Seeing the Light: The Sun and the Built Environment

As architects increasingly leverage the sun to light, heat and power their designs, understanding the interactions between the sun and the built environment is critical. Increased shadowing from neighbouring buildings can render daylighting or solar energy harvesting systems useless. Uncontrolled reflections from the building envelope can cause glare, reducing a motorist’s ability to see; and multiple converging reflections have even been known to cause property damage and personal injury.

As part of the Building, Ecology, Science and Technology (B.E.S.T.) lecture series, this presentation by Ryan Danks presents a series of case studies demonstrating the diverse ways the sun interacts with the built environment, and how modern simulation techniques allow designers to understand these interactions in order to create buildings that take full advantage of the sun without adversely impacting their neighbours.

Ryan Danks is a senior engineer with RWDI•Habitat who is focused on the research and development of tools and methodologies to better simulate the interaction between the built and natural environments. His work has helped architects and urban planners create climate aware designs that emphasize energy efficiency, outdoor comfort and walkability in urban settings across five continents.

The presentation takes place on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 6:30pm in Room 103 at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, located at 230 College Street in Toronto. Attendance is free, and seating is limited to a first-come, first-served basis. Each lecture = 2 OAA structured learning hours.

For more information, please visit