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Reduction ... artificial light ... waste ... daylight ... control ... solar ... legislation

The introduction has stressed the need for a reduction in the use of energy in buildings; where the part played by a strategic role for daylighting can provide considerable savings in energy, and therefore of carbon dioxide emissions, leading to a reduction in greenhouse gases and ultimately a reduction in global warming.

This is now recognized by most governments, though there is still a reluctance to take sufficient measures to overcome the problems involved. The 'fossil fuels' which provide the bulk of the energy we use at present, are still thought of as cheap alternatives to action, ignoring the fact that coal, gas, and oil are a finite resource with limited life for the future, leading to a potential energy crisis.

Even where this is acknowledged, most governments have not put the necessary investment into alternative forms of energy, by developments in the fields of wave, wind or solar power. In the past there have been exceptions; one being in the development of hydroelectric power, where conditions have permitted and lucky the countries which have bene-fitted; another is in the use of solar power in certain countries which have exploited their natural environment; this is an area where a developing technology can play an important part in the future.

Nuclear power in the UK has not proved to be the answer, unlike early projections from journalists that energy would become almost free. The generation of energy by means of nuclear power stations, has become too expensive, added to the unsolved problems of the disposal of nuclear waste, to a point where it is unlikely using present technology for nuclear to provide the alternative to fossil fuels; the development of nuclear energy is more an issue for the environmentalist. There are countries, such as France, where a large part of their energy is derived from nuclear plants, but in the UK there does not at present seem to be either the will or the means.

The future therefore appears to lie in the development of alternative sources of energy, but the problem facing us today is in taking action to ameliorate the energy crisis as it exists.

The reduction in the use of energy in buildings has been identified as a major objective, of which electrical energy for lighting is a significant factor.

Lighting accounts for between a third and a half of the energy use in commercial buildings and significant savings in energy can be obtained where the positive use of daylight has been planned; associated with control systems, by means of 'daylight linking', natural light provides the major light source during the day with variable artificial light as back-up.

It will be found that in many of the Case Studies mentioned later in the book, daylight has provided the necessary amount of light for large parts of the building during the day, whilst providing the interior space with an overall impression of daylight, even in areas where the actual daylight factors may be relatively low, allowing light from artificial sources to be reduced, with consequent savings in energy.

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