A little known but nonetheless valuable resource on the daylighting front is the Daylighting Collaborative (www.daylighting.org), established in 2000 by the Energy Center of Wisconsin (www.ecw.org) located in Madison. The Energy Center is a private, nonprofit organization established in 1989 that focuses on energy and sustainability issues. The Daylighting Collaborative's goal is to act as a definitive source of information for building designers and owners who are looking to incorporate daylighting strategies into their projects.
Directed by Abby Vogen Horn, senior project manager for the collaborative and a staff of eight at the Energy Center, the organization has both a real-time event and online presence, and is funded by grants and sponsorships, principally from utilities, government, foundations, and product manufacturers. An invited advisory committee, which presently includes lighting designer James Benya; Neall Digert, vice president of commercial market development for Solatube International; architect Bill Sturm of Northbrook, Illinois-based Serena Sturm Architects; and Eric Truelove, director of sustainable design at The Renschler Company a firm specializing in high-performance building design and construction services, also provides programming input.
The collaborative's newly redesigned website provides a wealth of resources regardless of one's level of experience with daylighting topics. In the “What/Why” section, an overview of what is daylight and what constitutes good daylighting in a project is coupled with a discussion of the top 10 daylighting myths. The “Resources” portion of the website provides links to lighting-related websites, daylighting labs, daylighting design information basics, and a library guide of written reference materials, research studies, and project profiles. The “Tools” section supplies a comprehensive glossary of architectural and lighting terms essential to a daylighting vocabulary. The “Training” component of the site offers information about events organized by region and links to a series of online training and education resources focused on high-performance buildings, particular building types such as schools, and general daylighting subjects.
A newly established bimonthly newsletter, titled Enlighten, keeps readers appraised of training resources at the center and online, updates on technology and research initiatives, as well as daylighting-related news items. While all materials on the website and receipt of the e-newsletter are available free of charge, the collaborative does encourage membership, which provides complimentary registration to three online training courses offered by the Energy Center and in the future will provide access to members-only website content. With these resources, the collaborative is sure to fulfill its mission of “lighting every building using the sky.”