Daylighting for the Future

Daylight is critical for our health and well-being and in a key aspect of designing an optimal learning environment. Studies show that effectively daylit spaces can positively affect academic outcomes and student engagement. A successful design considers the balance of daylight and aims to create generally uniform lighting so there is no glare or other conditions that may inhibit students’ ability to learn.

At the new Chapman Middle School in Weymouth, the largest middle school in Massachusetts, the educational program called for an arrangement of three grade-level wings branching out from a central hub, which meant that classrooms are oriented in nearly every possible direction. Providing natural light in the project areas at the center of each classroom cluster added an additional design challenge. Working with high-performance engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, the design team completed analysis to determine the best way to provide suffuse and controlled natural light.

In this session we will look at the unique and practical solutions developed for the Chapman School as a case study and describe how the use of perforated sun shades in different configurations reduces reliance on artificial light, creates a healthy environment for students, and reduces operating costs for the Town.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the ways that daylight harvesting can conflict with effective learning practices.
  2. Be able to describe strategies for providing daylighting to learning spaces while controlling for glare.
  3. Be able to discuss tools for analyzing spatial daylight effectiveness.
  4. Be able to illustrate how to make evidence-based design decisions when faced with many variables.


Matt LaRueMatt LaRue AIA, LEED GA
Senior Associate
HMFH Architects

Alejandra MenchacaAlejandra Menchaca, PhD, LEED AP, WELL AP
Principal and Founder
Airlit Studio

Thursday, June 15, 2023
Spaces4Learning K-12 Virtual Summit Agenda

SESSION 1     10 a.m. PDT / 1 p.m. EDT
Designing for Success: Discovering a School's Unique Identity to Create Inspiring Learning Spaces

SESSION 2     10:45 a.m. PDT / 1:45 p.m. EDT
Daylighting for the Future

SESSION 3     11:45 a.m. PDT / 2:45 p.m. EDT
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Since 1979, Jonti-Craft has been the leading manufacturer of children’s educational furniture. With over 4,000 handcrafted pieces across multiple brands and categories, we furnish spaces that engage, inspire, and protect young learners. From schools and daycare centers to churches and waiting rooms, we have just what you’re looking for.

Inventionland Education
Inventionland Education designs award-winning Innovation Labs® and maker spaces in K12 schools. Its design team works with architects, designers, and educators to design, construct and install immersive spaces in underutilized rooms, libraries, and new construction. Its K12 applied STEM course is recognized as a top 10 STEM solutions provider.

School Outfitters
At School Outfitters we’re dedicated to bringing your learning space visions to life, whether it’s new construction or renovated classrooms. We pride ourselves on enterprise-level project services like expert space planning and hassle-free installation. And with our ready-to-ship inventory, your project will get done on time and on budget.

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