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New Sustainable Living Center at MUM successfully uses daylighting
by Global Good News staff writer
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19 June 2012
On a tour of the recently opened Sustainable Living Center at Maharishi University of Management, architect Jon Lipman showcased the building's successful use of daylighting. He also explained the mechanics behind the practice.
Daylighting, a staple of sustainable design, relies on the sun as much as possible to light an entire building. Not only does it use less energy and provide the ultimate natural light, Mr Lipman explained—it also has been found to improve quality of life.
Mr Lipman stood in one of the Sustainable Living Center's classrooms to explain how daylighting works.
If you have a window at a conventional size and height, he began, it only throws enough sunlight 15 or 20 feet into a room. So if a room is larger than that, you can't daylight it using conventional windows. The solution is twofold: Use higher windows so that the sunlight coming in at the same angle will go much further into the room and use more glass in the windows to bring more light in.
But it is not enough to have windows on just one side of a room.
As anyone who has ever sat at a desk and held a pencil in one hand knows, shadows are cast and it can be very difficult to try to work on paper or a computer when light is coming strongly from only one direction.
Mr Lipman explained, 'So to have a good work situation, we need to have light from more than one direction.'
In the Maharishi University of Management Sustainable Living Center, this is achieved by raising the center part of the building and lining that section with windows along the north and south sides.
The building also uses trays near the windows which help to bounce light, so that even at the middle of the room there are sufficient foot candles on a desk so that a person can read and study.
'These are the principles of daylighting,' Mr Lipman concluded. 'This building applied them and they work.'
See related article: Sustainable Living Center interiors illumined in daylight, thanks to EcoFair guest expert.
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