Posted by Jim on July 02, 2003 at 15:16:13:
In Reply to: Locker rooms ..change rooms..its urgent any1 plz reply posted by snoopy on July 02, 2003 at 04:23:18:
Many a locker room/changing room has spent its days denied of sunlight and survived, but natural light is desireable, as long as it is so included so as not to add to the air conditioning load. If you really want natural light, have you thought of Light Pipes? These are conductors of light something like fiber optic strands. No image can be conveyed as of sky, but light will enter. Still, natural light is available only part of the time, so adequate electric light will have to be included, of course. With such artificial light one can take any number of approaches to cause an illusion of natural light, depending upon the area available and the budget.
For example, luxury spas often have mini-atriums with HID lamps as concealed down-lights above a glassed-in 'garden' of plants with the design anticipating that some of the light will spill into the room and some reflect from the plants. Indeed, enough such illuminated plants in such a room may also help in removing the destinctive smell of a locker room! Each such planter should also have a provision for manual or automatic watering in each one, else eventually the lights will only shine on a 'death garden.' If such planters are out of the question, one might put the special wide-spectrum fluorescent plant growth lamps in descrete fixtures which conceal the tubes, and they will at least offer more natural light than most other sources.
If fluorescents are not energy efficient enough for you or your client, consider using a mix of orangeish high pressure sodium mixed with blueish metal halide lamps. These HID (High Intensity Discharge) fixtures are not cheap, but the lamp life is excellent especially if they are to be on nearly all day. Lastly, if your client wants the luxury look but is wary of real, living plants, you can get somewhat the look of outdoors by means of large tansparencies -- photos of plants or outdoors transferred to rigid plastic sheets -- which are then mounted over a box in the wall containing the fluorescent tubes. Such designs are often 4 x 6 feet high or larger and are not cheap, but they do introduce more natural looking light and resemble windows in a place where no windows may be possible for modesty or other reasons. The psychological benefit of simulating windows, even if only as clerestory above the lockers, is great to all concerned. Lockerooms shouldn't look like dungeons.
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