with demand and the energy crisis

of the 1990s, the application of energy efficiency focuses on energy consumption,

especially in office buildings. Investigations from Kannan (1999) found offices and

shopping complexes used more than 90% of total energy for lighting and air

conditioning, while residences used less. A study from Zain Ahmed et al. (2008)

found that overall energy consumption for Malaysia was 269 kWh/m2/yr. This shows

that energy consumption in Malaysia, especially in office buildings, has increased

over the years. The standard in Malaysia, named as Malaysia Standard 1525:2014,

was renewed to incorporate improvements for achieving sustainability in all

buildings. Studies from local researchers, institutes and higher learning institutions

on lighting efficiency are rising in order to fulfill the National Goal of Malaysia’s

10th plan - 12

th plan. The purpose is to encourage new buildings to be built with

energy-efficient strategies without compromising human comfort. The current

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Malaysian Standards and recommendations on lighting levels are regarded as an

effective method of saving electricity and reducing energy consumption in office

buildings. There is a need to clearly define these terms, particularly with regard to

the effects of acceptable lighting conditions on occupants’ visual comfort and

performance in daylit office buildings. Awareness of the importance of indoor

lighting research in office environments needs to be emphasized.

Aries et al. (2010) stressed the importance of lighting quality in indoor

spaces, and examined how office lighting is influenced by architecture, which can be

traced to studies by Chung et al. (2000) and Veitch et al. (1998) on light, the

psychological effects thereof, and how it can affect work quality, levels of comfort,

and satisfaction of office workers. Several studies have proved that demand for

natural lighting is increasing when it affects human performance and comfort in

indoor spaces (Heschong et al., 2003). Based on the International Energy Agency

(IEA) Solar and Heating Cooling Program, Task 31; Daylighting Building in the 21st

century, the building research community must understand the present occupant’s

needs and preferences in daylit spaces, and has an agenda to recognize user

perspectives and requirements.

Nowadays, many office buildings in Malaysia have taken on a more

cosmopolitan feel, with high-rise blocks constructed close to each other. They have

adapted the sustainable approach in designing buildings, but the application of

energy-efficient buildings and occupants’ visual comfort still need to be clearly

addressed. Many researchers have studied adjusting lighting conditions in offices to

reflect occupants’ requirements, since people spend most of their working time in

office buildings (Aries et al., 2010; Schweitzer et al., 2007; Boyce et al., 2003;

Leech et al., 2002). In Malaysia, efforts from local researchers have provided

strategies to increase the availability of daylight and maximize the benefits of natural

lighting in indoor areas, (Zain-Ahmed et al., 2002; Ossen et al., 2005; Loutzenhiser

et al., 2007). However, estimates of the preferred levels and occupants’ satisfaction

of lighting quality need to be standardized in order to tally with the standards and

recommendations in Malaysia. According to Kandar et al. (2011) office buildings in

Malaysia must not only comply with the Malaysia Standard 1525, but must also

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search for solutions to improve lighting recommendations based on climate factors

and office space requirements.

Previous designers have tended to neglect or overestimate the proportion of

daylight and daylight availability in working areas, which is influenced by window

size, people’s preferences, and satisfaction. Recommended settings of lighting have

not yet reached the needed levels for occupants. A range of illuminance levels is

necessary for occupants to enhance visual performance. Efficient lighting is

important, and under such lighting environments, especially in indoor spaces,

adequate illuminance levels are needed. However, lighting conditions for offices

during preliminary design and in post-occupancy evaluations reveal different levels.

This scenario is only realized when the occupant feels visual discomfort, and more

retrofitting work is needed for a more sustainable working environment. This is also

due to daylight fluctuation in office buildings, which can cause unconscious visual

discomfort due to absorption of lighting in components, which is transmitted to the

interior surface.

This study identifies current office buildings in Malaysia with the integration

of occupant density and daylighting performance, which both affect visual comfort.

