BACKGROUND: The Waukesha Campus in Waukesha, Wis., is a satellite educational facility of Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC). The sister campus is home to the Service Building, which houses the student center.
“The cave-like environment of the student gathering area was very oppressive. It was truly incredible to see the transformation of the space once the Solatube SkyVault units were installed.” Keith Johnson Owner, Brighter Concepts
CHALLENGE: Dubbed “the cave” for its dark and gloomy atmosphere, the student center was unpopular with students. With a budget of $600,000, the school sought to renovate the existing space, transforming it from a dark and dreary environment to a bright and cheerful one where students would want to eat, study and socialise.
SOLUTION: According to Matthew Kerr, IIDA, ASAI, Senior Associate and Interior Designer at Zimmerman Architectural Studios, the renovation’s main objectives were filling the space with natural light and creating auditory separation without disrupting the visual “openness” of the existing space.
Daylighting the space required 12 Solatube SkyVault Series M74 DS Core Units, which were installed by local Solatube Certified Commercial Distributor Brighter Concepts. The units integrated with LED lighting for night use and maximum lighting energy efficiency. Custom square-shaped fabric lanterns added a decorative element at the ceiling level.
“It’s amazing what a building remodel that factors in natural light can do for one’s psyche! The Solatube units made this possible.” Brooks Kyler-Eberlein, WCTC Interior Design instructor
INCREASED SPACE USE
With the addition of Solatube Daylighting Systems, the former “cave” went from being an underused, dark space to a vibrant and active hub for students, according to Brooks Kyler-Eberlein, WCTC Interior Design instructor.
REDUCED ENERGY COSTS
Using natural light by day and LED light by night, the school established a long-term solution to reduce its lighting energy costs.