Daylighting Design

Daylighting - the practice of utilizing natural light within a building - requires careful planning to balance heat gain and loss, control glare, and adjust for variations in daylight availability. This design strategy can significantly cut energy use in buildings and has wide applicability to many different types of facilities.


  • Case Studies: Zero Net Energy Non-Residential Buildings
    April 12, 2015
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    Six non-residential buildings were designed and built to perform at zero net energy (ZNE) consumption over the course of a year. Extensively monitored under the Pacific Gas & Electric Company's ZNE Pilot Program, each has proven to meet or exceed that level of performance for at least one year of post-construction occupancy.

    These case studies show that building industry leaders who target this new level of building performance can meet this challenge, reinforcing California's reputation for being the incubator and early adopter of transformative ideas with practical feasibility.

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  • e-News #94: Lighting Performance Advances
    September 17, 2014
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    New Sources & Controls... Through the past 20 years, new lighting technologies have been a major driver of increasing energy efficiency in buildings. Lighting specifiers and consumers have embraced CFLs, LEDs, and other highly efficient lighting options. How can even more efficiency savings be mined from the lighting end use?

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  • Fact Sheet: Nonresidential Daylighting and Daylighting Controls
    July 1, 2014
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    Fact Sheets:  Download this fact sheet to read a summary of key requirements, definitions and resources that are useful to implement Title 24, Part 6 energy code.

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  • Fact Sheet: Residential Fenestration
    March 24, 2014
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    Fact Sheets:  Download this fact sheet to read a summary of key requirements, definitions and resources that are useful to implement Title 24, Part 6 energy code.

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  • Design Guidelines: Skylighting Guidelines
    February 23, 2014
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    The Skylighting Guidelines, 2nd edition, were prepared to help designers optimize the use of skylights in commercial and industrial buildings. Many of the lighting principles covered here are also applicable to residential buildings. They describe opportunities for high quality lighting design and explain how to integrate skylights with the design of other building elements. They show how to estimate the potential energy savings and cost savings. Finally, they help designers avoid mistakes that could reduce the value of a skylight design.

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  • Fact Sheet: Nonresidential Lighting Controls for Credit
    February 20, 2014
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    Fact Sheets:  Download this fact sheet to read a summary of key requirements, definitions and resources that are useful to implement Title 24, Part 6 energy code.

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  • Trigger Sheet: Nonresidential Lighting Controls for New Construction
    November 21, 2013
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    Trigger Sheets: This handy trigger sheet summarizes sections of Title 24, Part 6 energy code that are triggered based on project scope.  The sections indicated on these trigger sheets can help identify energy code requirements for your project.

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  • Trigger Sheet: Nonresidential Lighting Control for Additions and Alterations
    November 21, 2013
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    Trigger Sheets: This handy trigger sheet summarizes sections of Title 24, Part 6 energy code that are triggered based on project scope.  The sections indicated on these trigger sheets can help identify energy code requirements for your project.

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  • Office of the Future
    October 15, 2012
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    The 'Office of the Future' video presents case studies of two exemplary pilot projects in existing buildings that are yielding measured energy savings of over 50% and 66% respectively.

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  • Design Brief: Understanding Daylight Metrics
    June 12, 2009
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    For lighting designers and energy consultants, it is important to understand the various daylight terms, calculation methods, and metrics that are used in the rating systems and by the daylighting community.

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  • Case Studies: Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences
    June 12, 2009
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    The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences (TCES) is a three-story, 45,000 ft2 building on Sierra Nevada College's Lake Campus that demonstrates how an ambitious project team can successfully reduce energy usage by implementing a variety of innovative mechanical designs at minimal additional first cost.

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  • Design Guidelines: Daylighting Guidelines
    February 19, 2007
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    In a world newly concerned about carbon emissions, global warming, and sustainable design, the planned use of natural light in non-residential buildings has become an important strategy to improve energy efficiency by minimizing lighting, heating, and cooling loads. The introduction of innovative, advanced daylighting strategies and systems can considerably reduce a building's electricity consumption and also significantly improve the quality of light in an indoor environment.

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  • Design Brief: Lighting Controls
    March 1, 2006
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    Workers tend to be more productive in a well-lit space that fosters better visual comfort. Lighting controls can increase the value of commercial buildings by making them more comfortable, productive, and energy efficient. These controls work either by turning lights off when they are not needed or by dimming light output so that no more light is produced than necessary.

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  • Design Brief: Glazing
    June 1, 2004
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    With so many factors influencing glazing selections, whole-building lifecycle analysis is the best tool for determining the most costeffective solution. Few decisions that a designer makes have more impact on the appearance and utility of a building than the glazing selection.

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  • Design Brief: Skylights with Suspended Ceilings
    March 1, 2003
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    Traditionally, skylight wells in large, low-rise commercial buildings have been custom designed and site built, an expensive and labor-intensive process. This design brief explores the benefits of a better alternative: splayed modular skylight wells specifically designed for use with suspended ceilings.

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