Sunlight is of course a primary consideration in green building, but the benefits of utilizing the sun goes a lot further. Not only does solar energy reduce electricity use, but it improves the social sustainability of spaces, as well.
Large offices, such as Google and the General Services Administration are among many who have proven that exposure to sunlight can increase employee productivity.
“We’ve found that Googlers with desks closer to windows are more likely to feel that their work environment lets them be more productive and sparks creativity,” Anthony Ravitz, Google’s real estate and workplace services green team lead, “This feedback reinforces our belief that building design helps reduce stress levels, increase creativity and improve performance, and we’ll continue finding ways to measure and support this.”
Likewise, at a call center, productivity increased by 6% by just moving desks closer to windows.
Architects are both retrofitting spaces, along with beginning to design daylighting features from the very beginning.
New technologies that maximize the benefits of daylighting is on the rise. From technology that uses optical components to pull natural sunlight hundreds of feet deep into building’s interiors to mobile applications that help building owners calibrate, reposition, and monitor each unit, architects are finding ways to bring the outdoors inside and work stress down.