Natural daylight is desirable in locations where winter days are short. With
narrow front and long depth, row houses interiors in Toronto tend to be dark, as
natural light cannot penetrate to the central portion of the house. This study
aims to contribute to the development of guidelines for designers using
courtyards to create better space quality and to add to occupants’ delight,
health and wellbeing. It examines the potential benefits and drawbacks of
internal courtyards in houses located in cold climates and the implications of
such design on the energy performance, natural light and lighting consumption.
The simulations showed that the window to wall ratio doesn’t have major
influence on the hours of daylight inside the house. The main results also show
significant improvement of the hours of illuminance in the interior, with higher
increases in the shorter days of the year when light is more needed.