Before electric lights became widely available, architects had to think more carefully about how natural daylight was going to enter a building. The use of ambient light, or daylighting, is still an important consideration in any project but in recent years the flow of light in a design has returned to its former priority. To truly make the most of the light on a site, the architect must take a bespoke solution; fitting the building and its features to the location.
Good daylighting ensures that a project makes the best use of the natural light available. Maximising daylight can lower the need for electricity by as much as 75%, lowering costs for the buildings’ users and having a positive benefit on the environment.
Not only that, but the benefits of natural light on health are beginning to be appreciated. Sunlight improves health and lifts mood; people learn, heal and are more productive in natural light.
New daylighting analysis tools are helping architects to consider daylighting in their designs in a new way, and combining these with annual metrics allows architects to consider light in a way that the previous technique, rendering, simply didn’t allow.
Daylighting solutions include gathering sunlight and distributing it around the building. Roof lanterns and orangeries can be imagined as things of beauty with bespoke joinery and sun pipes, tubes that direct the light from the outside, delivering it to the desired location, can light corridors or rooms with no external aspect with ease.
If homes or offices need more light, architects have more limited techniques available to them. Windows remain the primary tool for bringing light into a building, but when added to an existing building the type of window is important. Clerestory windows allow natural light to bounce off the ceiling, adding to the brightness via reflection. The power of reflection can also be harnessed with a light shelf; a metallic piece, set across a window that bounces the light up to the ceiling.
Beauty of Wood: Reed College Performing Arts Building in University of Oregon John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes / ZGF Architects
Portland, OR. Architect – Opsis Architecture.
Architects who keep daylighting in mind can utilise bespoke joinery to enhance their own, bespoke designs, creating truly original and illuminating solutions for their clients that can transform lives and do their bit for the planet, too. If you need help with your project contact RW Joinery to find out how we can incorporate daylight saving architecture and joinery in your building project.