Trends affect the design of doors and windows, just like anything else. One of the most significant trends in door and window design is daylighting – that is, quite simply, allowing daylight in the interior of a building or home. The impetus behind this trend is to boost energy efficiency by increasing natural light so that less artificial light is used.
But more daylight can also make workers more productive, and boost your crew’s workplace satisfaction. Many workers say the absence of natural light makes them feel more tired; some say lack of light makes them feel gloomy or sad. Studies have shown that adding daylight makes students more productive in the classroom; retail stores also report increased sales in stores with ample natural light. Further, burning electric lights can heat up a building, so that more air conditioning is needed to maintain comfort. That means your HVAC system is working harder than it needs to.
How to Increase Natural Light
Adding windows in garage doors or other exterior doors can help fulfill this need for natural light. Other options to consider:
- Install commercial sliding glass doors inside the building so that light shines from room to room.
- Skylights can allow more light, but also allow glare and excessive heating from direct solar penetration. Generally, skylights incorporate glazing to diffuse solar transmittance.
- Incorporate a glass storefront into the building design.
Care must be taken that the right amount of light is allowed in, regardless of the option. If you are planning to build a new facility or working on a renovation, you should discuss with your consultant the intensity, distribution and penetration of daylight in your building. Your consultant should also address glare, which impedes visual comfort and work performance.
When natural light measures 2.5 times or more than an average electric light, it will make occupants uncomfortable, creating glare or conditions that are too warm. You can mitigate these conditions with interior and exterior shading devices, glazed or tinted windows, or combinations of these.