“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright, the prolific American architect, knew well the importance of incorporating nature into his designs, particularly the sun. His greatest architectural achievements utilized many windows and apertures that harnessed daylighting’s benefits. Unfortunately in the post-World War II era, cheap electricity and changes in electric lighting technology caused architects and builders to forget about the sun's inherent benefits. The result was buildings designed to look like giant cinder blocks. Today, there is a resurgence of daylighting in architecture because of its proven advantages. Below are a few of the benefits of incorporating daylighting into your building design.
ENERGY & COST SAVINGS
One of its most attractive benefits is the energy savings - daylighting reduces electric lighting loads and related cooling loads (the costs of powering those systems). Additionally, solar gains during cooling load periods can be lessened and solar gains during heating load periods can be utilized, further reducing energy costs and demand on HVAC systems. Our daylighting analysis will carefully take into consideration the many factors that contribute to harnessing the power of natural light.
POSITIVE IMPACT ON HEALTH & LABOR
Many studies have concluded that daylighting has positive physical and mental effects. Daylighting has been linked to decreases in absenteeism, higher productivity, higher test scores, and shorter recovery times for hospitalized patients. Daylighting has also been known to boost morale and overall mood. Part of this is due to natural light, providing signal to our bodies to increase alertness, while dark areas signal the body to rest.
LEED certification, an accreditation that recognizes sustainable and environmentally friendly building construction, has gained a lot of attention in recent years. Recently more companies have been hiring vendors that incorporate sustainability into their daily operations; LEED certification is one of the best ways a business can demonstrate their commitment to green practices. When you incorporate daylighting into your design, you are eligible to earn credits that count toward LEED certification.
Daylighting is a delicate balance of providing the benefits of the sun, while minimizing glare, excess heat, and providing energy savings. This requires professional expertise to manage this balance by tailoring the system to your specific climate and needs. A professional analysis will help ensure that your end goals are reached.
At EXTECH, we can help discover the possibilities of daylighting for your design. Please contact us to learn how we can help you achieve your vision!