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Sustainable Living Center interiors illumined in daylight, thanks to EcoFair guest expert
by Global Good News staff writer
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19 June 2012
The design of the new Sustainable Living Center at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) incorporates ideas inspired by several speakers at the university's annual EcoFair.
The EcoFair is an educational conference which brings together the leading innovators in the field of sustainability. The conference is hosted and organized by MUM, with the goal of providing a forum to share the latest innovations and ideas in environmentalism.
One of these ideas brought forward had a great impact on the design of the Sustainable Living Center.
Mike Nicklas, president of the firm Innovative Design, spoke at one EcoFair about daylighting buildings.
He spoke eloquently of daylighting's benefits. It greatly reduces the amount of electricity needed to operate a building and also creates a superior environment in which to study or live one's life. He cited studies showing that educational outcomes improve in schools that have daylighting, and business is more productive in businesses that are daylit. Even Walmart stores that are daylit sell more merchandise, he said.
Mr Nicklas concluded that people seem to be more successful at doing what they attempt to do if they are within more of nature's own environment, which includes illumination directly by the sun.
Jon Lipman, chief architect for the Sustainable Living Center, said, 'Mike has really made his career focused on daylighting buildings and he was very inspiring. Under his inspiration I attempted to design this building such that it would be completely daylit. We were successful.'
Mr Lipman elaborated on this success. 'When the sun is out on any bright day all the rooms in this building get enough daylight that you don't have to have lights on. All the classrooms are lit by sunlight from two directions so that you don't have shadows cast on your desk by your computer or your hand, which makes for a better learning environment.'
Daylighting was just the first impact from the EcoFair on the new building's design. Subsequent articles in this series will highlight other EcoFair-inspired innovations, described in a recent interview with Jon Lipman.
For more about how the new building exemplifies the harmonious integration of principles of sustainable, energy-efficient design within the framework of Maharishi Vastu architecture in accord with natural law, see related articles:
∙ New Maharishi University of Management building is 'truly sustainable'
∙ New sustainable building will have long-lasting legacy
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