Ensuring normal natural illuminance of dwellings and their sufficient insolation is today an urgent problem around the world. The main provisions and requirements for illuminance of dwellings and insolation of residential areas were formulated in domestic practice in the first decades of the twentieth century. The paper shows that the search for calculation methods was intensively carried out in the Soviet Union in the second half of the 1920s – early 1930s, with the development of both municipal and cooperative construction. The course towards the country’s industrialization, associated with the dominating industrial development interests, influenced the rapid formation of such a branch of science as light and engineering. The approach to housing construction as a specific “household production” has led to the interest of architects and light engineers in the selection of the optimal shape and area of window openings. Drawing attention to the artistic aspects of civil engineering and the “development of heritage” since the mid 1930s led to work in the field of the particular perception of complex architectural forms under different lighting conditions, which sometimes was to the detriment of designing the residential premise illuminance. At the end of the 1930s, along with the tasks of increasing the volume of housing construction according to standard projects, research was resumed to determine the optimal shape, area and location of window openings, taking into account the orientation and various shading factors. During this period, insolation issues were directly associated with housing architecture (let’s remember Le Corbusier and the Athens Charter). On the basis of laboratory examinations and field experiments, daylight coefficient values for living quarters were established and the basic requirements for insolation were determined. However, today, when calls are heard everywhere for the formation of a sustainable living environment, a conscious approach to resource consumption, and an improvement in the quality of life of the population, the provisions scientifically proven 80 years ago, unfortunately, are being revised in domestic practice towards their clear deterioration.
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