May 3, 2014

Green building tips: Let the light shine in

Did you know: Frequent exposure to natural light can lighten your mood, lessen eyestrain and make you feel connected to the outside world. 

Promoting the use of natural light in buildings, called daylighting, can also lower energy bills for your home, congregation or ministry. By installing skylights and light shelves (light-reflecting overhangs), uncovering or adding windows, and planning light-colored reflective wall and flooring surfaces, you will brighten a room and be less dependent on electric lighting. Added light will also help warm the room and lower heating costs in winter.

To diffuse heat waves during the summer months, consider adding translucent shades and plants positioned near windows. Venetian blinds with a reflective surface on one side can help lessen glare and bounce light throughout a room while allowing you to control the amount of light that enters. Another great way to naturally control light is by planting deciduous trees near south-facing windows. They will let the light shine in winter and diffuse light in summer.