The research will begin with an investigation of current condition in daylighting and

illuminance in offices where changes in daylight illuminance levels in a room affect

visual comfort and performance. To accomplish the objective as specified above, the

study will be conducted using four techniques: surveys, field measurements, visual

test performance, and computer simulation. The findings of the study will be inserted

in the lighting requirement, which can also be regarded as part of the criteria in the

recommendation of lighting levels in Malaysia.

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1.2 Problem Statement

Various sources on lighting conditions have been taken into consideration

when developing current office buildings, by applying the Malaysian Standards and

Recommendations on Lighting Levels. Even though several researchers have found

that there is efficient tropical daylight in offices in Malaysia (Mohd Hamdan, 1996;

Kandar et al., 2011), daylighting designs are still not effective for occupants when

global illuminance, being from a tropical sky, changes rapidly and results in

unpredictable levels of indoor daylight (Ossen et al., 2005; Lim et al., 2012). Most of

the research has concentrated on external solar shading and fenestration design (Lim

et al., 2010; Mansour et al., 2006; Ossen, D.R. et al., 2005), and the study to

illuminate the internal spaces for visual comfort in Malaysia had also conducted

based on the parameters shading devices, floor depth, ceiling height, opening ratio,

glass transmittance and material reflectance (Sadin et al., 2014). Therefore,

occupants’ visual comfort parameter still lacked in the investigation (Kim and Kim,

2007) and various studies on systems has been introduced to decreased daylight

penetration and adding additional light absorption (Fontoynont, 2014). This means

that a simple system is more needed in most buildings to maximize daylight and

provide an external view.

Studies carried out on a number of existing office buildings in Malaysia

found that the existing daylighting condition in office building did not comply with

Malaysian Standards 1525; 2014 (Lim et al,. 2012). The recommended illuminance

level is still referring to 300-400 lux for office building, and this only concentrates on

artificial illuminance levels to provide maximum energy consumption. The focus on

illuminance level need to be further explored as this will contribute the office

workers’ productivity. Recently, solutions have been sought to satisfy the needs of

occupants and contribute to energy saving by considering the illuminance of the

working plane, windows, and automatically control systems using sensors. However,

no study has yet been published focusing on the illuminance changes which affect

the preferred illuminance level and acceptable level by occupants due to fluctuation

illuminance in Malaysia.

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When most of the office buildings especially government office buildings

were found over illuminate or lack of illumination, it shows the designer should

identify the significant parameter in lighting design during schematic layout till

occupancy. This consideration and awareness can meet the acceptable illuminance

level for occupants during performing the task less work for retrofitting such as de-

lamping artificial lighting. Therefore, complaint by occupants on lighting distraction

and too bright the illuminance level shows fluctuation of illuminance level occur

frequently in indoor spaces. In addition, these may reduce visual comfort and

performance. Furthermore, the fluctuation of daylight illuminance level which affects

the acceptable indoor daylighting level is not highlighted in any visual comfort issue

where it significantly changes the quantity of daylight levels. This unpredictable

change in illuminance level happens more severely when the room is fully occupied,

and it is also reported that dimming control systems may be affected due to this

condition. Clarification is needed on whether lighting guidelines over or

underestimate the preferred amount of light. Factors that influence illuminance

changes in offices are not identified during the measurement of quantity of

illuminance level. The occupants are not aware of the illuminance change, and this

illuminance variation may contribute to visual discomfort and visual annoyance. (Lee

et al., 2013).

Based on the history of illuminance, recommendations from different

countries at different times are evaluated for different activities in offices (Mills and

Borg, 1999). Observations and investigations are undertaken to identify fluctuation

ranges that meet the occupants’ visual comfort and performance, which may

contribute to the effectiveness of dimming controls on high productivity in the office.

Currently, the Malaysian government is trying to refine assessment methods in

daylighting conditions in order to retrofit existing government office buildings and

achieve sustainable architecture building without compromising on visual comfort.

