Indigenous buildings' use as museums: Evaluation of day-lit spaces with the Dreesheh double panel window

Khaled A. Al-Sallal, Maitha M. Bin Dalmouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A large number of the indigenous buildings in the UAE are used nowadays as museums. The purpose of this research is to investigate the daylighting performance in terms of museum lighting requirements via one of the most common daylighting systems found in the indigenous architecture of Dubai (latitude 25°N longitude 55°E); i.e., the traditional double panel window, Dreesheh. The study at the outset included several site visits to a number of traditional UAE museums to select a proper space with the system under study for investigation; and to specify how typical displays of these museums are classified. This helped to associate the total acceptable illuminance exposure limits to the specified classifications, based on IESNA recommendations. The Desktop RADIANCE 2.0 program (DR) was used to evaluate the lighting performance of the daylighting system under clear sky conditions. On-site measurements were conducted to find characteristics of the interior surfaces and validate the simulation accuracy. The difference between the actual measurements and the simulated ones was estimated as ±4%. The lighting performance issues examined by detailed simulations were direct sunlight, horizontal illuminance levels and artifact exposure, diversity and uniformity of illuminance, and contrasting luminances in the field of view. These parameters were compared to the standard values or recommended ranges specified in lighting codes and handbooks such as CIBSE and IESNA. The study revealed several potential problems with this kind of exhibit spaces that can lead to permanent damage of artifacts and occupants' discomfort. Finally, it concluded with recommendations to improve these issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Daylight
  • Indigenous buildings
  • Museum
  • UAE
  • Windows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation


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