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Creating energy-efficient buildings can be a large task, but following these tips and tricks about daylighting can make the job easier. Learn about everything from window placement to skylights and how they can help you achieve a more efficient building.
An architect should consider the following items
when designing an energy-efficient nonresidential
building, regardless of size and building type.
Windows placed high in the wall near the
ceiling provide the most daylight for any
given window area, permitting daylight to
penetrate more deeply into the interior.
PLACE WINDOWS HIGH IN
THE WALL OF EACH FLOOR
Because window glass has little or no resistance
to heat ﬂow, it is one of the primary sources of
energy waste and discomfort. Window areas
should, therefore, be kept to a reasonable
minimum, justiﬁed by clearly deﬁned needs for
view, visual relief, ventilation, and/or daylighting.
SIZE WINDOWS ACCORDING
TO USE AND ORIENTATION
USE LIGHT SHELVES
Light shelves are horizontal projections placed on
the outside and below a window to reﬂect sunlight
onto the interior ceiling, making it a light-reﬂecting
surface. At the same time, the light shelf shades the
lower portion of the window, reducing the amount
of light near the window, which is typically overlit.
The result is more balanced daylighting
with less glare and contrast between
light levels in the interior.
WITH LIGHT SHELVES WITHOUT LIGHT SHELVES
USE SKYLIGHTING FOR
DAYLIGHTING, WITH PROPER
Skylighting that is properly sized and oriented
is an efficient and cost-eﬀective source
of lighting. White-painted ceilings and walls
further improve the efficiency. Electric lighting
costs, peak demand charges, and work
interruptions during power brownouts can be
greatly reduced by using daylight.
Cost-eﬀective, energy-efficient skylights
can be small, spaced widely, with
“splayed” interior light wells that help
reﬂect and diﬀuse the light.
WITH SKYLIGHTS WITHOUT SKYLIGHTS