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Friday, 22 November

Clock Running On Daylight Energy Savings

Get ready to set the alarm an hour earlier this weekend - Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday March 26.

At 2:00am, the clocks will be put forward an hour officially marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Days will be longer, lighter and brighter.

The UK officially implemented Daylight Saving Time (DST) on May 21st 1917, with the reason that setting clocks an hour ahead would drive down the demand for electrical energy and save money.

 However, according to an array of studies and reports on the subject, there is little evidence to prove that DST saves energy. This could be because households and organisations are not harnessing the power of daylight effectively in the summer months.

 

Blinded by the light

Think of an office building and you’ll likely picture windows covered with blinds, obscuring any view to the outside world and obstructing natural daylight, in order to reduce the disruptive impact of glare.

 All living things need daylight to function properly. The physical environment in which we work has an increasingly important role to play in this respect. Leesman’s global benchmarking survey tool shows that just 55 per cent of people agree the design of their workplace enables them to work productively. Of the more than 200,000 employees in 63 countries surveyed by Leesman, 77 per cent state that natural light is important to them, yet only 58 per cent are satisfied with the offering in their workplaces.

To achieve strong daylight levels within a workplace requires thought from the outset, with daylight built into the original design through site selection, building orientation, window design, configuration of  glazing, and interior design and furnishings.

However, bringing daylight into the office can also be ‘retrofitted’ into existing facilities by simple acts such as removing blinds, moving desks around and implementing daylighting technologies – all of which can increase the level of desirable natural daylight within buildings, thus reducing energy consumed by artificial lighting.

 

Time

In addition to encouraging employees to arrive at work on time this coming Monday, organisations also need to consider how they can utilise the natural power of daylight to save energy, improve comfort and boost productivity in light of this seasonal shift.

By David Willetts, chairman of SerraLux Inc, the daylighting technology company

Article written by David Willetts

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