Daylight Dividends is a three-year research program facilitating the widespread implementation of daylight in buildings. The “dividends” include human comfort and performance and energy savings. Daylight Dividends is run by the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on behalf of the project sponsors.
The Daylight Dividends program was established to build market demand for daylighting as a means of improving indoor environmental quality; to overcome technological barriers to effectively reap the energy savings of daylight; and to inform and assist state and regional market transformation and resource acquisition program implementation efforts.
In 2004, Daylight Dividends published a case study on the R. D. & Euzelle P. Smith Middle School, part of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The school embraced an environmentally conscious attitude and continues to exemplify good daylighting practice since it opened its doors in 2001.
The case study documents that good daylighting design incorporated at a building's inception yields positive results in energy savings (64% reduction in lighting energy), comfort (teachers and students favor daylighting in the classrooms), and a reasonable return on the added investment (4.2 years).