Impact of Urban Re-Densification on Indoor Lighting
Human wellbeing and their quality of life is linked to daylight. However, this is being hindered by the rapid growth of cities, promoted by regulatory frameworks and the interests of property developers that seek high-rise densification and re-densification of certain urban areas, jeopardizing access to daylight. This article proposes a methodology to evaluate the impact of urban re-densification on indoor lighting demand in high-rise buildings in Ecuador and its relationship with energy poverty. It analyzes the urban and building features of Quito, considering the location conditions of buildings and using simulation tools to explore solar irradiance reductions on the façade. It also analyzes increases in lighting demand, while determining the extreme conditions, considering an increase in energy consumption, the average salary, and the Ten Percent Rule. The results show that daylight obstructions and umbral cones generated when facing a high-rise re-densification scenario in the city reduce daylight by between 40% and 80%, generating increases of between 2% and 498% in lighting demand when compared to an unobstructed scenario. These re-densification scenarios may cause significant social problems associated with energy poverty. In conclusion, according to the Ten Percent Rule, buildings should be limited to four stories for streets under 10 m wide, between four and six stories for those between 10 and 14 m, and between six and nine stories for streets that are between 14 and 18 m wide. This research seeks to help public policy developers in making future decisions about risks that are currently not considered in urban planning and that may contradict sustainable development goals.