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Health Benefits of Window Film and Daylighting

June 19, 2012 | 0 comments

It’s not breaking news that window film can be beneficial to your facility when it comes to energy and cost savings. But several studies prove that exposure to the right kind of daylighting (which window film provides) could also make a positive difference for the employees and occupants in your building.From reducing sick days and absenteeism to boosting energy and productivity levels, exposure to healthy natural light can make a noticeable difference to the people inside your building. Window film filters out the UV rays that can lead to sunburn and premature aging; it helps provide safe exposure to daylight for building occupants. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Padua in Italy, window film provides a “Useful Daylighting Index” (UDI) that’s almost equal to the UDI provided by blinds or shades. The difference, however, is that window film still lets sufficient daylight penetrate the interior environment  to reduce the need for artificial lighting, allow for a view of the outdoors, and let occupants receive exposure to daylight while indoors.

Several organizations are benefitting from the advantages that daylight brings. Check out these examples of how daylight is improving business:

  • Lockheed Martin’s Sunnydale, CA, location was designed with natural lighting techniques in mind. After moving occupants into the naturally lit space, the company found that daylighting accounted for a 15-percent drop in employee absenteeism. The company was also able to measure marked productivity increases, which employees believe helped them win a $1.5 billion defense contract.  
  • Pennsylvania Power & Light introduced daylighting into its workspaces. After doing so, the utility company noticed that employee absentee rates dropped by 25 percent.
  • Two-thousand (2,000) employees working near windows at two federal facilities in Washington, D.C., had 10-percent to 15-percent fewer health complaints than employees who weren’t located near natural light during the workday.
  • Five elementary schools in Canada reported in a two-year study, which was conducted by the Alberta Department of Education, that children who were exposed to daylight in the classroom had better attendance records (students were absent 3.5 fewer days per year on average), had better dental records (students in daylit rooms had nine times less tooth decay), and focused more on activities throughout the day, which improved classroom performance.
  • West Bend Mutual Insurance offers daylighting exposure to 96 percent of its employees (up from 30 percent, which is what the organization offered in its old space). Upon the increase in natural light, the company saw a 16-percent increase in claims processing.

The benefits of daylighting can even extend beyond health and productivity benefits; after incorporating daylight into one of its environmental demonstration stores, Wal-Mart enjoyed higher sales per square foot in its daylit space when compared to stores without natural lighting.

Have you made an effort to incorporate safe daylight exposure into your facilities? If so, is it making a difference in absenteeism, productivity, or sales? If you haven’t, what’s holding you back?

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