A Comprehensive Approach to Integrated Envelope and Lighting Systems for New Commercial Buildings

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Conference Paper

Date Published




We define a comprehensive approach to integrated envelope and lighting systems design as one that balances energy efficiency with anequal regard to the resultant environmental quality. By integrating envelope components (glazing, shading, and daylighting), lighting components (fixtures and controls) and building HVAC/ energy management control systems, we create building systems that have the potential to achieve significant decreases in electricity consumption and peak demand while satisfying occupant physiological and psychological concerns.

This paper presents results on the development, implementation, and demonstration of two specific integrated envelope and lighting systems:

  1. A system emphasizing dynamicsenvelope components and responsive electric lighting systems, that offer the potential to achieve energy efficiency goals and a near optimum comfort environment throughout the year by adapting to meteorological conditions and occupant preferences in real time, and
  2. perimeter daylighting systems that increase the depth of daylight penetration from sidelight windows and improves visual comfort with the use of a small inlet aperture.

The energy performance of the systems was estimated using the DOE-2 building energy simulation program. Field tests with reduced scale models were conducted to determine daylighting and thermal performance in real time under actual weather conditions. Demonstrations of these integrated systems are being planned or are in progress in collaboration with utility programs to resolve real-world implementation issues under complex site, building, and cost constraints. Results indicate that integrated systems offer solutions that not only achieve significant peak demand reductions but also realize consistent energy savings with added occupant comfort and satisfaction.


ACEEE 1994 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Year of Publication



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