16 Jun Daylighting in Office Design
The Toronto skyline is growing and changing as new office projects are moving ahead; modernizing the look and overall feel of the city. It is hard to ignore the ever-changing Toronto skyline as you approach the city or walk through the streets, especially on beautiful days when the reflections of surrounding buildings contribute to the expansive skyline.
What is Daylighting?
Natural light is what keeps our world moving. It provides us with vitamin D, improves our immune systems and regulates the natural world. During the winter months, many people become susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to a lack of natural light, so it is no wonder that the use of natural light, supplemented by electric lights, has become even more important in office design to improve overall health all year round. Daylighting by definition is “the inclusion and use of natural light to provide sufficient lighting for those who work within a particular space”. Not only does daylighting decrease energy costs, but it also can transform a space! More and more companies are utilizing natural light in their office designs, treating it as an element of the design itself, as it can be controlled, manipulated and used throughout an entire space.
What are the Benefits?
Daylighting is one of the most important aspects of office design that needs to be taken into consideration as it can impact the function of our bodies and affect our overall success. Our circadian rhythms, the internal clock that influences our patterns of alertness and sleepiness throughout the day, is highly influenced by natural light. Daylighting helps to regulate our everyday rhythm. As we are exposed to natural light and its variances in intensity throughout the day, our bodies regulate our sleep- wake cycle to make the most of the daylight hours. Many workers find that when they are working in a space that does not allow them to be exposed to natural light throughout the day, they become sluggish as their circadian rhythm cannot operate properly. This leads to a decrease in productivity as the body prematurely prepares for its sleep cycle.
Architects and designers have been considering our natural day-to-day rhythms for decades. Even city planners have also taken it into consideration when setting out the development of the city skyline. For instance, in 1916 New York City adopted a particular street width allowance to ensure that sunlight and air could circulate throughout the streets, in order to maintain the natural circadian rhythms of those who were out and about or at work.
Electric lighting used in offices spaces and technological devices has also been taken into consideration as it affects our natural sleep- wake cycles. Many companies are utilizing blue light during the brightest hours of the day to increase and maintain alertness. As the day progresses, blue lights are reduced and take on warmer tones to help the body naturally move towards its sleep cycle. This is allowing employees to maintain their daily rhythms and make the most of each day.
There are several benefits to incorporating natural light into office design, as it not only increases employee productivity and happiness, but it provides additional character to each space. This summer, open up the blinds and make the most of the sunshine, as it could impact your office in a major way. If you are interested in learning more about daylighting and how it can be incorporated into your commercial space, contact our team!