Light Pollution Reduction
Outdoor light fixtures at Lamberton Middle School are designed to direct light toward the ground or the building, rather than allowing light to escape into the sky. These fixtures focus light where it is needed and eliminate glare, which can make walking and driving at night more dangerous. Lighting is responsible for one fourth of all electricity used worldwide. Minimizing the use of nighttime lighting can result in significant savings.
Artificial light disrupts natural ecosystems. While each species is impacted differently, the overall effects are destructive. Light pollution can alter competitive interactions within an ecosystem, change predator/prey relations, and confuse navigation among nocturnal animals.
Another benefit to reducing the amount of light that spills into the sky is the greater visibility of stars in the night sky.
Some refrigerants commonly used in a building's cooling systems are harmful to the earth's atmosphere. The refrigerants used at Lamberton Middle School were selected to minimize damage to the ozone layer and lessen contributions to global warming.
The ozone layer is a layer of ozone gas in the lower stratosphere which protects life on earth by absorbing harmful ultraviolet light from the sun. Chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs) react with ozone in the presence of sunlight and form holes in this protective layer. In compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the United States no longer permits the use of CFCs. Due to widespread acceptance of the Montreal Protocol throughout the world, the level of CFCs in the atmosphere has leveled off or decreased. If these regulations continue to be adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to repair itself by 2050. The images below [1979, 1989, 2006, 2010] from NASA show the changes in the ozone hole above Antarctica over time.
Hydroclorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are common alternatives to CFCs. While less harmful to the ozone layer, HCFCs contribute to global warming. Molecule for molecule, they are 10,000 times more potent greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. Countries participating in the Montreal Protocol have agreed to freeze the production and use of HCFCs by 2013, and start reducing production by 2015.
Natural daylighting can reduce energy costs and provide a healthier, more productive working environment for teachers and students. Light monitors bring natural daylight into the corridors and cafeteria. Sun shades on the windows in the gymnasium reduce glare and shield the space from harsh, direct light. Occupancy and daylight sensors automatically adjust the level of light by brightening on overcast days, dimming on sunny days and turning off when a space is not in use.
The sun chart above shows the path of the sun through the sky over Lamberton Middle School during different times of the year. Lamberton Middle School is located at 40° north latitude. You can use the human sun dial in the pavement by standing on the appropriate month and watching where your shadow falls.