When Clear Glazing is Not Clear Cut

Clear glazing has been most commonly used in roof light solutions over the years and has, mainly, fulfilled the requirements of installers and end users. However, as technology advances and awareness increases to the impact buildings have on the wellbeing of its users, leading roof light manufacturer Xtralite is challenging the specification in applications such as workplaces and educational establishments.

“The demands on a modern day classroom or workplace have increased considerably as appreciation of building design continues to evolve,” said Jim Lowther sales director Xtralite. “Installing clear glazing above work stations, desks or any other areas can create massive contrasts between light and dark, resulting in glare from the work surface. Diffused glazing will distribute better quality light across the room resulting in a more comfortable, and consequently productive, environment.”

The benefits of natural light on wellbeing are extensive and therefore it is important that natural light opportunities are maximised in educational and work place establishments. It has been proven to boost serotonin levels (the happy hormone) and also aid concentration enhancing productivity. The National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers (NARM), reinforced by an American study found that workers who received natural daylight enjoyed increased performance levels at work and also slept on average an extra 46 minutes per night compared with workers who were not exposed to any natural light at all.

With this in mind natural lighting and glazing specifications within building design should be given prime consideration to ensure roof lights are installed that negate any potential ‘hot spots’ and diffuse light across the room setting. It is, of course, possible to specify the full range of glazing mediums and provide consistent light across the work space. Xtralite can provide Glass Polycarbonate and Lumira Technology installed in either their structural glazing systems or modular roof lights.

Safety also remains paramount as Xtralite’s policy of only using a laminated inner pane of glass , which can be tinted or coloured if required, reduces the risk of glass falling into the building should the outer pane shatter from impact or heat stress.

Jim concluded; “We actively encourage this type of specification so that building users across commercial and domestic settings reap the benefits of natural light without compromise.”

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