Life was made for living naturally. The feeling of lush grass, rather than artificial turf, beneath your feet; full cream, rather than the sterilised variety, on strawberries; soft, natural fibres against the skin, rather than tough acrylic … nothing works better than the real thing. It explains why natural daylight is such a highly sought after commodity when it comes to designing buildings. In commercial, educational, and industrial buildings, the benefits of natural lighting include improving mood, creativity, and concentration, with rooflights a highly effective way of utilising this free and unlimited resource.

The importance of natural light – and rooflights – should not be underestimated. While windows or vertical glazing let daylight in, this light will only travel six metres into the room. However, with a well-designed rooflight system, the interior will capture light no matter where the sun is, and help to deliver three invisible benefits: a healthier environment, improved productivity, reduced energy costs.

Lighting up lives

The introduction of natural daylight into a building clearly has enormous benefits. Exposure to sunlight makes us feel happier, while the impact of Vitamin D reduces the risk of, and improves resistance to, disease, and keeps the immune system functioning properly. As a result, it makes us feel better and leads to more positive and proactive behaviour.

 

Rooflights that bring the right level and quality of light into a building will improve mood and performance. Natural light can lead to improved eye and brain function, and a subsequent increase in an individual’s success. Daylight is an essential natural asset, and improves concentration, so working and learning environments will generally see an increase in productivity.

Brighter benefits

Daylight is scientifically proven to improve performance in schools, reduce absenteeism in the workplace, and enhance recovery rates in hospitals. Research into retail environments has also shown that sales tend to be better in naturally lit locations, where products seem more attractive to the customer. Also, natural light encourages customers to spend more time in these areas.

 

Therefore, it’s no surprise that more and more major retailers – such as large UK supermarkets – are turning to rooflights to keep people shopping for longer. In fact, a number of these leading retail organisations now include large areas of rooflights for all new build projects, to ensure a high percentage of evenly distributed natural light within the interior.

 

Today, the increased use of rooflights is one of the major tools that architects and designers use to reduce energy use, CO2 emissions, and overall running costs. Bringing natural light into the building can dramatically reduce the use of electric lights – which is often the biggest single use of energy, and cause of CO2 emissions.

Sika guarantee

Sika-Trocal®, a leading provider of single-ply, flat roofing membranes, has added a range of high-quality rooflights to its direct ordering service, by partnering with Brett Martin Daylight Systems, industry specialists in the provision of rooflights for commercial and industrial building projects.

 

The agreement will enable  Sika-Trocal® Licensed Contractors to procure high quality Sika- branded rooflight domes and bespoke roof glazing, with all purchases covered by the Sika-Trocal® Guarantee.

 

The Sika® Rooflite range includes Sika® RoofLite Trade, providing stylish, contemporary looks as standard, with excellent insulation; Sika® RoofLite Ultra, which has a sleek silver aluminium security frame that can be powder-coated to any standard RAL colour; Sika® RoofLite Glass, which features an ultra-modern flat glass design; and Sika® RoofLite Reflex, a glazing only unit, intended for refurbishment projects where the glazing only needs to be replaced. Also available is a range of bespoke roof glazing solutions, for when the job is a little less ordinary.

 

All Sika® Rooflites are manufactured to all the required industry standards, and have a thermal performance well in excess of the requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations, for a more thermally efficient building.

 

Dean Grady, Sika-Trocal Product Manager, said: “Through our latest partnership with Brett Martin Daylight Systems, we are bringing together more complementary roofing products under the Sika-Trocal brand, making it quicker and easier for our licensed contractors to order the products they need.

Solar power

Over the years, independent research has proved conclusively that the installation of rooflights can save energy, and the greater the rooflight area the greater the savings. The amount of energy needed to light a building artificially is often much greater than the amount of energy used to heat it, and is often the greatest single energy use in operating the building.

 

A recent report commissioned by the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers (NARM) shows that increasing or improving rooflight areas in non-domestic buildings can make a huge impact. Its results show that savings of up to £5.92/m2/yr in running costs, and savings of up to 28.7 kg CO2/m2/yr in CO2 emissions can be achieved.

 

The rising cost of energy bills, legislative changes, and environmental regulations all played their part in an increase in rooflight specification, but it is often the benefits that you can’t see which have the biggest impact. The infusion of free, abundantly available natural daylight will not only meet Building Regulations, or reduce energy bills, it can also help occupants to feel and work smarter.