The problem of daylighting and its potential in Malaysia is related to the adequacy of

daylight in an interior space, which faces criticism when illuminance levels in

existing offices in Malaysia do not meet the standards and recommendations. Due to

this condition, a study on illuminance change in daylight conditions must be

implemented in order to clarify the effect between daylight illuminance fluctuation

and occupant density in the workplace.

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The above description shows the obvious impact that lighting problems have

in relation to visual comfort in an office space. It also reveals a need to improve

recommendations on Malaysian Standard on Lighting Practice to provide an ideal

design for office space without jeopardizing visual comfort for the occupants, as well

as incorporating energy-saving strategies. This scenario can be improved through the

stages of identifying the preferred illuminance level in daylight conditions,

fluctuation based on occupant density of a room, and maximum occupancy density,

which affects visual comfort. Subsequently, it is necessary to verify the acceptable

range of daylight fluctuation based on the window to wall ratio, occupant density and

distance in daylit office room.

1.3 Research Questions

1. What is the range of preferred daylight illuminance level for occupants in

office buildings?

2. What are the parameters influencing the fluctuation in illuminance in office


3. Is the fluctuation of illuminance level affects visual performance and visual


4. What is the maximum occupant density among the selected variables by using


1.4 Research Aim and Objectives

This study aims to recommend an acceptable range of daylighting

fluctuations for office occupants’ visual comfort based on occupant density. To

achieve this aim, the following objectives have been derived:-

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1. To investigate the preferred illuminance level for office buildings in


2. To determine the effect of the illuminance level and visual performance due

to occupancy density.

3. To examine the optimum fluctuation discomfort based on occupancy density.

4. To recommend the acceptable range of daylight fluctuations of different room

configurations and occupant density.

1.5 Research Gap

Over the years, lighting level research has only focused on illuminance levels

in artificial lighting environments, rather than on daylighting. The variables affecting

daylight strategies indoors have been identified by several researchers, who consider

the design criteria for windows, ceilings, workstation position, technology on skin

façade, and shading. Brightness and illuminance is detected by the daylight

availability through reflectance and transmittance from room furniture, office

material, and layout settings (Ochoa et al., 2012; Rahmani et al., 2012: Kandar et al.,

2011; Lim et al., 2011; Freewan et al., 2009; Denan, 2004). Although many previous

researchers have investigated indoor lighting and the characteristics of the

architectural element, investigation of the factors that influence change in daylight

illuminance needs to be conducted. The control system and window design of an

office building will be more functional and practical when there is consideration of

fluctuation in illumination in the workplace. It is believed that the estimation of lux

level would fully benefit daylighting strategies and lighting conditions in the

workplace. By knowing the occupancy’s preferred illuminance levels and ranges of

illuminance levels when performing tasks, we can improve in designing an efficient

typical office space in Malaysia. In order to determine the illuminance levels needed

according to Malaysian Standard Lighting Practice, the estimation of lux level in

occupied rooms needs to be identified. Previously, researchers have only

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concentrated on occupancy studies with fire escape routes through occupancy load,

and determining spatial layout with occupancy pattern. Determining the appropriate

illuminance levels according to occupancy density has never been factored into room

design. Consideration of the maximum number of people in the workplace is a

potential strategy for reducing fluctuation in illuminance levels and maintaining the

recommended illuminance level.

It is necessary to investigate the reduction in illuminance levels, which can

influence the illuminance range of visual discomfort. This situation changes the

illuminance level, and also causes visual disruption. Araji (2008) assessed various

lighting conditions alongside behavioral experiments, while Veitch et al. (2008)

reviewed how human behavior contributes to higher tolerance, compared to the

values indicated in guidelines and lighting standards or norms. The latest study only

assesses occupants’ preferences and satisfaction towards changes in illuminance, but

there has been no study examining the occurrence of fluctuation of illuminance level

due to the occupant density. In this study, a more detailed occupant density

parameter will be used to determine that fluctuation of illuminance level affect visual


