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What building types does EN 17037 apply to?

Internal image of Glenpark Early Years featuring VELUX Modular Skylights
Internal image of Glenpark Early Learning Centre featuring VELUX Modular Skylights

The new European standard for daylight design in buildings, EN 17037, has been written so that it can be applied to any building.

The areas of design covered by the standard, and the flexibility for designers to choose what performance level is achieved, means internal spaces can be designed to suit intended activities.

As a result, the standard is not confined to new buildings. Where works are proposed to renovate and/or convert an existing building, EN 17037 provides the means to assess existing openings in terms of daylight provision, sunlight, glare and view against the proposed use, and inform any changes to the building fabric accordingly.

eBook: Guide to Daylighting and EN 17037

Does EN 17037 refer to any specific building types?

Section 5.3 describes assessment of exposure to sunlight, and is the only part of the standard to offer some building-specific guidance. It says that at least one habitable space in dwellings, hospital patient rooms and nursery playrooms, should be provided with the minimum performance level for sunlight exposure.

While access to sunlight is generally desirable, over-exposure can be detrimental to health and wellbeing, as well as contributing to excessive solar gains and uncomfortable internal temperatures. This unique example of building-specific guidance within EN 17037 is an acknowledgement that, in certain situations, building users need a ‘calmer’ space that does not achieve the levels of sunlight set as medium or high performance.
Kids playing in atrium with skylights, Gebhardschule

Kids playing in atrium with skylights, Gebhard School

Does EN 17037 require specific levels of illuminance?

When it comes to daylight provision, the standard only gives levels of illuminance in terms of the minimum, medium and high performance levels that are a feature of the document. It does not specify levels for particular tasks or building uses.

The minimum level of 300 lux is based on a number of studies, having been described as suitable illumination for prolonged office work, and the level at which the probability of switching on electric lighting is low. Design levels for artificial lighting also use a 300 lux threshold.

Again, this leaves the designer free to aim for higher levels where certain building uses require it, and where specified by guidance particular to that building type.

VELUX Commercial specialises in offering daylight solutions for commercial and public buildings. Contact us to find out how our products can improve daylighting in your project, or find out more about why this standard was created.

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