Case History (Real-World Solutions)
Student Center Goes From Dreary to Vibrant
Transforming the student center at Waukesha County Technical College required new and vibrant lighting. Solatube was up to the challenge.
The Waukesha Campus of Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) in Waukesha, WI, includes a service building, which housed a student center in need of new life.
“The cave-like environment of the student gathering area was very oppressive. It was truly incredible to see the transformation of the space once the Solatube units were installed,” says Keith Johnson, owner of Brighter Concepts.
Dubbed “the cave” for its dark and gloomy atmosphere, the student center was unpopular with students. With a budget of $600,000, the school sought to transform the dark and dreary environment into a bright and cheerful place where students would want to congregate.
According to Matthew Kerr, IIDA, ASAI, senior associate and interior designer at Zimmerman Architectural Studios, the renovation’s main objectives were filling the space with natural light and creating auditory separation without disrupting the visual “openness” of the existing space.
Local Solatube Certified Commercial Distributor, Brighter Concepts, installed twelve Solatube SolaMaster 750 DS Core Units. The units integrated with LED lighting for nighttime use and maximum energy efficiency. Custom square-shaped fabric lanterns added a decorative element at the ceiling level.
According to Brooks Kyler-Eberlein, WCTC interior design instructor, the addition of Solatube Daylighting Systems took “the cave” from an underused, dark space to a vibrant, active hub for students. The use of natural light by day and LED light by night also provided WCTC with an efficient long-term solution to energy costs.
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of College Planning & Management.