I just discovered a terrific resource for architectural lighting designers called the New Buildings Institute! I’ll let the NBI explain who the NBI is here: “The NBI works with national, regional, state and utility groups to promote improved energy performance in commercial new construction. NBI manages projects involving building research, design guidelines and code activities to ensure all elements of this chain are available for use by energy efficiency programs throughout the United States.” While the NBI is concerned with the energy efficiency of entire buildings, their expertise and the resources they make available for free are truly amazing.
First and foremost on the list is the absolutely gigantic Advanced Lighting Guidelines: 2003 Edition. This 445 page book is the absolute industry standard on achieving good lighting design and is an absolute must have. The really cool thing about it is that the NBI makes the PDF available for free! It is a “view-only” PDF but so what! The PDF is a terrific resource to have and if your looking to get NCQLP Lighting Certified, you’re going to need this book. If you absolutely have to have a printed copy, the book is available for a measly $70, not bad considering what typical industry-specific reference books cost.
Next the NBI has made available a bunch of photometric files (IES files you can import into programs like DIALux) specifically on skylights and light wells. While we’re on the subject, they also have SkyCalc which is an Excel spreadsheet that is designed to identify the optimum skylighting design for a building and compare the net energy cost savings using various control schemes.
Next they have made available several research reports on daylighting, views, and various other building factors on productivity in schools, retail establishments, and commercial offices conducted for the California Energy Commission. Other reports include skylighting and a baseline report of California Outdoor Lighting practices and energy use. These are excellent references for any architectural lighting designer but of particular interest to anyone working with light in schools, retail, or commercial office buildings.
Lastly there are some other resources that are available free that I will let you find. So head on over to their lighting page and take a look.