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Daylighting Performance Simulation: Prediction Accuracy / Processing Speed Trade-off

Abdelwahab, Sahar; Rutherford, Peter; Mayhoub, Mohammed

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Sahar Abdelwahab

Mohammed Mayhoub


In daylighting performance simulations of façade systems, a trade-off is often required between processing speed and prediction accuracy. This is particularly relevant at design onset, where plausible simulation outcomes are essential to drive decisions between several alternative façade configurations. To help address this trade-off, this paper presents a sensitivity analysis evaluating the influence of key input parameter settings, namely ambient bounces and grid size, on the convergence of performance outcomes and on simulation run times. The results provide statistical evidence that, although lower precision settings mostly accelerate calculations, they decrease the accuracy of prediction estimates, particularly for complex façades. Conversely, the relative increased accuracy resulting from higher precision simulations might reach a point where differences have a negligible practical impact. The paper concludes with a range of recommendations to support the early-stage selection of parameter settings and contributes to more robust simulation outcomes towards reducing the gap between simulated and measured data.


Abdelwahab, S., Rutherford, P., & Mayhoub, M. (2023). Daylighting Performance Simulation: Prediction Accuracy / Processing Speed Trade-off. Journal of Green Building, 18(2), 133-157.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 27, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 20, 2023
Publication Date Mar 1, 2023
Deposit Date Oct 10, 2022
Publicly Available Date Mar 1, 2023
Journal Journal of Green Building
Print ISSN 1552-6100
Electronic ISSN 1943-4618
Publisher College Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 2
Pages 133-157
Keywords Daylighting; Glare; Ambient Bounces; Grid Size; Prediction accuracy; Processing speed; Sensitivity Analysis
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