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The following article was published in Daylighting Magazine on 10 October 2018.

European developers and investors beware of confusion over new daylighting standards

Independent building consultancy, Malcolm Hollis, is warning European developers and investors to beware of confusion over new daylighting standards, which are set to be approved before the end of the year. Whilst the new standard will come into force in 2018, it will slowly be adopted by the 34 countries within the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) over the next 6 – 12 months.

With staggered implementation, developers, investors and architects working on portfolios across Europe, will need to pay greater attention to which countries have adopted the new regulation and which are yet to do so. Failure to do so could have a knock-on impact on the work of the building designers, engineers, project managers and manufacturers, potentially increasing the length of the project and driving up costs.

The European daylighting standard – EN 17037 – encourages building designers to assess and ensure minimum standards for daylight are met for spaces that are regularly occupied by people for extended periods. It provides a single reference method of measurement and good practice across Europe, which currently doesn’t exist.

The new standard outlines minimum recommendations for a set of four daylight indicators: daylight provision, the view out from a space, the exposure to sunlight and protection from glare. For a space, to be considered as day lit, the minimum target values must be reached for each indicator.

“The buildings we work and live in need to be fit for purpose and should promote healthy wellbeing. Access to natural light is a core element of this and the implementation of this European daylighting standard puts daylight back at the centre of building design. By having a uniform approach across Europe, developers, owners and occupiers are clear on what is expected and that can only be a good thing,” says Edward Pittar, Partner, Malcolm Hollis in Germany.

“However, as with the implementation of all new practices, there are sure to be some teething issues. It will take time for the various parties involved in building design and construction to get to grips with what the new standards are. We have been gearing up for the changes by implementing new software and expertise to be able to undertake the assessments required, as well as provide the requisite advice reports to assist designers and clients in the UK and across Europe to meet the new standards.”

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