5 Ways to Improve Sustainability with Quality Daylighting Design
By Torrin Greathouse | November 22, 2017
Daylighting is a lighting design method which utilizes natural light to illuminate an interior space. It enhances theaesthetics of building design while making rooms feel more pleasant. It is also well-known for making a business more sustainable in the short and the long-term, but it may not be immediately apparent why this is the case. The ways daylight design makes a business more financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable are outlined below.
Lower Utility Bills
Daylighting brings free, abundant sunlight into the interior of buildings, allowing businesses to partially or completely turn off electric light sources during the day. Depending on the type of business, lighting accounts for nearly 20-50% of a business budget, so reducing the use of artificial, electric lighting can actually save a great portion of money that can then be spent on other improvements towards sustainability.
Studies have shown that exposure to natural light during the day increases worker performance. Sunlight brings comfort and happiness, and positively impacts health and well-being by keeping the circadian rhythm adjusted to its proper daily cycle. Workers are more motivated to work and find greater satisfaction in the tasks they accomplish when the workplace is well-suited to accommodate their needs. Plus, sunlight enhances the visibility of objects, so workers can perform their tasks more competently and safely.
Boost Worker Morale
Natural light raises energy levels and reduces stress, so workers have a more enjoyable experience on the job. And when workers feel better, they are more likely to have positive interactions with coworkers, clients, and customers.
Improve Customer Loyalty
It is proven that customers are more likely to return to daylit stores than to non-daylit ones and that they are more likely to buy a product from a daylit portion of a store than from a non-daylit portion of a store. Customers prefer to shop in daylit spaces not only because sunlight feels good, but also because natural light has better color rendition, so products appear more attractive and are easier to see.
Build A Strong Brand Image
The public image of a business is tied to its physical building. Designing sustainable workspaces using daylighting techniques make a business appear more progressive, which strengthens a brand image. When a company has a strong, ecologically-minded brand image, potential new hires are more likely to seek their employment there, because new hires, especially those who are just out of college, want to work on a team that cares about wider social and ecological issues. Brand image attracts educated and competitive workers who will believe in the company and keep it sustainable well into the future.