For thousands of years, men have made structures to protect themselves from the perils and discomforts of the environment. A shelter shields from the weather, animals, and other men. It is a place for work and rest.
Modern building technologies such as air conditioning and electic lighting have allowed us to take the concept of sheltering from the elements to the extremes. During the 1960s and 70s, many buildings were designed to have no connection with the outside at all. After millennia of struggle, man had finally won over nature. Or so he thought.
It turned out that living and working in sealed boxes is not at all what people need or want. Airconditioned and artificially lit buildings are not only unpleasant to live and work in, they also make us sick. Over the past few decades, the trend has been to allow natural light and ventilation into the building, utilising it for saving energy and for enhancing the indoor environment.
Daylighting is the art and science of allowing natural light into buildings. It involves the co-ordination of different disciplines: architecture, engineering, building science, planning amongst many others.
- CLEAR, Comfortable Low Energy ARchitecture: Design healthy, comfortable buildings that consume little energy.