Effective daylighting can reduce energy bills, increase workplace productivity, and bring new life to old buildings. As such, it’s rapidly been accepted as one of the most important elements of modern building design.
There’s a lot more to daylighting than just installing skylights and windows. From planning the optimum window and skylight placement to working out an interior layout that lets light flow naturally throughout the building, great daylighting can require a large amount of careful planning.
These five principles are important for creating a daylighting system that reduces energy bills, increases natural light, and makes your office, retail store, or storage and production center a more appealing environment to work in.
Maximize light using well-placed sources of natural light
The first goal of a daylighting system is to maximize natural light. Because the sun moves on a natural arc from the east to the west over the course of the day (largely due to the Earth’s natural rotation) a daylighting system may make use of windows and skylights that are strategically installed in these directions.
In order to maximize daytime sunlight and deliver natural light evenly throughout your office, retail store, or large building, daylighting experts will take the arc of the sun into account when planning the size and placement of skylights, windows, and glass doors.
Optimize interior layout to help light flow and spread evenly
There’s more to effective daylighting than just installing windows and skylights in the right locations. Good daylighting systems depend as much on the interior of the building that they’re installed in as the exterior.
By arranging the interior of your building – for example, the dividers and contents of an office, or the product displays of a large retail store – daylighting experts can help you to achieve the optimum results from your daylighting system. In many settings, an effective interior layout can substantially increase the effects of daylighting.
Reduce energy usage by bringing light to artificially lit areas
One of the biggest advantages of energy-efficient daylighting is its ability to reduce your business’s energy bills. If your retail store, office workplace, or large building spends a great deal on artificial lighting, an effective daylighting system will look at key lighting points in order to reduce their electrical lighting requirements.
Although many daylighting systems make daytime lighting unnecessary, others may simply reduce your building’s dependence on artificial lighting. Daylighting experts will often look at parts of your building that are overly dependent on artificial light, and work out how they could benefit from a source of natural light.
Optimize costs by selecting materials and planning results
Daylighting has a reputation for being immensely cost-effective over the long term due to its energy-efficiency benefits. However, in order to be truly cost-effective, a daylighting system needs to be able to be designed, planned for, and installed on a budget that suits the business in question.
In order to keep your daylighting system affordable, daylighting experts will look at the cost of installing different daylighting elements – for example, skylights that use different types of UV and heat filtering – to work out their total cost-to-benefit ratio for your business.
Minimizing maintenance needs by training and equipping staff
Good daylighting systems require minimal maintenance, particularly if they’re cared for properly by staff. One of the best ways to increase the savings made possible by a daylighting system is to train your staff in basic cleaning and lighting maintenance.
Daylighting experts can assist your staff with routine cleaning and maintenance by offering suggestions on cleaning grit and dust away from skylights and other glass daylighting installations. Your staff can also learn how to optimize the way they use artificial lighting to increase the benefits of your daylighting system.