Daylighting can be dramatic… and it can also be a hassle. Too much direct light can cause glare and hot-spots, leading to eye strain and an uncomfortable environment for building occupants.
But there is a way to control solar heat gain and diffuse direct sunlight, making for a bright, evenly lit space that welcomes visitors and creates a more comfortable work and learning environment. What’s the solution? Translucent panel daylighting systems!
When designing the new Lac Vieux Desert Health Center in Watersmeet, Michigan, DSGW Architects met with Indian Health Service staff, tribal community members, clinic staff and providers, clinic task force members and the Tribal Council to help define and create a health center that includes 12 exam rooms, two procedure rooms, a nine-chair dental suite with lab services, retail pharmacy, imaging suite, clinical lab, chiropractic and physical therapy department, optical department, behavior health and family services, a community gathering room and more.
An integral part of the space is natural light – from both windows and skylights. A Guardian 275® skylight, as shown in the image above, helps bring light to a nurse’s station where uncontrolled light could cause an uncomfortably hot work environment and wreak havoc on computer screens.
It also lessens the need for artificial light sources and makes for an inviting and welcoming space. (Not to mention the numerous studies that show access to natural light is beneficial to both staff and patients in healthcare environments.)
(Images courtesy of DSGW Architects and Weston Imaging)