Are We Thinking About Daylighting All Wrong?

The daylighting advantages for this Manassas Park classroom go far beyond reducing reliance on electrical utilities—there is much to be said about natural light’s benefits in health and productivity. Photo © Sam Kittner Photography

Daylighting is an integral part of architectural design. After all, building occupants want a physical and psychological connection to the outside world. We evolved under sunlight; our Circadian rhythms—governing daily living cycles, influencing our mood, and controlling our sleep patterns—developed in response to a connection to the outdoors. Unfortunately, how many design/construction professionals approach daylighting can be problematic.

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Richardsville Elementary – NET ZERO

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September 2010 marked the grand opening for Richardsville Elementary, the First Net-Zero Insulated Concrete Form School in the U.S. Warren County School district, the school board responsible for Richardsville, has been building energy efficient schools that are being recognized for their innovation across the United States.

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Planning for Effective Daylighting

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Building owners, architects, lighting designers, and engineers must work together so a project’s design can be maximized to bring in as much light without causing excessive glare or heat gain. While skylights work for a building’s top floor, most of the daylight in commercial building comes through windows.

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Additional thoughts on the NAFS short-form specification

In the December 2014 issue of The Construction Specifier, Dean Lewis wrote about the North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors, and Skylights’s (NAFS’) short-form specification. American Architectural Manufacturers Association/Window and Door Manufacturers Association/Canadian Standards Association (AAMA/WDMA/CSA) 101/I.S. 2/A440, serves as the basis for product certification as required by the International Building Code (IBC).

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Making the NAFS short-form specification work

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Fenestration products are becoming undeniably more complex as performance expectations diversify and tighten. The same is true of the standards guiding both designers and specifiers of these products. The focus of these standards is the American Architectural Manufacturers Association/Window and Door Manufacturers Association/Canadian Standards Association (AAMA/WDMA/CSA) 101/I.S. 2/A440, North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors, and Skylights (NAFS).

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