It’s open and the ribbon has been cut! The debut of the newest structure on the grounds of the West Michigan Regional Airport occurred earlier in October. One of the things that make this building significant is its use of Suntuitive Dynamic Glass.
What do you think of when you hear the word shopping? Do large buildings with a variety of stores pop up? Does your mind conjure up images of markets stuffed with food? Stop a moment. Think of your last shopping experience – at the mall, grocery store, wherever. What did the building look like? Was it closed in with no windows? Probably. Retail spaces are often designed for maximum usage. Walls are used to house shelves or racks for products. Ceilings are chock full of buzzing fluorescent lights. But recent research suggests that this setting is harmful – most stores would benefit from a proper daylighting strategy.
The design of a modern airport is becoming a “must see” attraction and with the added need for an intense security protocol, the amount of time people spend at airports has been growing a great deal. Plus there’s a pride factor, as visitors to a city first encounter the airport and make their initial impression of the community. So having something modern, innovative, and inviting has become more important than ever.
In the first part of our series on the effects of daylighting we did a high level overview, but now let’s take it a bit further. Think of your time in school. What did your classrooms look like? If you got your education in the United States, chances are good that your classroom had off-white cement walls, drab carpet, and small (if any) windows. The lights you sat under were probably harsh fluorescent panels. Did those help you concentrate? Probably not. In recent years, more and more people have been pushing for the use of natural light in the classroom – and they’re right to do so. Natural light elevates mood, increases concentration, and can even help raise average grades by up to 25% !
Have you ever wondered why you get more stuff done on a sunny day compared to a rainy day? Noticed that you work better when you’re close to a window? Does your mood seem to always be better when you’re out in the sun? You might be thinking to yourself yes, I have! But why? The answer to all of these questions is a simple one – natural light energizes you and increases your productivity. And that is exactly why you should consider the practice of daylighting.