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Lisa Heschong was a Founding Principal of the Heschong Mahone Group (HMG), and a licensed architect for 30 years. At HMG, a building science and energy efficiency consulting firm based in Sacramento, California, Ms. Heschong led the research team that found a correlation between daylight in classrooms and improved student performance, and daylight and retail sales.

She is a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). She has served as Chair of the IES Medals Committee and the IES Daylight Metrics Committee, where she helped establish a new set of climate-based daylight performance metrics, including sDA and ASE.

She is author of Thermal Delight in Architecture (MIT Press 1979) which after 4 decades of continuous publication is still widely read in architecture schools around the world. Her latest book Visual Delight in Architecture: Daylight, Vision and View (Routledge 2021), explores new findings on the physiological, cognitive, social and cultural importance of daylight and view in our everyday environments.

Ms. Heschong is also co-author of Residential Windows: A Guide to New Technologies and Energy Performance (Norton 2007); digital design guidelines The Skylighting Guidelines (SCE 1999)  and The Advanced Lighting Guidelines (NBI 2003), along with numerous technical papers analyzing the energy performance of buildings.

She also serves on the Board of Directors of Ecology Action, an environmental non-profit, the Advisory Board of the Richard Neutra’s Foundation “The Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design”, and is active in the International Dark-Sky Association.

She has a B.Sc. from UC Berkeley, and a Masters of Architecture from MIT, where she was awarded the AIA School Medal. In 2011 she received the "Haecker Award for Lifetime Achievement" from the Architectural Research Centers Consortium. In 2023, she was awarded both the Edison Report's "Lifetime Achievement Award" and the "IES Medal," the highest honor bestowed by the Illuminating Engineering Society. 



The IES Medal

Illuminating Engineering Society


Lifetime Achievement Award

Edison Report


James Haecker Award for Distinguished Leadership in Architectural Research, Architectural Research Centers Consortium,



Illuminating Engineering Society


AIA Medal,

AAUW Fellowship

Master of Architecture

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

B.Sc., Natural Resources,

University of California at Berkeley



IES: Illuminating Engineering Society

2023 Medal

IES Fellow 2016

IES Daylight Metrics Committee

IES Daylighting Committee

Education, Library and Office TAG

(Board of Directors, 2009-2011, Chair of Daylighting Metrics Committee, 2007-2013)

The Daylight Academy (DLA)

Member (2023-present)

Neutra Institute for Survival by Design

Advisory Board (2018-present)

International Dark Sky Assocation

Santa Cruz chapter

Ecology Action, Inc

Board of Directors (2017-present)


Society of Building Science Educators



Coalition for High Performance Schools

Technical Committee Member (2001-2008)



State of California #C 019296 



Lighting Certified


IES Medal

The 2023 IES Medal

Illuminating Engineering Society


Lisa has conspicuously advanced the science and application of daylight in buildings through her varied roles as architect, author, educator, entrepreneur, and researcher. Her research on daylighting in schools elevated the importance of how daylight affects schoolchildren. This seminal research has inspired how important daylight and views are in school design and has definitely influenced architectural practices throughout the world.

As an educator, she has inspired thousands of professional architects and engineers via utility-sponsored training courses and conference workshops. As an entrepreneur and founding principal of Heschong Mahone group, she amplified her vision and impact through the work of her firm.

As an author, she has disseminated widely in thought provoking books and chapters, peer-reviewed journals, and trade-magazines. As both a speaker and author, she exhibits communication skills that inform, inspire, and empower listeners and readers.
Threaded throughout, Lisa has been a champion for how daylight can support human and planetary health. In hindsight, we can look back through the several decades of her career and see how she positively influenced and advanced the narrative around daylight and view’s importance in buildings for all occupants.

The IES Medal gives deserved recognition for meritorious technical achievement that has conspicuously furthered the profession, art or knowledge of illuminating engineering. The IES Medal was first presented in 1944, and the roster of past recipients is truly a who’s who of the lighting industry.

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