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April 18, 2014  |  Login
Daylighting
By Jerry Yudelson
 

Daylighting is an aspect of green building design that should be ubiqui­tous; without adequate daylighting, people will not perform well and will not be healthy. For building plans, this implies a design that is no more than 66 feet wide, front to back, or about 33 feet to a window from any workstation. This is a standard design requirement in many places in Eu­rope, where people’s health is placed before economic efficiency. Looked at another way, a building should be oriented so that the long axis is east­-west; this allows for maximum daylighting, from both south­- and north-­facing windows.

Daylighting at University of Oregon, Lillis Business School, Eugene, Oregon, Designed by SRG Architects. (Photo © by Rick Keating, RK Productions. Reprinted with Permission)
Daylighting at University of Oregon, Lillis Business School, Eugene, Oregon, Designed by SRG Architects. (Photo © by Rick Keating, RK Productions. Reprinted with Permission)

Daylighting’s benefits are immediately apparent; people see better and feel better whenever there is natural light for reading and working. Good daylighting design can employ skylights, north­-facing windows on the roof, a central atrium, light shelves to bounce light into a space while shad­ing windows from the summer sun, and other techniques. Good daylight­ing is always indirect, without glare. Daylighting is usually combined with electric lighting, so that there is a constant lighting level, typically 30 foot­-candles at the desktop, or there is task lighting provided for each work­station.

According to a report from Carnegie Mellon University analyzing daylighting research, “Eleven case studies have shown that innovative day­lighting systems can pay for themselves in less than one year due to energy and productivity benefits…the ROI [return on investment] for daylight­ing is over 185%.”

A California study of the impact of daylighting examined 73 stores of a chain retailer, of which 24 had daylighting. The results: “The value of the energy savings from daylighting is far overshad­owed by the value of the predicted increase in sales due to day­lighting. The profit from increased sales associated with daylight is worth at least 19 times the energy savings.”

 
REFERENCES :
  1. Building Investment Decision Support (BIDS). Available from: http://www.aia.org/SiteObjects/files/BIDS_color.pdf [5 January 2007]
  2. Windows and Offices: A Study of Office Worker Performance and the Indoor Environment-CEC PIER 2003. Available from: http://www.h-m-g.com/projects/daylighting/summaries on daylighting.htm [3 April 2007]
 

 

 
 
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