A building’s interior design can maximize the use of natural light. Architectural elements such as the number of windows, window position, room size, and room shape all play large roles in the amount of sunlight that enters a room, as well as the distribution of that light within the room. Strip windows provide the most even and large amount of sunlight. Bright and somewhat reflective surfaces such as paint and the type of floor can aid in the distribution of sunlight. The interior layout should not block windows with cabinets or other large items. Work-spaces should be strategically placed to have a comfortable amount of sunlight, such as putting a desk sideways to a window.
Read more about laying out the interior to maximize daylight.
Utilizing the maximum amount of daylight saves energy that would normally be used for artificial lighting and heating. Designing a bright, sunny interior reduces the number of light fixtures that are necessary, reduces electricity bills, creates a more pleasant workspace, and is known to improve employee morale. Strong sunlight can also help heat a room during the winter; although this can be a disadvantage in the summertime, insulating windows and using functional window shades and drapes can help mitigate the problem of overheating. Maximizing daylight works best in conjunction with lighting controls that modulate the intensity of artificial lights depending on the amount of natural light in the room.
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Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice
- John Hancock/Manulife
Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates
Examples of laying out the interior to maximize daylight in the Boston Area:
- Artists for Humanity Epi Center
- Mandarin Oriental, Boston
A Small Sample of Providers and Installers around Boston:
- Whole Building Design Guide: Daylighting | Lighting & Controls
- The Weather Channel: Maximizing Natural Light
- Ezine: Tips to Maximize Natural Lighting in Your Home
- Energy 101: Daylighting
- Daylighting in Buildings
- Daylighting Guide for Office Interiors
In The News
- “How to Cut Your Company’s Energy Bill” Mass High Tech, April 17, 2009