On November 17, 2015, Glenn Heinmiller presented at the 2015 U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting Technology Development Workshop in Portland, Oregon. This presentation was part of a session titled "Remaining Challenges: LED Street Lighting", and draws from lessons learned during the LED streetlight conversion underway in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Glenn provides an informed view of the benefits and challenges involved with implementing this emerging technology.
Designers Maggie Golden and Jack Risser recently flew across the pond to represent Lam Partners at this year’s DIVA Day conference hosted at the Architectural Association in London. Attending both the conference and training sessions provided an insightful look into the professional world of commercial daylighting. The Solemma team, including former Lam employee Kera Lagios, presented the new version of DIVA 4.0, with some very cool new grasshopper tools, and integration with the energy modeling program ArchSim. Presentations from various international teams shared their work and discussed the past, present, and future of daylighting design.
Some Highlights of the conference:
Anne Iversen at Henning Larsen presented “Optimizing a Façade for an Arid Climate.” Although the design approach and style were interesting, the biggest takeaway was the importance of working through iterations. Optimization processes allow you to learn from each iteration, and ultimately evoke the best optimization from all aspects of design. The process also helps designers develop daylight intuition for future projects.
Another interesting presentation came from Reinier Zeldenrust of Atelier Ten, titled “Twenty-Five Years of Atelier Ten.” While the presentation read like a history of the company – it also portrayed the history and potential futures of daylighting design. Zeldenrust artfully illustrated how far the design community has come in daylighting and integrated design. Though softwares like DIVA, Ladybug, Honeybee, and many more, the act of daylighting design gets easier each year; however the basics are as important as ever. The future holds integration with of energy design, and visual representations such as virtual reality.
We’re excited to take full advantage of the new DIVA build at Lam Partners, and through Lam Labs continue to push the limits on daylighting design processes with emphasis on integration of thermal comfort and energy considerations, with quality of light and visual comfort. We continue to research cutting edge visualizations that not only allow architecture firms to visualize daylighting designs but also allow for custom components to create real-time collaboration with architecture firms through the design.
Jack Risser has developed a slick visualizer to show off various visualization strategies Lam Daylighting designers create, replacing the decades-old techniques of physical model heliodon studies. Design studies were performed by Dan Weissman and Maggie Golden.
Shadow Study in Rhino for an Athletic Center shown in the latest version of the Processing Script with consolidated single viewer
A Rare Books Library on the Summer Solstice with an overlaid slider
A Field House on the Summer Solstice showing 4 design options
An Art Museum in So-Cal on the Winter Solstice, including Electric Light
Designer Jack Risser and Dan Weissman, Director of Lam Labs, have developed a new workflow for rendering low- and medium-resolution media displays in visualizations. The process includes a multi-application workflow, including Rhinoceros 3D with Grasshopper and the Firefly plugin, and 3Ds Max for rendering. Now that the team has successfully rendered both still and animated images, the next step is validation of the output, compared with reality. To do this, the team is currently finishing an installation of Color Kinetics iColor Flex Gent 2 nodes in Lam Partners’ office, which will provide a control case to verify lumen output, luminous intensity, and material transmissions. Stay tuned for more about this exciting project.
Translucent panel 8″ from nodes
William Ming Cheong Lam, better known as Bill Lam, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1924. Bill entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology just before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and his studies were interrupted by service in the USAAF, where he served as a B-25 bomber pilot with the 13th Air Force in the Southwest Paciﬁc campaign. After returning to MIT, Bill graduated with a degree in Architecture in 1949.
After finishing his studies at MIT (inspired by the example of visiting professors Alvar Aalto and Charles Eames), Bill founded Lam Workshop to explore his ideas for the production of quality and economical electric lamps and furniture designs. Almost from the beginning, Lam Workshop products were sold nearly everywhere that carried contemporary furniture. In all of his designs, function and the manufacturing process drove form. Light diffusers for table lamps made from ﬁberglass reinforced plastic were among the ﬁrst consumer products, shown alongside Eames chairs in advertising. Other products, such as globe diffusers for pendant light fixtures, pioneered the use of vacuum formed thermoplastics. With manufacturing capacity outstripping the design store market, some Lam Workshop products were marketed by Lightolier.
Lam Lighting Systems Inc 1951
Bill saw a critical need in the market for commercial-grade lighting products that would address the challenges of modern architectural design. The business name was changed to Lam Lighting Systems Inc (also known as Lam Inc), and the headquarters and production facility was moved to Wakefield, MA. With a focus on integrated lighting solutions to serve the architectural community, Lam Lighting produced a line of ‘classic’ modern fixtures that became essential architectural ‘tools’ for decades. Such fixtures included a series of extruded aluminum indirect fluorescents, a line of wall-mounted valence fixtures with tunable direct and indirect components, and the original “hockey puck” metal halide uplight, which was widely used in schools, libraries, universities, and recreational facilities.
William Lam Associates 1961
DC Metro, 1967
After several years as a successful fixture manufacturer, Bill retired from Lam Lighting Systems Inc and returned to his passion for architectural design. He founded William Lam Associates in 1961, a lighting design consulting firm in Cambridge, MA, with a focus on the integration of lighting with architecture and urban design. Bill worked with many architects across the US and throughout the world, developing innovative lighting solutions and integrated systems approaches for complex building designs. Bill taught lighting design at Harvard, authored two books on lighting design, and was a great mentor and inspiration for several generations of architects and lighting designers.
