“Lighting is a holistic process, says Graf, and should not be thought of as simply part of the building system. For optimal visibility, lighting design has to consider such diverse factors as daylight, a control system, and the reflectance values of walls, ceilings, and partitions in an open office. The Illuminating Engineering Society’s new recommended practice guide for lighting design (DG18, Light + Design: A Guide to Designing Quality Lighting for People and Buildings) is a valuable but underused resource, says Graf.
Daylight is a good example of a strategy that can combine energy savings with improved lighting quality. Graf believes that 80 percent of today’s buildings can be lit with natural light. “In old buildings, skylights can be installed,” he says, “and new tools can be used to harvest and optimize natural light and bring it deep into the space without causing any glare.”
In a redesigned space that has windows, the furniture should be laid out to get the maximum benefit from daylighting, says Lee Brandt, associate principal, HLB. “You can keep private offices toward the core and open offices on the perimeter so more people will have access to daylight,” she says.”