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  • Writer's pictureJohn Michael Jalandra

BESPOKE TALK Series: Get insights on Davao solar analysis from the experts at BERSABARC

Updated: May 30, 2023

BERSABARC Design Studio, headed by Ar. Neil John Bersabe, conducted the Bespoke Talk on digital tools for environmental design on February 18, 2022. The training focuses on how solar studies can shape the built environment.

Some of the advantages of gaining insights from the solar analysis are having a data-driven design that minimizes the effects of solar heating and knowing the most effective strategies for sun shading, putting users’ comfort into consideration. As part of the design process, the studio uses good solar design by simulating every project.

This activity intends to provide a good understanding of sunlight exposure, giving designers the context of what parts of the building form are exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

Each designer created three to four iterations of mid-to high-rise buildings for a chosen lot within Davao City. These iterations are then run-in analyses through a script programmed by BERSABARC Design Studio to compute each of the iterations' sunlight exposure percentages for a specific time period.

Check out the team’s sunlight hours studies below!

Daang Maharlika, Davao City

Ar. Angela Joy Tagaro

A Solar Analysis study was conducted on an interior lot located along the Daang Maharlika Road, near Abreeza Mall.

The study was conducted with 3 different massing forms. Iteration 1 shows a massive building with most of its surface oriented to the south. Iteration 2 shows a structure with masses stacked on top of each other, with the bulk oriented towards the north. Iteration 3 shows a similar structure to Iteration 2 but stacked more irregularly. The aim was to discover the effects of different massing forms on the building's overall sunlight exposure to its surface in this particular area. It was identified that a building shape with more surfaces exposed to the South and having a flat or level top will have more sunlight exposure than those that are oriented towards the North and have varying levels of top height. Moreover, an irregularly stacked mass has less sunlight exposure than the others.

J.P Laurel Avenue, Davao City

Ar. Ariel Jules Phillip Guillermo

The site is located within the Abreeza Ayala Business Park. A relatively flat site between a mid-high density commercial and residential area.

The goal of this analysis is to find out what building volume on the chosen site is less likely to be in direct sunlight for a certain amount of time. For comparison, there are 3 different iterations. The first iteration is a twin-tower with smooth curved edges and a building pocket in the middle. The second iteration is a mixture of sharp and smooth edges with a building pocket. The third iteration is a solid rectangular twin-tower.

After computing the sunlight hours per iteration using the digital script developed by BERSABARC Design Studio, it is inferred that the first iteration (building form with smooth edges) has more areas with less sunlight exposure, while the second and third iterations (building form with sharp edges) have more areas with longer hours of sunlight exposure. The results of the analysis will still vary with more defined parameters (building orientation, volume, and height). Regardless, it can be concluded that having curved edges for high-rise buildings may lessen surface sunlight exposure on the site.

F. Torres St., Davao City

Ar. Hazel Jumawan

A large, undeveloped lot is under consideration for construction. A high-rise building is a practical option for providing office space due to its convenient position. The Pryce Tower and the Landco Corporate Center, two demolished skyscrapers, are close by.

Solar research shows that the northeast side of the proposed structure would get the least amount of sunshine due to the existence of surrounding high-rise buildings that will cast extra shade on the region.

Elpidio Quirino Ave, Davao City

Ar. Joey Angelo Mangcupang

The property is in the central business district of Davao City, close to Gen. Luna Street, Mt. Apo Street, and Elpidio Quirino Avenue.

The site's triangle shape and three street frontages are also positive features. The following Form Iterations aim to investigate the differences in the number of hours a building receives direct sunlight relative to its form. As seen in the results, different iterations yielded different sunlight hours, ranging from cool to average to hot. However, it should be noted that complex forms with more surfaces tend to create more cool areas, as seen in Iteration 02.

It is recommended to further analyze the sunlight hours based on different orientations of a building form to create a more direct comparison.

Roxas Boulevard, Davao City

Ar. Pocholo Alexis Donio

The site, which is famous for its position and function, has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The site being so accessible and with it being a corner lot, provides so much potential for many different capabilities for the users and their environment. By creating a more fluid-like structure, it will increase the proximity of the viewers from every corner and view. Through studying different iterations, the percentage of the cool area has increased by voiding, tapering, and twisting the structure, creating more shade.

J.P. Laurel Ave. Davao City

Ar. Mary Nicole Mabanag

A study was conducted near several residential areas, business centers, recreational spaces, and public institutions.

It is no doubt a hotspot for economic activity. With this dynamic present in the area, the site may be suitable for mixed-use typologies, but it is vital to analyze the environmental implications of these types of buildings. For this study, the solar analysis period is set during the summer solstice, the hottest day of the year (June 21st).

Three iterations were made to analyze the form. Iteration 1 focuses on simple cubic shapes to stay more in line with the site context. However, as observed from the diagrams, simpler, flatter, boxy shapes may tend to be bulkier and heat-inducing.

