Daylighting problems – solved! In an interview with Senior Designer and Daylighting Specialist, Amaia Puras-Ustarroz, we got granular with her to get the scoop on a new corporate interiors space with 24-hour operation office areas for creative, high-tech workers. She uses daylighting from skylights and vertical fenestration to inform controls for an integrated holistic lighting design solution.

What made this project or experience special to you and your team?

This was my first local project at HLB Miami, where I could truly have a hands-on experience with daylighting and electric lighting integration. Being local gave us the opportunity to go to the site and take measurements of existing conditions while experiencing the available daylight even before doing any analyses. This rare opportunity was really exciting and “enlightening”.

How did energy goals and lighting controls design dovetail for this project?

HLB is a fierce promoter of the use of daylight to create healthy environments while naturally bringing architecture to life. Additionally, the new Florida Building Code requires the inclusion of daylight harvesting. Through close collaboration with the team, we were able to perform sophisticated daylight analyses to optimize the controls to not only comply with the Code but also be loyal to HLB’s philosophy.

Describe a design challenge and how was it achieved.

Daylight is known to have a positive impact on people’s well-being and productivity at work. However, the inclusion of skylights in a workspace where employees are mostly working on computers can present a challenge for glare mitigation, especially in a location where the sun reaches very high angles. In order to optimize the access to daylight yet mitigate glare, we conducted a series of simulations at different times of the day and the year to optimize the skylight locations throughout the open office and transition areas for the most positive impact.

Were there health, safety or security issues addressed by the design?

It is no secret that exposure to daylight has an extremely positive impact on people’s circadian cycle. Employees’ health, wellness and productivity were definitely the main goals for this project. By embracing natural light and integrating it with electric lighting we are setting the stage for enhanced wellness, health and productivity.

Were there budget constraints and how were they met?

The budget that the contractor had proposed was limited. HLB prioritized the daylighting and control solutions into “day 1” and “day 2” recommendations. This gave the client flexibility to make informed decisions.

What were the project’s goals regarding lighting?

The main goal was to save energy, embrace daylight and enhance visual comfort for the occupants, who spend very long hours at their computers, while at the same time, providing an interesting and unique character to the space, which reflects the company’s philosophy. Combining daylight and electric lighting ideas into an integrated holistic approach created a comfortable energy-efficient space.

How were these goals achieved?

Through a comprehensive process that went from big picture to detailed studies and close collaboration between the electric lighting and the daylighting teams, we were seamlessly able to use the daylighting conclusions to inform the holistic electric lighting approach.

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