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Happy first day of spring — Bring on the daylighting

Published on Written by Posted in LEED

Ah spring — a time of longer days, warming temperatures and budding flora. And it all officially starts today, regardless of Pax, Titan, or Wiley telling us otherwise...

Have you ever noticed that you feel better on sunny days? It’s not all in your head. Trust me.

Heres's the evidence. Access to increased sunlight has been shown to have positive impacts on both human behavior and health, because it reinforces our circadian rhythms (otherwise known as your body’s clock).

Having access to daylight has even been proven to increase healing times in hospitals, improve students’ performance, increase productivity in the workplace, fight depression and lethargy, and even increase sales in retail environments.

Even more, a well-designed daylit building also uses less electric lighting energy, conserving natural resources and reducing air pollution.

In the LEEDverse daylighting has a very special place within the Indoor Environmental Quality section, the category that address how buildings contribute to the comfort and wellbeing of those that live work and play within them.  

Projects can earn points by taking measures to let the sunshine in, unobstructed by furniture and/or partitions.

Pursuing the LEED daylighting credit?

Here are some tips for success.

  • Set goals in the very beginning. As is the case for many credits, this is an easier credit to pursue when daylighting is considered during the design phase.
  • Consider occupied spaces. When planning interior spaces, determine the areas used regularly by the occupants.. Those are the areas that need daylight.
  • Plan for direct sunlight and contrast. Consider glare control devises, look for options that allow for flexibility. Fixed fins, exterior overhangs and louver don’t take the movement of the sun into account. Interior window blinds and shades, curtains, and movable awnings and screens are better options.

Learn more about daylighting specifics in LEED 2009 or LEED v4. 

Happy first day of spring, or as I like to think of it, Happy Daylighting Day!

 

Sources:

Kellert, Stephen R., Judith H. Heerwagen, and Martin L. Mador, Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Life into Buildings (New York: Wiley, 2008), p. 99.

Boyce, Peter, Reviews of Technical Reports on Daylight and Productivity (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2004); Heschong Mahone Group, Daylighting in Schools: An Investigation into the Relationship between Daylighting and Human Performance (1999). 

Edwards, L., and P. Torcellini. A Literature Study of the Effects of Natural Light on Building Occupants (Golden, Colorado: NREL, 2002).

Peet, Ramona, Lisa Heschong, Roger Wright, and Don Aumann, Daylighting and Productivity in the Retail Sector(2004), (accessed June 12, 2013).

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    Selina Holmes made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Selina Holmes

Manager, LEED Marketing and Communications U.S. Green Building Council

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