The overview in Table 1.1 shows the trend of research which carried out from

the 1980’s to the present period. In the 1980’s, preference and satisfaction in

daylighting condition were investigated by Heerwagen and Orians (1986), Dubois

(2001), Boubekri (1991), while in the 2000’s Boyce (2003), Aries (2005), Araji

(2008), Wang (2009), Lee et al. (2013), studied the illuminance level in daylighting

condition. From the beginning of 2000 to date, the issue of fluctuation in illuminance

comes in to place which was studied by Lee, J.H. Yoon et al. (2012). A few research

works were carried out on room configuration and physical variables like window

and distance which relate to the daylight penetration to indoors. (Ghisi, 2005; Aries,

2010). The research on recommendation of lighting condition were carried out by

Kandar et al. (2011) and Lim et al. (2011) which emphasized on daylighting,

distance and WWR. The summary of previous research on daylighting, illuminance,

fluctuation and visual comfort that are related to issue of present study is presented in

Table 1.1.

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Table 1.1: Past studies on lighting and illuminance level














and Y










k p



ce c





in I














l R

















gy E












and S











ion o

f Il









Boyce, P. et

al. (2003) √ √ √ √ √ √


Gala Siu,

A.D. et al.

(2006) √ √ √

Open plan



Kim, S.Y. et

al. (2007) √ √ √ √




Van Den


rg, K.


√ √ √ √




Aries et al.,

(2010) √ √ √ √ √ √




Kandar et

al., (2011) √ √ √ √ √




(2014) √ √ √


Lee, J.H. Yoon et al.

(2013) √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √


Ochoa, C.E

et al. (2012) √ √ √ √ √



N. (2009) √ √ √ √ √


Ghisi, E et.

al (2005) √ √ √ √ Office

Araji, M.T

(2008) √ √ √ √ √


et al. (2009) √ √ √

Fadzil and



√ √

Ahmed, A.Z. et al.

(2007) √ √


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M.C. et al.


√ √ √


Lim, Y. W

et. al.


√ √ √ √ √ √ √



Hull and



√ √ √ √ √



nd Orians


√ √ √ √

My Study

(2015) √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ Office


1.6 Scope of Study and Limitation

This study sets out to investigate illuminance change or fluctuation in

illuminance levels in daylit office buildings and its relation to visual comfort in the

office building. The acceptable illuminance level in daylighting condition and

preferred illuminance level from the occupant in the workplace need to be identified

in order to justify illuminance range in the task working area without jeopardizing

visual comfort. This study integrates the issues and methods from previous

researchers in order to evaluate valid samples and findings. The limitation of this

study are only investigate the effect of fluctuation in illuminance levels in daylit

indoor environments for office building. The investigation includes the variables of

illuminance level in daylighting condition, windows to wall ratio which representing

70% of the wall opening, occupant density, distance and two types of room layouts ;

deep and narror layout (as these are related to Malaysian Standard 1525; 2014

[recommended illuminance 300-400 lux] and the EPU standard). The focus is also

only on quantity of illuminance level, work plane illuminance in office buildings,

and assessing visual comfort in daylight conditions in Malaysia. The related

variables that measure visual comfort and illuminance are based on window opening

(WWR) 70, with typical room layout matching EPU standards and within the

recommended illuminance level of Malaysian Standard 1525:2007. The study will

not look at office arrangements, orientation of the room, control systems, control

devices, color, glazing types, views, or privacy.

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This research was also limited by experiments on visual test performance that

only enhance the reading task in daylighting condition. Occupants spent about two

hours in the selected office building. This research investigated the occupant density

within distance, room distance, room layout, and window size. Daylight factor is also

documented for existing empty room and occupied room. The development of

techniques as part of the methodology which verify the calculation of occupant

density in a room without jeopardize the quantity of illuminance level.

