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A critical literature review of spatio-temporal simulation methods for daylight glare assessment

Publication Type:

Journal Article


SDAR Journal of Sustainable Design in Engineering of the Built Environment, Volume 7, Issue 1 (2019)


daylight, daylighting, glare, literature review, spatio-temporal, visual comfort


A well daylighted space can provide a highly satisfying visual environment. However, if that environment causes us visual discomfort, it can become such a nuisance that we, sometimes literally, turn our backs on this powerful connection to the outside world. Given this, there is enormous value in quantifying the occurrence of discomfort glare within buildings, and in glare models that may guide architects and engineers in design.

With the success of climate-based modeling techniques for daylight illuminance, there is now a focus on including discomfort glare metrics in spatio-temporal evaluations. This article conducts a literature review of research focused on spatio-temporal simulations for glare assessment. Studies are reviewed according to their objectives, metrics calculated, spatial scope, temporal scope and scene variety. The goal is to document the limitations of current simulation methods, the potential to generally apply these methods, and how well these methods incorporate empirical glare research.

This review finds that, due to computational constraints, there is an over-reliance on illuminance based metrics for spatio-temporal glare assessment, even while user assessment research reinforces the importance of including contrast-based measures. To achieve an accurate zonal glare assessment, future research should focus on improving simulation efficiency and identifying ways to reduce the spatial, temporal and angular scope of the simulation, while maintaining high accuracy.