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Prof John Mardaljevic

Professor Emeritus of Building Daylight Modelling

School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Loughborough University, UK

Research + Impact Summary

John is a building scientist with a background numerical modelling. In the late 1990s John pioneered what is now known as Climate-Based Daylight Modelling (CBDM). Founded on rigorous validation work, CBDM is now the basis for research and, increasingly, industry practice worldwide. In 2013 the UK Education Funding Agency (EFA) made CBDM a mandatory requirement for the evaluation of designs submitted for the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP). School designs submitted to the PSBP must achieve certain 'target' criteria for the useful daylight illuminance metric (proposed by John in 2005). This is believed to be the first major upgrade to mandatory daylight requirements since the introduction of the daylight factor more than half a century ago.

John's practice-based research and enterprise includes major projects such as the New York Times Building and The Hermitage (St. Petersburg). He currently serves as the 'UK Principal Expert on Daylight' for the European Committee for Standardisation CEN / TC 169 WG11, and on a number of International Commission on Illumination (CIE) technical committees. In 2012 Mardaljevic was presented the annual UK lighting award by the Society for Light and Lighting (SLL). He is Associate Director for Daylighting CIE Division 3 and CIE-UK Representative also for Division 3. In 2017 he received the IBPSA Innovative Application Award.


John Mardaljevic is Professor of Building Daylight Modelling at the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University. Previously he was a Reader in Daylight Modelling1) at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. His first degree and higher qualifications are: a BSc in Combined Physics with Maths, an MPhil in Astrophysics and a PhD in Daylight Simulation. Mardaljevic's first significant contribution in the field of daylight modelling was the validation of the Radiance lighting simulation program under real sky conditions. That validation work is considered the definitive study of its kind and it helped to establish the Radiance system as a de facto standard world-wide for lighting simulation. Mardaljevic went on to pioneer the development and application of what has become known as climate-based daylight modelling. These techniques have been successfully applied to help solve a wide range of traditional and novel building design problems - see list below. As an acknowledged world leader in daylight modelling, Mardaljevic was invited in 2007 to join the panel convened to revise British Standard 8206: "Daylight in Buildings". The single significant feature of this revision is a Technical Annex on climate-based daylight modelling (drafted by Mardaljevic). This serves as a notification that the BSI expect future revisions to be founded on climate-based measures, and signals the first move away from standards based on the half-century-old daylight factor method. He currently serves as the 'UK Principal Expert on Daylight' for the European Committee for Standardisation CEN / TC 169 WG11, and on a number of International Commission on Illumination (CIE) technical committees. He is Associate Director for Daylighting CIE Division 3 and CIE-UK Representative also for Division 3.

In May 2012 he was presented with the Lighting Award for 2011 by the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) SLL Jul/Aug 2012 Newsletter. In 2016 he received Leon Gaster Award (Society of Light and Lighting), and in 2017 the IBPSA Innovative Application Award.

In addition to simulation, Mardaljevic is the originator of a novel technique to measure luminous flux using high dynamic range images. See Mardaljevic, J., Krausse, B. and Andersen, M. Transmission illuminance proxy HDR imaging: A new technique to quantify luminous flux. Lighting Res. Technol. Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 27-49, 2009

Following are a few of the projects carried out by Mardaljevic where climate-based modelling has been applied:

  • Daylighting the New York Times Headquarters Building. This major consultancy project was commissioned by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This highly innovative project (architect: Renzo Piano) included provision for state-of-the-art active daylighting control systems. Mardaljevic was identified by LBNL as the only researcher in the field with sufficiently advanced, proven simulation techniques to carry out this work.
  • The Art Students League building (New York). Here the lighting simulation results formed a part of a legal agreement pertaining to the development rights. This study featured in a special CIBSE Daylight Group event dedicated to 'Rights of Light' issues.
  • The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Working with a London-based practice, Mardaljevic has carried out extensive daylight simulation studies to evaluate the designs for the refurbishment of exhibition spaces at the Hermitage.
  • The VELUX rooflight study. A huge study evaluating the improvement in the daylit environment resulting from the introduction of rooflights. A total of 480 combinations of building, climate and orientation were evaluated. The study was immediately made public by VELUX on their Daylight website.
  • National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers (NARM). The study for NARM was commissioned to determine if the then current building regulations were providing a faithful representation of the optical-thermal performance of these systems. The existing guidelines were found to be inadequate for the deployment of large-scale rooflight systems and the DMU report proved instrumental in improving the recommendations.

Academic standing

UK Standards: Panel member Revision of British Standard 8206: Daylight in Buildings 2007 - 2008
EU Standards: UK Principal Expert on Daylight for the European Committee for Standardisation CEN / TC 169 WG11 2010 -
Associate Editor: Energy & Buildings, Journal 2011 - 2012
Editorial panel: Energy & Buildings, Journal 2007 -
Editorial panel: Lighting Research & Technology, Journal 2007 -
Board Member: IBPSA England 2010 -
Chair: CIBSE Daylight Group, 2014 -
Vice chair: CIBSE Daylight Group, 2006 - 2014
Member: CIBSE School Design Group, 2011 -
Referee: Energy & Buildings, Journal Ongoing
Referee: Building & Environment, Journal Ongoing
Referee: Lighting Research & Technology, Journal Ongoing
Referee: Journal of Building Performance Simulation, Journal Ongoing
Referee: Solar Energy, Journal Ongoing
Referee: CIBSE National Conference Ongoing
Referee: CLIMA conference Ongoing
Referee: IBPSA conference Ongoing
Referee: eSim conference Ongoing
Reviewer: EPSRC grant applications Ongoing
Reviewer: Hong Kong University Grants Committee Ongoing
Reviewer: California Energy Commission Ongoing
Member: IESNA subcommittee on Daylight Metrics 2008 -
Member: US Daylighting Forum advisory committee on Daylight Metrics 2008 -
Panel member: CIE TC 3.37 CIE General Sky 2005 -
Panel member: IEA SHC: Task 31, Validation subtask 2004 - 2007

Professional practice

Australia Stadium Sydney Olympics: solar control and comfort 1997
Trafford Centre: Glare analysis of video wall installation 1997
De Montfort University: Polhill Campus Library Resources Centre 1998
University College London: School of Slavonic & East European Studies 2002 - 2003
National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers: Compliance with Part L study 2003
National Assembly of Wales: Solar study 2003
Judson College, Chicago, Illinois: Library and design faculty, control strategy 2003 - 2005
Tamar Centre, Hong Kong: Solar study 2003
New York Times Building: Daylighting study [LBNL, USA] 2004 - 2005
Art Students League, New York: Solar access study [Env. Simulation Center, New York] 2005
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg: Daylight study [Cannon-Brookes Lighting] 2006
Three UK schools: Daylight study [Laing-O’Rourke] 2007
UrbanBuzz: Design evaluation expert panel [DIUS] 2007 - 2008
Performance evaluation of Serraglaze material [Bending Light, UK] 2007
Design/evaluation of light redirecting ‘functional sculpture’ [Euro. Land & Property, UK] 2007
Climate-based daylight study for residential buildings [VELUX, Denmark] 2007 - 2008

The academic rank of Reader is described here.
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