Lam Partners Inc 1990
Model Testing: Bilbao Guggenheim, 1995
With extensive experience at William Lam Associates as project managers, Robert Osten and Paul Zaferiou became partners with Bill in 1990. The name of the firm was changed to Lam Partners Inc to acknowledge this transition, and the office was moved to its current location in a renovated warehouse space, north of Harvard Square, Cambridge. Bill retired from Lam Partners Inc in 1995, maintaining a small consulting business in Cambridge to pursue projects of special interest.
From 1995 to the present day, the firm has experienced considerable growth, working on increasingly complex projects and expanding our design and technical capabilities, In 2006, Lam Partners renovated its office, and the firm’s logo and brand was updated to its current format in 2007. Keith Yancey was promoted to Principal in 2005, followed by Glenn Heinmiller in 2008.
Bill Lam passed away in 2012. Fittingly, a memorial service was held at Eero Saarinen’s MIT Chapel, one of Bill’s favorite spaces in Cambridge. The service was attended by family, colleagues, and friends from around the world. Bill’s legacy lives on in all of those who worked with him, and who were inspired by his teaching and dedication to the profession of lighting. For more about Bill, please refer to his obituaries in the Boston Globe and in Architectural Lighting.
Lam Holiday party, 2012.
Lam Labs was founded in 2014 as a division of Lam Partners, to pursue research opportunities and explore innovative lighting ideas beyond the bounds of conventional project structures. The firm is dedicated to carrying forward our rich history of design excellence, with a very talented and energetic staff of designers, using the latest design tools and lighting technology in new and exciting ways. Lam Partners is committed to the principles of integrated design, teaching, promoting energy efficiency and sustainability, and building rewarding, collaborative and lasting relationships within the design community.
A New Public Face
With this new website, Lam Partners seeks to show off our creativity, our collaborative spirit, our irreverent and goofy sides as well as our technical capabilities. Get to know the team, peruse our spheres of expertise, check out our completed projects, find useful info in our tools section, and follow our blog. We’re very excited about it and welcome your feedback in the comments section below!
Q: ARE THEY MANDATORY IN IECC 2012?
A: NO. WELL SORT OF, SOMETIMES.
With the recent adoption of IECC-2012 in several states, I’ve heard people say that automatic daylight responsive lighting controls are mandatory in IECC-2012. A close reading of the code reveals that automatic daylight responsive controls are not required, except in some special cases.
In simple terms, here is what IECC-2012 does say about daylight responsive controls: Lighting fixtures in daylight areas must be separately controlled, either manually or with automatic daylight responsive controls. And depending on some building envelope conditions, automatic daylight responsive controls might be required.
Let’s break it down.
Start in the lighting section of Chapter 4, C405, specifically, “C405.2.2 ADDITIONAL LIGHTING CONTROLS”. This says that each area that has to have manual controls (most areas), must also meet the time switch, occupancy sensor, and daylight zone control requirements.
The daylight zone control requirements are in “C405.2.2.3 DAYLIGHT ZONE CONTROL”. It says that lights within the daylight zone (defined in C202) must be controlled independently, according to either C405.2.2.3.1 (Manual daylighting controls) or C405.2.2.3.2 (Automatic daylighting controls). So you have a choice: manual or automatic. Automatic is not required. The lengthy description of the required functioning of daylight responsive controls that follows is just that. It does not say that you have to use automatic daylight responsive controls; it just says just how they have to work if you choose to use them.
Now here’s the part you’ll miss if you’re just looking at the Lighting section. Go to the Envelope section (C402), specifically C402.3.1.1 and C402.3.1.2. These sections say that the Architect can exceed the 30% maximum window-to-wall area ratio limit, or the 3% maximum skylight area limit, if you use automatic daylight responsive controls (and meet some other requirements).
Returning back to the lighting section we next see, “C405.2.2.3.3 MULTI-LEVEL LIGHTING CONTROLS”? It starts off by saying, “Where multi-level lighting controls are required by this code…” and goes on to describe mandatory automatic daylight responsive controls. This is pretty confusing! Didn’t we earlier conclude that such controls are generally not mandatory? And where in the code are these “multi-level” controls required? It’s not in the lighting section (C405). Yep, you guessed it, back in the Envelope section of the code (C402). Here it is: “C402.3.2.1 LIGHTING CONTROLS IN DAYLIGHT ZONES UNDER SKYLIGHTS”. What this section says is that in some “big box” type spaces that have required skylights, under certain conditions, you have to use “multi-level” controls as defined in C405.2.2.3.3. As best as I can understand it, “multi-level” in this case means “daylight switching”, two states – on, and somewhere between off and 35% power.
Short answer: In IECC-2012 automatic daylight responsive controls are generally not required, but might be needed in these cases:
- Buildings with large amounts of window area or skylight area.
- Certain types of large spaces with mandatory skylights.
Clear? No, it’s not you. Yes, this code is poorly written and confusing. I hope this brief explanation helps.
Rufei Wang, a first year MDesS Energy and Environment student at the Graduate School of Design, joined Lam Partners for two weeks for Harvard GSD’s January Term Externship Program. Rufei worked on a research project with Lam Designer Kera Lagios, studying the relationship between automatic shades and building orientation.
Kera and Rufei will continue the research investigating relationships between daylighting, electric lighting, and energy. Stay tuned.
Dan Weissman, Director of Lam Labs at Lam Partners, has published an article in Architectural Lighting Magazine demystifying controls in the new age of LEDs.
“The options are plentiful, but, in the end, most lighting control scenarios still boil down to the basic questions. When should the lights be turned on? How bright? When should they be turned off? What is their purpose? Ultimately, what we seek are integrated systems that provide the light we need at the times we need it, monitor and minimize energy use, and entertain us when the moment is right.”