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How to Maximise Natural Daylight with your Building Designs

It’s a well known fact that natural daylight is good for our health and wellbeing. Evidence suggests that workers who work in buildings with high levels of natural light streaming in are far more productive than those who work in buildings relying on artificial light. Not only can sunlight affect our health, when utilised in commercial and domestic buildings, it can also save money on energy usage and bills. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a few of the methods you can use to maximise natural daylight within your building designs.

Rooflights

Rooflights provide three times more light than the same area of vertical glazing and are perfect for buildings where side glazing may not be possible or where it is limited. Rooflights can provide direct and diffused lighting depending on the requirements of the project and to ensure that sunlight does not cause overheating or damage. One of the key benefits of a rooflight is reduced lighting bills and a constant source of light provided throughout the daylight hours.

Light or sun tubes

Light or sun tubes should be used to direct daylight into a space which otherwise could not be naturally lit. eg a basement or a “land locked” room with an attic space above. They work by reflecting light harvested at roof level then directing it down a highly reflective tube, through a diffuser to disperse the light.

Open plan

Individual rooms within a building may have 3-4 windows allowing light in but if you choose an open plan design, those 3-4 windows let light in around the same area and so provide a wider distribution of light throughout the room rather than it being blocked by furniture or other obstacles that can affect the flow of light.

Placement of windows and rooflights

Remember that the location of windows and rooflights will greatly affect the amount of sunlight that filters in. If windows are pointing away from the sun at all times of the day, or are blocked by outside objects, no amount of glass is going to make a difference. Placement all depends on when and where within the building you want the most natural daylight. If you want more light in the morning, make sure the openings face east to capture light from the sunrise.

Building orientation has little or no effect on the amount of light harvested by a rooflight, by their very nature; rooflights will always face the sun for the vast majority of the daylight hours.

There are a variety of methods you can use to utilise natural daylight within your building designs and should always be kept in mind to get the best out of any design. As we become more aware of the benefits of natural light throughout our daily lives, natural lighting is becoming as important in building designs as usable floor space. At Xtralite, we supply a range of rooflights and materials to help you perfect every project and maximise light and energy saving properties. 

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