Lighting & Energy Efficient Elements

Solar Panels

  • What: Solar panels are installed in groups on both our upper and lower roofs. These groups of solar panels are called solar arrays.
  • Why: Buildings consume two-thirds of all electricity. Solar panels turn sunlight into energy, which can be used by the building. Our solar arrays provide approximately 5% of the building's energy needs. The more light that shines on the panel, the more electricity it produces.
  • Be Green At Home: At home, even if you don't have solar panels, you can use passive solar practices to heat and cool your home. In the summertime, keep curtains or blinds closed on east facing windows in the morning and west facing windows in the afternoon. This prevents direct sunlight from entering your home, keeping it cooler. In the winter, open blinds on east facing windows in the morning and west facing windows in the afternoon to let the sun in, helping to heat your home.

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Light Pollution

  • What: This building has very few outdoor lights. Our outdoor lights are shielded and pointed toward the building to prevent light pollution. Light pollution is stray light from street or building lights that cause a glow in the night sky.
  • Why: Nighttime lights damage our environment. In addition to blocking the view of the stars, it also upsets the sleep patterns of animals and humans.
  • Be Green At Home: Can you spot examples of light pollution in your neighborhood? Make sure you turn off outdoor lights when they are not in use.

Intelligent lighting

  • What: The lighting system uses efficient fluorescent lamps controlled by motion sensors that turn lights off when no one is in a space and daylight sensors that measure the amount of daylight in a space and dim lights accordingly.
  • Why: The lighting system was designed to use approximately one watt per square foot. This saves energy and makes light bulbs last longer, which saves money!
  • Be Green At Home: Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are energy-efficient light bulbs. They produce the same amount of light, use ¼ of the electricity, and last up to 10 times as long as regular light bulbs.


  • What: This building uses daylight for lighting. The windows at right have low-e glazing, which lets in light but blocks heat. Metal sun shades at the top of the building also block heat. The glass block at left allows light to filter in from the stairwell.
  • Why: Utilizing more daylight and fewer light bulbs to light our building saves energy and money.
  • Be Green At Home: Try opening window shades rather than turning on lights at home. Keep east facing window shades closed in the morning and west facing shades closed in the afternoon to avoid heat gain.