Working with nature and not against it is one of the principles of green building design, and that includes using as much natural light as possible.
A new open design at Friends Center lets natural light flood into the interior of the building. This simple and old-fashioned way of lighting the building cuts down on the amount of energy otherwise required for artificial light, and reduces cooling costs—fewer lights on means less heat produced. New windows made from spectrally selective glass lets in light for illumination, but keep out most of the heat.
Providing natural light to a work, educational, or living environment has also been proven to have significant health benefits.
The smart lighting system at Friends Center, dims the lights near the windows on bright days and brightens them on cloudy days, turns the lights off when no one is in the room, and turns all but emergency lights off at night when the building is closed.