1.7 Significance of the Study

Most of the studies on visual comfort have been focusing on the glare and

view. It is believed that determining the range of illuminance level would fully

benefit daylighting strategies and lighting conditions in the workplace. By knowing

the occupancy’s preferred illuminance levels and ranges of illuminance level during

task performance, energy-saving in lighting design can be achieved. In order to meet

illuminance level according to Malaysian Standard Lighting Practice 1525;2014, the

estimation of lux level in occupied room needs to be identified. The outcome of the

study is to enhance the important of occupant density in the workplace as this will

influence the reduction of the fluctuation in illuminance levels and affect visual

performance. Furthermore, the result of optimum illuminance range of visual

discomfort will provide a strategy to reduce energy consumption and meeting the

target of Malaysian Standard 1525. An ideal number of occupants in workplace

without jeopardizing the illuminance level and visual comfort in a working

environment will enhance a quality space in office building.. This study can also be

used as a supplement to lighting practice recommendations, where estimation of

lighting conditions in a typical office room may be determined during the

preliminary design stage.

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1.8 Thesis Structure

This thesis is organized as follows:

Chapter One: Introduction. This chapter is made up of discussion on the

introduction to the study, a description to the problem, the objectives of the study, the

scope covered, the significance of the findings, and the organization of the study.

Besides that, the limitations of the research are also reviewed in this chapter.

Chapter Two: Literature Review will briefly explain the theory that relates to this

work, covering past research that has been done in relation to the study. The

theoretical framework is discussed in this chapter to elaborate on and explain the

related variables and parameters of the research. The benefit of daylighting is

discussed in this chapter to elaborate on and explain the relationship of daylight in

office buildings to workers and the environment, both physically and


Chapter Three: Methodology includes a complete account of the research

methodology used in this study. This chapter is divided into two main sections. The

first section reviews the parameters of preferred illuminance levels in daylight office

buildings. The characters of the element that influence the daylight availability are

discussed. The second section reviews the relationship between illuminance changes

with visual comfort of office building occupants by applying a simulation using IES

software. This chapter will also explain the survey and experimental set-up under the

research strategy. Surveys is divided into two main sections. The first section

presents the building environment for conducting a survey by using questionnaires.

The second section reviews the survey on selected office buildings for conducting

visual tests to achieve the objective of the research, which focuses on preferred

illuminance range, fluctuation in illuminance and task performance within the range

of preferred and acceptable illuminance level of the working environment.

Chapter Four: Analysis and discussion 1 gives the results, analyses, and findings of

all the objectives. This chapter gives results from survey and experiment 1 on the

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ranges of preferred illuminance level, experiment 2 on fluctuation illuminance ranges

based on user response analysis and visual test. The discussion will also presents a

comprehensive study based on two selected office buildings to examine the optimum

fluctuation discomfort based on occupancy density and compares the results of field

measurement and computer simulation using IES<VE> Software. The findings from

objective 3 will be used as a parameter for objective 4 which is using the computer

simulation to examine the variables related to fluctuation based on occupanct density

and recommend the acceptable range of daylight fluctuations.

Chapter Five concludes the acceptable ranges of daylight fluctuations and the

maximum occupant density in typical office buildings, which will influence the

recommended illuminance level for office building in Malaysia. This will be used as

a supplement in determining the lighting indicator for office buildings in Malaysia.

Finally, this chapter also suggests future research to complement the findings.

1.9 Conclusion

This chapter presents briefly the introduction of the study, and the framework

of the research. The next chapter will illustrate the definition of the related theories

and its parameters.

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Figure 1.1: Summary of thesis structure

Part 1- Background study and

theoretical framework

Chapter 1


Chapter 2

Conceptual understanding

of illuminance, occupant density,

visual comfort and lighting


Chapter 3

Research Methodology

Part 3- Conclusion and Recommendation

Part 2- Analysis And Synthesis

Chapter 5

Conclusion and recommendations

Chapter 4

Findings and results on objective 1,2,3,4

Range on preferred illuminance level by occupants.

Evaluation of fluctuation in illuminance levels, occupant density,

and ranges of visual discomfort which also acts as a supplement

to lighting indicator.

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