Windows … architectural development … takeover of artificial lighting …renewal of interest in daylight … energy use … passive architecture …strategy … control
‘It is impossible to overestimate the important influence of natural light on the interior and exterior forms of buildings and on those who dwell in them. So daylight is the natural beginning
From the earliest caves, daylight informed the lives of the inhabitants, initially in the difference between night and day; but as dwellings became more sophisticated, by means of openings or windows letting in light. The window has developed over the centuries, but its purpose of letting in daylight has remained its primary role; window openings required a suitable infill to modify the external climate. At first various materials were used, such as thin slabs of marble, sheets of mica or oiled paper, but it was not until the development of glass for windows that substantial progress could really be made.
In David Lloyd Jones’s thoughtful book Architecture and the Environment, he defines sustainability in architecture as ‘development that meets the needs of the present, and is at least as valuable to future generations as the value of the environmental exploitation that results … a sustainable building (in energy terms) is one that over its life breaks even or is in credit in respect of energy consumption.’
If daylight is to be at the heart of this equation, then the use of energy for artificial lighting in buildings must be reduced by the intelligent use of daylighting design.