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Let there be light! – and they saw that it was natural

Anna Pakulniewicz 10 April 2018

Anna Pakulniewicz


+48 22 356 25 07

Ania covers the Baltic states’ real estate markets, architecture and urban planning in Warsaw as well as interior design. She is also the co-founder of Eurobuild TV. Among others, she has been employed by TVN CNBC, PAP Insider, WBJ (The Observer), Poland Monthly and IMM. She graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics, majoring in international relations. She has also completed postgraduate studies in macroeconomic analysis. In addition to this, she studied Lithuanian philology

Let there be light! – and they saw that it was natural
How BASF's Smart Daylight Management system works
EUROPE BASF has introduced its daylight redirection system for lighting rooms without windows.

The system solves the problem of bringing daylight into windowless interiors in a way that removes the need for artificial daylight and brings sunlight into glazed buildings without causing glare. The system is based on the principle of light redirection and comprises three elements: a special plastic film, a light channel and light fittings. The film is coated over insulated glass and directs the light to the channel containing the reflective film. The light is transmitted along the channel deep inside the building, where light fittings then distribute it around the interior. The fittings are also equipped with LED bulbs that provide lighting when natural daylight is unavailable or insufficient.

“The wide spectrum of colours contained in natural daylight has a significant impact on our well-being and performance,” explains Cristobal Garrido Segura, the manager of the Smart Daylight Management project at BASF.

The HCL concept (human centric lighting) entails a holistic approach to lighting, putting the emphasis on people and their well-being. It embraces the visual, emotional and biological effects of light. The BASF daylight system can improve the quality of space in such places as schools, hospitals, shopping centres and office buildings. People feel better in natural light – their ability to concentrate improves, they are more motivated to work, and less susceptible to illness. Furthermore, the use of natural light during the day can reduce the use of artificial lighting by more than half. According to consultants A.T. Kearney, by 2020 the use of HCL across Europe could result in energy savings of as much as EUR 870 mln per year. The system enables natural light to penetrate into windowless areas deep inside buildings without the need to make any additional structural changes. Inside the building the system can be used extensively – hidden within a suspended ceiling or visible as part of the interior architecture. The system can be integrated with both existing and new façade concepts, without limiting the design possibilities. in fact, it creates opportunities for new design concepts, such as offices with work and rest areas that contain green zones.

The idea for a daylight management project emerged during the Creator Space programme initiated by BASF in 2015 to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary. A prototype is currently being trialled in Bartenbach’s headquarters in Austria.

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