Lowering your CO2 emissions using Rooflights
How do Rooflights help reduce carbon footprint?
Finding ways to bring natural daylight in to the building rather than using electrical lighting is a great way to improve the carbon footprint and significantly reduce the overall energy of the building. Unlike electrical lighting, natural daylight will help make a positive contribution to the environment as there is no need for it to be generated using fossil fuels; one of the least carbon efficient fuel sources available. Rooflights have an even bigger impact when incorporated in commercial buildings where artificial lighting is usually in place throughout the day; even during the summer months where lighting may not be required. Reducing the amount of energy used in buildings is a key step towards making a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Rooflights also provide passive heating; this means that in winter the glass will enclose more heat in the building whereas throughout the summer months rooflights can cool your home. Rooflights provide passive heating because of the high thermal efficiency of the glass resulting in less heating required throughout winter months and less air conditioning required through summer, which will not only lower carbon emissions but also lower energy costs.
Why should we try to reduce carbon footprint?
Since amendments to building regulations have been put in place and the cost of energy bills have risen this has prompted many people to begin looking at the benefits of natural daylight which can be received from rooflights. The Building Regulations Part L 2006, designed to save energy and power consumption in buildings, is part of an ongoing legislative programme by the Government; the aim is to create a long-term building stock that will reduce CO2 levels over the next 10 years. Since the Government legislation was put in place there has been more and more added to the document in terms of percentages and goals we need to reach.
Why choose Rooflights?
Even if you don’t consider yourself an environmentalist and the statistics don’t scare you, there are still plenty of reasons as to why rooflights can be a positive improvement to the structure of a building. Besides all of the environmental benefits rooflights can actually lead to savings in heating costs and improve mental and physical wellbeing due to natural daylight. It’s been scientifically proven that daylight can help reduce stress as well as boost your mood and productivity; making them an ideal solution for commercial and public buildings. The daylight provided from rooflights not only improves the quality of light but also creates a pleasant working environment for all people working in that building. Rooflights are also much more aesthetically pleasing and can make the structure of the building look a lot more impressive than standard windows.
What changes have been implemented to Rooflights?
As mentioned briefly above, The Building Regulations Part L 2006 was put in place to create a long-term building stock that will reduce CO2 levels, however, over the past 10 years there has been a major shift in the attitudes of carbon footprint and how we should tackle it. To begin with the emphasis was on improving the building insulation which is why the focus was around the choice of fabrics used on buildings. This led to a lot of questioning in regard to rooflights and whether we should reduce the amount of rooflights and windows in order to keep in the heat and provide better insulation through more opaque areas. Since then, it has come to light (literally) that the benefits of overall reduction in electric lighting being replaced with daylight outweighs the savings in heat energy; this was discussed between NARM& the UK Governmentat the time. Conclusively it was decided that 15-20% of rooflight space is the best way forward in Part L2 2013of the building regulations.