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The house lighting is an integral part of LEAFHouse’s design and the architectural intent. Programmatic function, solar orientation and volumetrics of inhabitable space all contribute to LEAFHouse’s marriage of functionality and aesthetics. A public area requires considerable light, LEAFHouse is provided with large expanses of glass that wrap around the house and afford gorgeous views. Private areas need lower levels of light, and use smaller windows to offer more privacy. The north-south orientation of the house allows for superior energy gain with larger south-facing windows in the living spaces, paired with smaller north-facing windows in the biomechanical zone minimizing energy loss. Solar gain through the south-facing doors is controlled with shutters that are specially louvered to provide ideal shading during the summer while allowing maximum light and heat gain during the winter. An exterior overhang helps boost the efficiency of the louvered doors. Though the smaller north-facing windows reduce the available daylight in the northern zone of the house, an innovative roof-ridge skylight allows diffuse sunshine to filter through its highly insulative, nanogel-filled panes.
Homeowners can individually control dimming levels according to who is in the house, what time of day it is and what type of activitiy they are engaging in. There are more than a dozen Lutron SeeTouch® multifunction button stations designed to control lighting functions and levels in all of the places one would expect to find a traditional switch as well as a central control system located at the house’s workstation computer. SHAC’s web-based interface also allows remote control of LEAFHouse’s lighting system.
Electric light is produced using two of the most efficient sources available on the market: fluorescent and LED lighting. The strict environmental sustainability requirements of the Team is reflected in the use of Philips Alto II lowmercury fluorescent lamps, and the ceiling plane becomes an oversized reflector for a series of Elliptipar fluorescent fixtures. Local task lighting is supplied using LED lamps mounted inside low-voltage recess lighting fixtures that are carefully aligned within the grid of the house. To illuminate LEAFHouse’s mechanical features, flat-panel LED fixtures are utilized in the liquid desiccant wall and the mechanical room. Wall mounted low-voltage fixtures are retrofitted with LED lamps on the exterior to provide lighting at the entrance, north, and east doors, while miniature LED downlights emphasize the south overhang and provide additional lighting at the two large doors. LED fixtures around the site provide a welcome entrance to guests while highlighting the beautiful landscaping. All of the fixtures are wired to a Lutron Grafik Eye® 3000, a centralized dimming and switching system that permits flexible lighting control as well as delicate finely-tuned adjustment. This system is divided into three dimming controllers with six zones each, for a total of 18 zones of lighting for the house.
Rob Murray explains how the skylight enhances the structural features of the house.