The International VELUX Award is a competition for students of architecture that runs every second year. We challenge students from all over the world to work with daylight as an ever relevant source of light, life and joy. The award is one of the most important global student competitions of its kind.

Submission is now closed. The jury will review the projects in July and the regional winners will be announced in August.

Daylight in Green Lighthouse

Model Home 2020 is an experiment launched by VELUX as part of our strategy to contribute actively to the development of future sustainable buildings. This is our vision for how daylight and fresh air can render buildings of the future climate-neutral while providing a good indoor climate and being attractive to reside in.

The project supports the ideas of the coming generation within building design – often called “active houses”. The purpose is to create a balance between energy efficiency and an optimum indoor climate by means of a building that dynamically adapts to its surroundings whilst being climate-neutral. Green Lighthouse is the second of six experiments in the Model Home 2020 project.

From an architectural point of view the house was inspired by the sundial and the movement of the sun around the house. The design underlines the fact that the sun is an important topic in science and one of the most significant energy sources in Green Lighthouse.

Daylight in Green Lighthouse

Green Lighthouse is not only a lighthouse when it comes to sustainability. Vital daylight has been thought into all details.

Daylight is the primary light source in Green Lighthouse and daylight has been thought into the very architectonic principal idea itself. The house is circular and has an internal core, which simultaneously holds the central staircase, provides ventilation through the natural stack effect and draws a lot of daylight down through the house from the roof windows. When you are going to energy optimize a building as it is the case for Green Lighthouse it is decisive to integrate architecture, materials and light into an overall plan to obtain an extremely low energy consumption.

Green Lighthouse has been designed as a deep circular house with an internal passage of light, which fetches light down into the building from a huge glass covered hole at the top. It provides lots of daylight, creates natural ventilation and lets the hot air out. The stairs utilize the room to its full extent and creates a good, open and clear flow in the house. In that way the architectonic and sustainable solutions will be combined.

The daylighting performance of Green Lighthouse has been specified using the daylight factor (DF) as performance indicator. In technical terms, the daylight factor should be at least 3 % in all working stations and minimum 2 % in hall ways. This means that daylight is evident in all rooms. Due to the construction of the automatic window shades, sunlight is reflected deeply into the building.

Daylight factor simulation with and without VELUX Roof Windows

In Green Lighthouse, daylight is used as an active energysaving strategy. The building has the ability to function as a daylight lamp, at all times and in all weather conditions, transporting maximum exterior daylight into the interior through windows in the facade and the roof. Together with lux sensors and dimmer controls, the result is an efficient balance between available daylight and the need for artificial light, which results in minimum use of electricity. If the roof windows were removed and the same light levels were to be reached with artificial light, the need for electricity would be more than four times higher.

Green Lighthouse presentation

Watch the Green Lighthouse concept and design video presentation below.

For more information about the project, please visit

By Nicolas Roy