A Glimpse into GBBN's Daylighting Research
Simply stated, daylighting is the process of using natural light to illuminate indoor spaces. The practice of good daylighting is complex and involves a wide range of factors, including overall lighting levels, daylit zones, electric light controls, light color, and contrast ratios.
Effective daylighting is good for the health and well-being of the inhabitants, resulting in reduced eye fatigue, maintenance of natural circadian rhythms*, regulation of melatonin production, and better visual acuity. Although not easily quantifiable, well daylit spaces, and can also help increase worker productivity, lead to greater comprehension and increased test scores in schools, provide thermal comfort for occupants, and positively impact mood. This is believed to be a result of both the physical benefits and the physiological benefits of an increased connection to the natural environment.
Over the course of the last year, the GBBN Daylighting Project (gdp) has been working on several aspects of daylighting design, study, and research simultaneously. Investigations include examining precedents, brainstorming and testing glare control mechanisms, surveying employees, researching common themes, and testing simulation programs.
When asked how the research went, GBBNer Elizabeth Schmidt shared "I've really enjoyed working on the daylighting project. I think it's been a great forum for discussing both the generally accepted knowledge as well as looking for ways to challenge some of that. The part that I've been particularly drawn to, is looking at the connection between physical light levels and the subjective feeling of a space ... I think it is in that study of quality along with quantity that will prove to make our projects better".