Behavioural impact of daylight: does it influence seat choice in an open plan, hot desk work space?
Climate-based metrics for daylight provide a measure of daylight that accounts for local weather and orientation and avoids the need for assumptions about the sky. They appear to be useful for assessment of energy consumption, but perhaps not for assessment of occupant satisfaction or preferences. Here, daylight factor is useful because it describes the relationship between indoor and outdoor light levels and this may be one cue to satisfaction. Satisfaction and preference is frequently studies using rating scales but it is well known that these are subject to significant range bias amongst other problems. We are therefore investigating an alternative approach to preference – seat choice.
In an open plan space where you are able to choose any available seat (our observation spaces are reading rooms in libraries) is there a tendency for those locations with the greatest amount of daylight? A first pilot study suggested the answer is Yes, and that Daylight Factor provided better correlation with seat choice than did other measures of daylight. Clearly of course there are other factors in seat choice: availability of a power socket for a laptop PC, distance from other people and the book shelves, glare and view from windows, and habit. We are now analysing data from two further studies to confirm the findings.