This graphic illustrates our Daylight Hour light measurement study. Each photo was taken at a different location on the hour around the office. The weather at the time is represented by the cloud or sun icons and the corresponding light intensity is found within. The time of each photo is represented by the circular clock icon to the left.

As part of FXFOWLE’s commitment to protecting and repairing the environment, sustainable practices aren’t exclusive to our design work. We are committed to making our workplace a model of sustainability as well. Our firm has been carbon neutral since 2008 and we are invested in finding new ways to be good stewards of the planet.

For that reason, we are participating in Building Energy Exchange’s annual Daylight Hour. Daylight Hour is a social media campaign to encourage using natural daylight in offices in place of electric lighting for just one hour. For the second year in a row, FXFOWLE has committed to extending the Building Energy Exchange’s challenge by turning the lights off between noon and 2 p.m. every day throughout the summer.

In addition to this challenge, we conducted a small research study to calculate the quality of daylight on all three floors of our New York City office within a typical work day (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). We measured different locations in the office on the hour with a light meter, measuring foot candles in each area. A foot candle is the measurement of light intensity, and LEED requires office spaces to have a minimum of 10 foot candles of daylight to be sufficient. The ideal range is 10 to 500 foot candles.

We discovered that our office receives an abundance of natural light, only absolutely requiring electric lighting in select areas closer to the interior of the office. The eleventh floor receives the highest quality and widest range (25 – 116 fc on the day of the study) of daylight due to its north-south orientation, large windows, and skylights. Knowing this, FXFOWLE will continue this research throughout the summer and consider having lights off more regularly to continue saving energy in our workplace.

This article originally appeared in the FXFOWLE Culture Blog.

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