UAE heritage buildings converted into museums: Evaluation of daylighting effectiveness and potential risks on artifacts and visual comfort

Khaled A. Al-Sallal, Amira R. AbouElhamd, Maitha Bin Dalmouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides a comprehensive process that investigates daylighting performance with regards to museum lighting (adequate lux levels versus safe light exposure) and visual comfort requirements (no glare or sunlight) in the UAE traditional courtyard buildings that were converted into heritage museums. The study used several methods such as site visits, on-site measurements, surveying of architectural drawings, and statistical analysis of design data to examine existing case studies and extract information that helped identify building morphology configurations and define parameters to represent this building typology. The defined configurations helped develop the 3D geometry of the representative model in which the most dominant courtyard and exhibit room ranges were considered. Then, a comprehensive multi-scenario simulation process based on several climate-based daylight metrics under the UAE sky conditions was carried out to investigate lighting adequacy against potential risks on artifacts and visual comfort using several configurations of the developed model. The scenarios included different orientations with different window-to-wall ratios (WWR) of windows looking upon the courtyard using different configurations of the traditional verandah that helped shade the windows and reduce light exposure risks. The performance variables were analyzed against the recommended values/ranges by several international lighting standards. The study recommended several options to enhance the overall lighting environment and minimize risks on artifacts and visual comfort. This included better spatial arrangements, better designing and sizing of openings, and implementation of effective shading systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-359
Number of pages27
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Artifacts
  • Daylight simulation
  • Heritage museum
  • Light exposure
  • UAE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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