Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Cost-effective Daylighting Solutions :Cost-effective Daylighting Solutions for New York Builidings(ST7827-1)

Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley Nationa


Daylighting has the potential to create large energy savings in buildings, but much of that potential has not been realized. The major obstacles include: the costs of critical components (e.g., dimmable ballasts), the potentially complex and costly calibration of system controls and sensors, the necessity for systems to be flexible and adapt to the changing interior and exterior conditions, and the fact that solar gains and cooling loads need to be properly addressed with dynamic glazing systems.

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Project Description

The New York Times built a new headquarters in the Times Square District of New York City that was 51 stories tall and contained 1.5 million square feet of space. The designers used advanced daylighting techniques in the building. Prior to the building’s actual construction, The New York Times constructed a 4,500 square foot "mock-up" on the grounds of The Times plant in Queens, NY. The LBNL team (the Contractor) was contracted to oversee the installation of the daylighting technologies in the "mock-up," to demonstrate and test all the key hardware, and to resolve calibration and operational and controls issues. A small-scale field test was preferred over computer simulations because the major software models have historically yielded disparate results for the same design.


Daylighting has the potential to significantly improve energy efficiency while improving the “quality of life” in a building. The energy improvements would be quantified in the test bed building in Queens.

Project Results

The Contractor determined performance requirements for The New York Times for all interior systems related to daylighting and shading, including cost, lifetime, and maintenance. The Contractor worked closely with hardware and systems suppliers to evaluate design alternatives for the "mock-up" and to identify industry solutions that could meet the criteria defined by The New York Times. The Contractor explored optimized solutions in the "mock-up" facility and assessed shading and lighting systems using modeling tools, and evaluated dimmable lighting systems, automated shading systems, and shading-lighting systems in the "mock-up" facility. The results of the "mock-up" evaluation were shared with other New York designers and builders, and presentations have been made at many industry conferences and association meetings. The Contractor developed DR scenarios and analyzed the DR potential for The New York Times building, and presented a full-day seminar on the Times project that was attended by 150 people and hosted by Pacific Gas and Electric's Pacific Energy Center. A commissioning cart was built and the New York Times building space was commissioned. A final report was completed July 2007.


Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley Nationa
Dept. #34240 P.O. Box 39000
San Francisco, CA 94139

Principle Investigator

Eleanor Lee

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Building Systems

NYSERDA Contact Information

Marsha Walton


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST7827-1

Last Updated: 2/12/2013