2011 - Daylight Symposium
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF WINDOWS, DAYLIGHT, AND VIEW AT HOME by Jennifer Veitch
Ph.D., Senior Research Officer
National Research Council of Canada Institute for Research in Construction
Following the discovery that intrinsically photoreceptive retinal ganglion cells are responsible for entraining circadian rhythms to patterns of light and dark, and furthermore that those cells are most sensitive to short-wavelength optical radiation, considerable attention has focused on the possibility of using daylight to achieve a healthy lit environment. Daylight is rich in that area of the spectrum, and bright at the times of day that seem most important to these processes. The science has moved rapidly in the ten years since the last substantive reviews of the state of the art on the health and well-being effects of daylight and windows, making it time for a renewed examination of the literature. Moreover, there has been scant attention paid to the role of daylight in residential buildings. This presentation will give a brief overview of three processes by which windows and skylights in homes might influence health and wellbeing: light dose, view, and architectural aesthetics. Windows and skylights also influence long-term sustainability, through which they indirectly will affect health and well-being of present and future generations. The presentation will conclude with suggested research directions to bring together these strands, as will be necessary for the derivation of practical recommendations.
Jennifer Veitch, Ph.D., Senior Research Officer, National Research Council of Canada Institute for Research in Construction (NRC-IRC). She initiates, leads, conducts, and reports on investigations into the effects of buildings on occupants’ satisfaction, well-being, health, and performance. Jennifer A. Veitch has also chaired CIE Technical Committee 6-11, “Systemic Effects of Optical Radiation on the Human” to the successful completion of the first international consensus report on the non-visual effects of light on humans and their potential architectural applications, Ocular lighting effects on human physiology and behaviour (CIE 158:2004).