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Warren Wilson College
Campus Box 6323
P.O. Box 9000
Asheville, NC 28815-9000


Please refer comments or questions about this website to Ellen Querin.

Light Shelves


How do we do it?

The Orr Cottage has been oriented to face the south which maximizes the amount of sunlight it receives year round.   Light shelves are installed on the south facing exterior of the building.  We paint the top of the light shelve with white reflective type paint.  We do not install shades or blinds on the interior side of the window.  And the paint on the ceiling inside assists in reflecting the light into the building.  This is an inexpensive method to harness the use of passive solar light which assists in reducing the need for electric lights inside.  The roof line assists in reducing the amount of direct glare for the offices on the top floor.

Why do we do it?

Light shelves perform three main functions:

        (1) Keep sun off building in summer

        (2) Reduce glare onto workstations in winter

        (3) Reflect light onto ceiling, increasing lumens in daylighting (light energy)

So, we do this to reduce the cost of electricity, reduce our contribution to global fuel consumption, and is cleaner and better for the environment.