Basics of Daylighting in a Green Environment
The use of natural sunlight, known as daylighting, to illuminate a building can save energy, reduce operating costs, create visual appeal, and enhance occupant health and productivity. The U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) rating system encourages the use of daylighting to achieve high performance buildings. This course provides an introduction to the use of daylighting in commercial spaces. The course objective is to show why daylighting should be considered, the basic guidelines of using daylighting and some words of caution when using certain daylighting techniques.

3.2 The Sizing Of Skylights

It is important to properly size skylights. A skylight too small restricts the amount of savings to be obtained by being able to turn off the electric lighting. A skylight too large will result in excess solar gain in summer and heat loss in winter and create comfort problems and offset savings from daylighting.

Proper skylight design must account for parameters involving:

  • Lighting
  • Heating & cooling
  • Energy rates


Fortunately, the Heschong Mahone Group from Sacramento, CA has developed a free tool (SkyCalc®) for optimizing the Skylight-to-Floor Ratio, i.e. what percentage of the floor area should be represented with skylight area.

Property of

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