10 Ways Skylights Bring Value to a Design:
#1: Improved Lighting
One of the more obvious benefits of having a skylight is that it lets in light. Skylights supply a funnel through which the sun can spill in and flood a space with light and are particularly useful when it comes to illuminating those inner areas without access to an exterior wall and where standard windows or wall systems aren’t an option. Whether brightening a dark hallway or an otherwise dull staircase, skylights help to enliven the architecture and create a calm and comforting atmosphere that people crave.
#2: Added Climate Control Capabilities
Different glazing and insulation options allow skylights to be adapted to a variety of climates to enable the easy management of internal temperatures without having to sacrifice daylight. In sunnier regions in which direct sunlight may cause temperatures to rise to unbearable levels during the day, a translucent skylight system can diffuse the incoming light and limit solar heat gain. Whereas, colder climates may utilize a transparent or mixed-glazed system to capture the Sun’s warmth as a natural, low-cost means of heating the interior. Ventilation options also offer an opportunity for additional air circulation throughout the building.
#3: Reduced Energy Consumption
An estimated 22% of an average office building’s energy usage is consumed by artificial lighting. By bringing in natural light and decreasing our dependency on artificial lighting, skylights can help cut excessive consumption and electrical costs. Another 34% of energy usage is exhausted from heating and cooling. This, too, can be curbed with a skylight that works with the environment to manage internal temperatures and ease the burden placed on HVAC systems – therefore lowering the monthly utility bill.
#4: Health Benefits of Daylight
The Sun’s light possesses a variety of health-promoting properties that are essential to our physiological and psychological well-being. Exposure to daylight helps to regulate the body’s Circadian Rhythm and stimulates the production of critical hormones such as melatonin and serotonin that help us to sleep and manage our mood. Without regular access to daylight, it is common for someone to struggle with insomnia, depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder as sunlight becomes more scare with the seasons. Sunlight also supplies the body with Vitamin D that it needs to absorb calcium and sustain strong bones. Skylights are a great way to let these life-giving rays in!
#5: Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal
Skylights offer plenty of functional value, but they can also serve as a striking aesthetic. Given its design flexibility, Skylights are a great opportunity for an architect to showcase their creative skills and build something beautiful. The shape, style, and size of a skylight itself can be dazzling, but there is also the added allure of the sunlight shining through it. Natural light is more pleasing to the eye than artificial lighting and offers a preferable tone as the sun changes in color and intensity. Studies also show skylights can make a room appear more spacious.
#6: Closer Connection to Nature
According to the biophilia hypothesis, humans have an innate craving to connect with nature and other forms of life; and in an urbanized society where much of our time is spent indoors, one way to satisfy this craving is with a skylight. Skylights create connections between a built environment and the natural world above by offering a view of the sky and inviting in the daylight. Studies show that something as simple as nourishing this natural tendency with a little sunlight can improve mood, reduce stress, clear the mind, and even encourage healing.
#7: Reduced Carbon Emission
Limiting the use of artificial lighting and electric heating and cooling systems through the installation of a natural light source like a skylight also reduces a building’s carbon emission. For this reason, skylights are a great way for a business to support sustainability and grant significance to a building they occupy regularly.
#8: Increased Privacy Possibilities
When those inside want to look out, but don’t want those outside looking in, a skylight may be the perfect solution. A skylight’s placement naturally allows for more privacy than a standard window while still maintaining some view of the outdoors and access to daylight so occupants aren’t forced to compromise comfort lighting for privacy. If desired or necessary, translucent glazing can also be used to further protect your privacy without removing the light source.
#9: “Bonus” Benefits for Occupants
Numerous studies have shown that access to natural light offers benefits beyond the ordinary – from increased test scores and attendance in students who have access to daylight, to increased sales in retail settings where skylights were used to offset artificial lighting. With a properly designed daylighting system, your space can benefit in more ways than you think!
#10: Functional Versatility
While skylights provide aesthetic appeal, they can also be a useful tool for spaces that offer unique design challenges. Installing a removable skylight, for example, can be a cost-effective way to provide both natural light and easy access to large machinery or medical equipment that is impossible to reach by other means.