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An evaluation of natural lighting levels in students’ hostels in a suburb of Kumasi, Ghana

The role that natural lighting plays in buildings cannot be underestimated. Natural light is integrated into buildings because of its potential economic benefit and the effect on the occupants’ psychological and physiological wellbeing. This study concentrates on Ayeduase, a suburb of Kumasi, Ghana, where poor architectural designs could affect the performance of students. Therefore, the primary aim of this study is to help improve the health (general well-being) and visual comfort of students living in Ayeduase, by creating awareness of the positive effects of natural light on humans. Questionnaires and interviews, as well as empirical measuring of daylight levels in the spaces of selected hostels were used. Analysed data revealed that the level of illuminance in the hostels is considerably poor and this resulted in students using artificial lighting throughout the day. Nevertheless, the negative effect of this situation can be prevented from occurring in further developments in Ayeduase (and Ghana as a whole), by educating the public on the benefits of using natural lighting in buildings and by enforcing laws that will ensure that buildings have maximum openings that allow enough daylight into the interior spaces. These measures will help reduce utility costs, improve the well-being of building occupants and increase the performance of students.

Author(s): Koranteng Christian and Simons Barbara

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