by Brent Sauser
Daylighting, for the most part, is a passive design approach to providing FREE sunlight into a building instead of relying solely on light fixtures. Successful Net Zero building design must incorporate as many passive design principles as possible, to minimize the “gap” between what passive design can achieve in lowering the overall building heating and cooling loads, and getting all the way down to ZERO power demand from the utility grid. That “gap” will probably require the use of high-tech products. High-tech products can be expensive, so it is cost effective to incorporate tried and true passive design features, some of which are older than the Anasazi Indians, who built their homes to be in the shade most of the time, with thick adobe walls and small windows to keep the inside cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Designing a building with passive features will greatly reduce the size and cost of high-tech products needed to get the overall off site power demand down to ZERO. Daylighting is an excellent, low cost way to reduce your monthly power bill by using the FREE light of the sun to illuminate your building during daytime. Besides, isn’t it just common sense? Why pay for a substitute when you can enjoy the benefits of the real thing . . . for FREE? I will address the answer to that question in my next blog . . . . Traditional “ROI” is “DOA”.