Strategy: Designing for Daylight

Our design approach starts by analyzing the best opportunities to connect people to natural daylight and views to the outdoors. We consider this a foundation for good design.

Daylight: Health, equity, and sustainability

At SERA, we design our clients' spaces with as much daylight and access to views as possible. This attention to daylight expresses our sustainability, health, and equity values and our commitment to human health and well-being.

Equitably designing for daylight and views means that no matter where an employee is sitting, they experience the health benefits of ample wild daylight and views. Every neighborhood within a larger team space, all co-working spaces, and all focus zones provide exposure to daylight. Daylight inside the workplace provides energizing stimulation and reduces dependency on electric lighting.

Innovative solutions that have an impact

Bringing daylight into the deepest zones of the workspace while mitigating glare and solar heat gain was key for the comfort of occupants of this high rise building. The solution was a series of custom reeded screen walls and light shelves that shield glare in the summer months and bounce light deeper into the space in the winter months.

This project’s high-performing facade system is automated to respond to sun position and sky conditions, maximizing views without glare and enhancing users’ connection to the outdoors.

Blinds deploy, rotate, and retract throughout the day at each facade as the sun moves across the sky, maximizing views and users' connection to the outdoors.

The bright, energetic center of life at SERA PDX

The central skylight at SERA’s Portland office brings warmth and daylight deep into the full block floorplate. Wild unfiltered light shifts over the course of the day and provides energizing visual stimulation.

Learn more about our PDX HQ.

Capturing light and life

Organizing space and activity around daylight

Implemented as a thoughtful design solution across a variety of budgets, scales, and project types, skylights provide endlessly versatile and creative design solutions. Skylights and lightwells bring ample daylight into coworking spaces and lounge areas, helping to offset electric light and creating a positive experience that connects users with nature.

Shaping space with light

Light-filled social zones provide a purposely distinctive experience that contrasts against the carefully controlled lighting of work spaces. This project also included indoor “treehouses” to give people an immersive experience in the surrounding tree canopy.

Snip from the process: Identifying opportunities, constraints, and unknowns

We used daylighting analyses of our own Portland office space as a tool to help us identify opportunities, constraints, and unknowns and to help organize our space plan around daylight opportunities.

A variety of tools, inspired results

We consider a number of strategies to effectively design with and for daylight, including orientation of the building, subtractive strategies such as skylights, and horizontal surfaces that reflect light, known as light shelves. Each project receives a thorough and customized approach to ensure users receive equitable, comfortable, and sufficient access to daylight.