Much of WISE benefits from natural lighting, including the Sheppard lecture theatre, with full height openings and a large skylight.
One of the openings opens onto a corridor that surrounds the rammed earth walls with full height south-facing windows.
The Moondisk ceiling light illuminates the whole 180-person lecture theatre, even on a cloudy day. The light enters and is reflected off of the white celing-light 'walls' to allow a lot of light to enter the room without the glare from direct sunlight.
Both openings can be closed in order to avoid interference with electronic presentations, but the only time that artificial lighting is required is in night-time events and lectures, when the low-energy LED lighting may be used.
The Well Wishers room (right) has two sources of daylight: firstly through the windows opening onto the courtyard, which provides lighting, heating through solar gain, and also connects users to the outside. The other source of daylighting comes from above, where light enters through a long strip in the ceiling, which then not only provides light, but also heat to the room directly and by heating the hemp-lime walls which then release heat when the room cools.
Passive solar heating is an important aspect of ecological design , as it can dramatically reduce the need for additional heating, particularly when coupled with good insulation.
This is something that has been taken on board in all areas of WISE, but particularly in the South-facing glaszing that surrounds the thick rammed-earth walls of the Sheppard lecture theatre.
The solar radiation that hits the glazing is transferred into the corridor and absorbed by the high thermal-mass walls of the lecture theatre. This is stored and then slowly released when the building cools overnight, buffering the indoor temperature and allowing the wall to absorb the heat again the next day.