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.

4.1 Sidelighting
  • Windows must see the light of day. A high density urban site may make daylighting difficult if the windows will not see much sky.
  • Typically, sidelighting is governed by the "2.5 Rule," i.e. multiply the height of the window by 2.5 to determine about how far into a space daylighting will reach from that window.
  • It is usually better to sidelight from two sides instead of one and to light from as high as possible.
  • Strip windows provide more uniform illumination.
  • Larger windows require more control.
  • Locate windows near room surfaces to help re-distribute daylight.
  • Use separate apertures for vision glazing and for daylighting.
  • Shaped ceiling and other architectural features can enhance the performance of a daylighting system.
  • Glazing must transmit light. A strong desire for very dark glazing generally diminishes the capacity to daylight in all but very sunny climates.
  • Building orientation, relative to the path of the sun, becomes important in sidelighting.
  • View windows should look at activity or the horizon.

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