Intersection 2 is the opposite of the first, as it saves more space through its condensed vertical form and the center is also hollowed out to provide more breathing space from its monotonous shape. Hence, this form captures less heat than the previous. However, excessive shaded areas may interfere with the entry of natural light.

The third iteration is a combination of the past two iterations; mixed and altered shapes, appropriate for mixed-use building types. It captures the least heat based on the diagrams shown, concluding that the more altered the general shape and form of the building is, the more opportunity it has to play with light and shade, therefore creating more balance between colder and warmer temperatures.

E. Jacinto St. Davao City

Ar. Januarius Anthony Panes

The proposed structure is a 30-story mixed-use structure situated on E. Jacinto St. in Davao City.

Aiming to create a high-rise building construction approach using exoskeleton, the design studies how the structure of the building stands while providing shade for the building interiors, serving as sunshades, and is oriented along the area's wind path. Four iterations were created, with each iteration resulting in lower sun exposure time on the building's exterior, with iteration 4 having the least number of sunlit hours. Therefore, the concept of the exoskeleton's function as a sun-shading element of the building is effective.

Quezon Boulevard. Davao City

Ar. Karlo Immanuel Belaniso

The Chosen Site is located inside lot bounded by a major highway, facing the 12-storey Felcris Centrale Commercial Complex and adjacent to some office buildings.

The analysis shows the sunlight hour analysis of the following different iterations of its adjacent structures. The said analysis favored Iteration 02, wherein the building volume was oriented to the south, taking consideration of the shade the frontal structure provides and its sunpath projection to the proposed structure. This yielded a result that was able to take advantage of the volumetric and mass of its adjacent structure.

This reiterates how building volumes and orientation, along with their adjacent structures, influence the sunlight hours projected onto the proposed building and how these factors must be taken into consideration during the early stages of the design process for energy efficiency and a more sustainable design approach.

J.P Laurel Avenue, Davao City

Ar. Vanessa Sta. Cruz

The study was carried out at a location convenient to a number of nearby businesses and public buildings.

The aim of the study is to compare different volumes to determine which iteration is more effective. The analysis makes use of the sunlit hours as the dependent variable. Iteration 1 and 3 show two different massive and typical typologies, establishing a basis for comparison for the analysis. Iterations 2 and 4 show subtracted volumes, each derived from the typology of the aforementioned iterations.

The data reveals a significant difference between Iterations 1 and 2, as well as between Iterations 3 and 4. It is then assumed that subtractive and splayed forms offer a more effective solution to sunlight protection.

Lanang, Davao City

Ar. Emmanuel Angelo Morados

The site is convenient to major commercial centers, middle- to upper-class residential areas, and major thoroughfares and landmarks.

Lanang is slowly opening up as a commercial hub housing different type of developments, from condominiums, hospitals, malls, parks, civil structures, and many more. The chosen lot is situated in a strategic place as it is near the proposed bridge from Davao City to IGACOS. Lots near the site are being seen to rise in value when the proposed link from the city to the island comes to fruition. Studying the area gives clients and designers a guide on how to orient the structure with respect to the sun path and be able to derive different iterative orientations, volume and building wise.

Having different iterations gives the designer choices on how to orient a structure or a volume on the site with respect to the sun. For iteration 1, having a basic understanding of simple geometry gives the designer a view of where the sun is harsh and where the sun hits less on a face. From there, the designer can explore other forms like iteration 2 and 3. The overall analysis shows that iteration 2 gives more cooling percentage and less heat percentage among the 4 iterations.

One major finding is to orient the long side of the structure along the east and west to lessen the exposure from the afternoon sun. Studying the volume and canopies of iteration 2 shows large areas of coverage from the sun, and its skewed form helped direct the sun off of the structure towards the canopies.

Magsaysay Avenue, Davao City

Ar. Pia Marañon

The chosen site is located at the corner of C.M. Recto Street and R. Magsaysay Avenue, where Vivaldi Residences Davao stands.

It is adjacent to several commercial and institutional landmarks. Upon its completion, it will be the tallest building in Davao City as well as in Mindanao.

This study shows how different form iterations affect sunlight exposure in a high-rise building. The 3 iterations emulate the existing height of Vivaldi. Iterations 1 and 2 use simple shapes stacked on top of each other, while Iteration 3 has a more complex form. Comparing the sunlight hour percentages of Iteration 1 and 2 with Iteration 3 emphasizes that breaking the building mass and introducing more surfaces results in an overall cooler building.


Ar. Neil John Bersabe

Ar. Aizel Ann Evangelista

Lead Architects

Ar. Emmanuel Angelo Morados

Ar. Ariel Jules Phillip Guillermo

Ar. Joey Angelo Mangcupang

Ar. Karlo Immanuel Belaniso

Ar. Mary Nicole Mabanag

Ar. Angela Joy Tagaro

Ar. Vanessa Sta. Cruz Contributor Architects

Januarius Anthony Panes

Pocholo Alexis Donio Hazel Jumawan

Pia Marañon

Contributor Designers

John Michael Jalandra

Content Writer


BERSABARC Design Studio 2022


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