Free and Good for You – Time to Bring More Daylight Indoors
Light is an essential part of how we experience a space. The Interior of a building with plenty of natural light feels calmer, more pleasant to be in, more natural if you like. Natural light helps us to maintain a healthy sleep/wake cycle.
An abundance of natural light has been linked in studies to increased retail sales, faster recovery from operations, better educational attainment, improved staff satisfaction and higher productivity.
Natural light has further significant advantages. It’s free and has zero carbon emissions. It can help to heat the building. For schools, offices, care homes and hospitals, in particular, incorporating the maximum amount of natural light is a feature of good design. It brings benefits to building users and the environment.
Using natural light also brings challenges. Too much intense direct light creates glare. It can lead to overheating, increased demands on air conditioning systems or the need to fit complex blinds or shading. If the quality of the build isn’t good you also risk losing any energy efficiency gains through air leaks and draughts.
Flexibility and Quality
Making the most of natural light demands flexibility in design. It also needs guaranteed build quality to ensure airtightness and thermal efficiency.
Flexible design will respond to the building’s location and orientation. This will determine whether large window apertures are needed or whether more subtle solutions, such as clerestory lighting, will be most appropriate.
Having designed for the optimum use of natural light you then need to be confident that the vision can be translated into a real building. One that matches the design and the intended thermal performance levels. Here, traditional construction methods don’t have a great track record.
Offsite construction using the i-SIP system, on the other hand, is design-led and inherently flexible. The size and configuration of the panels can be fine tuned to be a perfect fit with the design. And features such as clerestory lighting can be easily integrated into the design of roof cassettes.
Our design and engineering teams frequently work closely with architects and developers to refine designs to make the best use of natural light. They also resolve detailed buildability issues in a CAD environment, which is always preferable to trying to do it on-site.
The precision manufacture of the panels ensures tight tolerances and an exact fit, no matter how many window openings are required.
We know that natural light is better than artificial light. Panelised construction is an excellent way to ensure those benefits are realised. Our Moorgate School case study is a great example of a school build that uses natural light creatively to improve the internal environment and reduce the carbon footprint.