Guy Kawasaki toured a new building on the Stanford campus last week that was built with some Yahoo bucks from Yahoo co-founder (and current CEO) Jerry Yang.
This shot jumped out at me:
The shelf is the innovation. It serves dual purposes. First, it shades the inside of the building during high sun summer months while allowing light in lower sun winter months to shine further into the building. Second, it reflects light off the top of the shelf up against the ceilings of rooms, thus dispersing the light within the rooms, making it more user friendly than intense direct sunlight on the floor or nearby desks would be.
As I understand it, this provides plenty of light while reducing cooling needs in the summer, while providing direct light to reduce heating needs in the winter. And, ideally, it cuts down on artificial lighting.
There are many other examples of eco-friendly design worth checking out in the post on Guy’s site if you’re into that sort of thing.