Daylight

The most obvious vehicle for energy saving in buildings is in exploiting the most abundant source of light available to us - daylight. Environmentally conscious assessments of building design are recognizing that daylight (and natural fresh air) is an important commodity and should be exploited to the full. Generally, people when asked, always prefer to work in a daylit environment. There is a growing acknowledgement that daylight produces positive effects, both physiological and psychological.

Forms of control are necessary to limit the potentially excessive levels of daylight, if it is not to become a nuisance, particularly on bright sunny days. A wide range of devices are available, from relatively inexpensive and simple internal blinds (roller, venetian etc.) through to high tech, computer-controlled heliodens, which track the sun.

Whilst a daylighting strategy will be needed in those buildings where a decision to provide air-conditioning has been adopted, it is in those buildings described as 'passive' where the greatest savings can be made.

A passive building is one in which the greatest use is made of natural resources . . . natural light, solar power and ventilation derived from making use of the natural environment. Nature cannot provide all that is necessary, and even during the day there may well be a need for some additional energy use, in terms of lighting from artificial sources, or ventilation from some form of fan assistance, whilst in terms of solar power, this can be used to advantage.

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