Daylight for sustainable development of historic sites
Authors: Elkadi, Hisham ; Al-Maiyah, Sura
Consideration of daylight is one of the contextual ingredients for maintaining a sustainable identity when intervening in a heritage site. Appropriate consideration of daylighting ensures not only visual and thermal comfort in the urban setting, but also contributes to the preservation of the place visual identity. The historic district of el Darb al-Asfar is undergoing a rehabilitation project that raises questions about the new ‘sparking’ look of the place. The ongoing cultural debate in old Cairo on the extent of success of the rehabilitation efforts in preserving the place identity identified a gap in literature regarding the ingredients that constitute identity in heritage settings. The paper argues that the project using new finishing materials of facades has led to changes in daylight levels in the space and hence the visual perception of the place itself. This paper aims to assess the impact of such intervention on the visual perception and the space identity. A digital model is built utilising a combination of photogrammetric and 3D digital technique. The TOWNSCOPE simulation package is used to trace the performance of direct, diffused and reflected components of daylight within the original and recently resorted scenes. The output of the simulation exercise has been validated by empirical data. The paper concludes by suggesting a set of measures for achieving an appropriate daylight performance in heritage sites Eastern Mediterranean climatic conditions.