News and Events

Fort Collins Utility Administration Building Wins Award

October 01 2017

Engineering News Record ( ENR ) has selected the Fort Collins Utility Administration Building as the best sustainable building project of 2017. Designed by RNL Design and constructed by Adolfson & Peterson Construction, the three-story, 37,500 square foot office building is only the fourth project in the world to be certified LEED Platinum for new construction under the U.S. Green Building Council’s version 4 standard. The building integrates numerous sustainable design features such as wall panels that combine framing and insulation; fiberglass high performance window frames and glazing; photovoltaic modules for power generation; a rain garden; and the LightLouver Daylighting System for deep, glare-free daylighting.

The LightLouver Daylighting System was selected over other side-daylighting strategies that were considered because it provided uniform, glare-free daylighting deep into the office areas. A unique mounting strategy was developed because of the fiberglass window frames that were used for the high performance windows.

See images of the project in the Portfolio section of the LightLouver web site.

LightLouver LLC Founder Leads Daylight Code Development Effort

May 01 2017

Michael Holtz, FAIA, Founder and CEO of LightLouver LLC, has since December 2015 led an effort to develop and incorporate daylight requirements into model building codes, such as the International Green Construction Code ( IgCC ) published by the International Code Council. Initially formed under the Daylight Management Council of the National Electrical Manufacturer Association, and later under the Indoor Environmental Quality ( IEQ ) Working Group of ASHRAE Standard 189, the working group formed by Mr. Holtz developed and put forward to the ASHRAE 189 IEQ Working Group three proposals: Daylighting, Glare Control and View.

As of May 2017, two of the proposals, Daylighting and Glare Control, have been approved for Public Comment, and hopefully will be included in the new version of the IgCC which is due to be published in the summer of 2018. The Daylighting code proposal focuses on the performance compliance path and references the daylighting performance metrics developed by the Daylight Metrics Committee of the Illuminating Engineering Society and published in LM-83.  The Glare Control code proposals seeks to ensure that an operable method of glare control is provided in commercial buildings to ensure the visual comfort is maintained.

This effort to develop a unified green building code could become the foundation for LEED Certification, and provides the basis for local and state building code jurisdictions to adopt a building code that addresses sustainable building practices. Widespread adoption of the IgCC would encourage and promote the design and construction of more energy efficient and environmentally-responsive buildings, including the integration of effective daylighting strategies such as the LightLouver Daylighting System.

Daylighting, LED Lighting and ROI

November 01 2015

Daylighting of architectural space is an integral part of architectural design. After all, humans occupy buildings, and humans desire a physical and psychological connection to the “outside” world. Additionally, all life on Earth, including human life, evolved under sunlight and our Circadian rhythms, which govern our daily living cycles and influence our mood and control our sleep patterns, developed in response to a connection to the outdoors. Apertures which connect interior building spaces with the exterior environment, such as windows, skylights, and atria, help define and shape the architectural character of the building, and thus are important elements of architectural design. Throughout history, these apertures have served multiple functions – view, fresh air, emergency egress, communication and so on. After the OPEC oil embargo of the mid-1970s, use of building apertures for their lighting energy saving potential – turning off or dimming electric lights when adequate daylight levels exist – has become an established strategy in new and existing commercial ( non-residential ) buildings. Thus began a trend which has had some serious unintended consequences. Let me explain.

Daylighting, LED Lighting and ROI (PDF)

Two New Reports Link Daylighting to Worker Health and Productivity

January 21 2015

Two recently released reports summarize research linking daylighting with worker health and productivity. The first study prepared by the World Green Building Council (WBGC) aims to establish a quantifiable monetary link between energy and environmentally responsive commercial buildings and occupant wellness and productivity. The report is a meta study of hundreds of academic and industry studies covering a range of office design factors, including lighting ( daylighting and electric lighting ), thermal comfort, acoustics, interior layout and biophilia ( the connection  of people to the natural environment ). The report offers a toolkit for building owners to realize and substantiate the financial benefits of energy and environmentally responsive design strategies. The intent of the report is to help organizations integrate this type of information into financial decision-making.

The second report released by Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana indicates that occupants of a workspace containing windows that provide daylight not only are more productive, but they also get more sleep during off hours, are more physically active, and report a higher quality of life then those who worked in spaces without daylight. Because of the dangers of sleep deprivation, as well as the productivity and health advantages of daylighting, the study’s author’s urge building owners and architects to keep window place and daylighting in their minds  when designing or redesigning office space.