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Core Sunlighting Illumination in Buildings - An Architectural Approach

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Architecture Canada | RAIC is pleased to offer an interactive online course, developed by the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), directed at Architects and allied built-environment professionals, that examines the application of core sunlighting approaches and technologies in commercial buildings as sustainable strategies to reduce costs, offset greenhouse gas, and provide a substantially improved indoor environment in workplaces.

NEW - Interactive Online Course

SDCB280 - 6 Core/Structured LUs

Course Description

Electricity demands for lighting in commercial buildings accounts for approximately 30% of overall electricity consumption. Using natural sunlight as much as possible can help reduce lighting electricity demands - saving money and energy for building owners and operators while also improving the quality of illumination.

One common method of bringing daylight into a building involves the use of skylights and tubular daylighting devices; however, these devices are less effective in lighting multi-storey buildings. Other methods involve using high floor-to-ceiling heights and larger windows. These methods often lead to heat loss in winter months and heat gain in summer months.

Core sunlighting is emerging as a viable architectural approach in both new and existing commercial buildings. It is a sustainable strategy used to reduce energy costs, offset greenhouse gas, and improve the indoor workplace environment.

This interactive online course will employ videos, case studies, and design process application to address topics such as: historical applications, current issues, emerging technological advances, applying core sunlighting strategies to buildings, and how these systems influence green building architecture.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Develop a common framework to define core sunlighting and its scope of application;
  • Review basic scientific principles of illumination, sunlight harvesting and distribution;
  • Develop methodologies to quantify performance and analyze the cost-benefits of core sunlighting strategies;
  • Identify technical issues in deploying core sunlighting technologies within buildings; and
  • Connect the importance of utilizing core sunlighting in the built environment as a sustainable building strategy to support the sustainability goals common to many communities.

Course Delivery

This course is online and asynchronously designed and developed for each participant to have unlimited log-in access over a one week period to complete the 5hr to 7hr course content. During the course duration, an instructor/facilitator will be available asynchronously to answer questions and moderate discussions.

Please note that completion of the quizzes and surveys are essential in order for you to receive a Record of Participation.

Students will be provided a login and password by BCIT prior to course start. This will provide entry to our virtual classroom or learning management system. The welcome page will host an introduction to online learning and students will find it surprisingly easy to navigate the modules. This course is especially appropriate for someone who has never experienced online learning before.

Using tools such as video, audio and voiced-over PowerPoint, students will “visit” demonstration sites and hear from core sunlighting experts. The course will be exciting and engaging, offering numerous opportunities for students to achieve the learning outcomes.

Presenters' Biographies

Facilitated by Donald Yen - Faculty, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment:

Donald Yen served as BCIT's Program Head in Sustainable Urban Development and Director of the Centre for Sustainable and Environmental Initiatives. As a graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of Oregon and BCIT's Building Technology Program, he attained a multi-faceted education within the design and construction industries. Mr. Yen's main role at BCIT is to lead and evolve BCIT's applied research, academic programs and industry initiatives into newly emerging areas of sustainability and urban development, while altogether working collaboratively with Industry, Government, and Academic stakeholders. Donald is the chair of the AIBC's Sustainability Committee and is tasked with evaluating policies, and practices affecting the practice of architecture in BC.

Dr. Lorne Whitehead - Professor and Chairholder of the NSERC/3M Industrial Research Chair in Structured Surface Physics at UBC:

Dr. Lorne Whitehead is a Professor and Chairholder of the NSERC/3M Industrial Research Chair in Structured Surface Physics at UBC. Lorne's research interests involve optical, electrical and mechanical properties of microstructured surfaces, he holds more than 100 patents, and he has a substantial amount of expertise in technology transfer. He is currently the president of the Canadian National Committee of Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage, the international organization responsible for setting standards on all matters relating to the science and art of light and illumination. As a result of his expertise, Lorne is routinely invited to give presentations on topics related to illumination at international conferences as well as to a wide range of industry and university groups.

David Mead -  Registered Architect (Washington), Sustainable Building Advisor specializing in daylighting design and solar control:

David Mead, AIA+IES is a Building Performance Specialist and Sustainable Building Advisor at WSP Built Ecology in San Francisco, who specializes in daylighting design and solar control. David is a registered architect in the State of Washington with an extensive background in building systems coordination and engineering. He is able to envision projects from an integrated design viewpoint which equally champions high quality design and energy savings as critical elements for design success. Prior to joining WSP Built Ecology, David worked with a specialty consulting group who designed energy efficient systems for high profile civic projects. In the past year David has presented at the 9th International Radiance Workshop at the Fraunhofer ISE in Germany along with teaching daylighting, lighting design & renewable energy systems courses at the San Francisco Academy of Art.

Radu Postole - Systems Engineer SunCentral Inc:

A graduate of UBC's Integrated Engineering program, Radu has been with SunCentral since May 2011. As part of his degree and his interest in sustainable design, Radu focused his learning at UBC on life cycle assessment of buildings, building science, and green buildings. His involvement with SunCentral began in 2010 at the Structured Surface Physics lab as a research assistant working on applications of sunlighting and characterization of luminaires. His current responsibilities include the development of building integration methods for the sunlighting technology, project management, and optical testing and validation.

Cristian Suvagau, P. Eng

Dr. Cristian Suvagau, P. Eng. LC has been practicing and teaching architectural lighting design and energy efficiency in Europe and North America for over 25 years. A senior lighting and energy management engineer with BC Hydro, he focuses on lighting DSM programs and projects in British Columbia.

Cristian is a Professional Engineer, member of the board of directors of the BC Chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) and member of the Canadian National Committee of the International Commission on Illumination (CNC/CIE). Cristian is a Lighting Certified (LC) professional and a Certified Energy Manager (CEM). He holds a Ph.D in lighting from the Technical University of Construction in Bucharest, Romania and participates actively on committees of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), DOE Municipal SSL Consortium, Design Lighting Consortium (DLC) and many others to develop performance standards for LED and lighting products.

Cristian is teaching lighting education for continuous education and holds numerous technical lighting seminars for audiences in Europe and North America.

Course sponsored in part by:


BC Hydro




January 19, 2013 6:00 AM   through   January 28, 2013 11:59 PM
RAIC Member (includes HST) $ 282.50
Non-Member (includes HST) $ 423.75
Student Price (includes HST) $ 197.75

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