12th May 2015
Natural Light – Providing More Than You Think
Research tells us that increased levels of natural daylight aid Vitamin D and Serotonin both of which aid mental, spiritual and physical health. On the reverse side, reduced levels of natural light also increase the incidence of depression, anxiety, ill health and can even help prolong recovery from illness. The importance of natural light and the impact it has on a living environment cannot be underestimated, which is why it is such an influential factor in home design. In addition to the obvious visual advantages, natural light offers multiple health benefits.
Research has found:
• Natural light benefits mood and mental health 1
• Natural light aids recovery from illness 2
• Natural light has positive impacts on building occupants 3
• Natural light aids connection with the local environment 4
• Natural light increases the sense of space in a building
Generous use of glass is the most obvious way to increase the amount of natural light in a property. Conscious design planning at the building stage or during home renovations can help homeowners introduce more natural light into their property.
Windows are key to increasing the amount of natural light into your living space and enabling all aspects of comfort. The bottom line is if your windows are too small, the room will always be naturally dark.
Getting your window size, location and specification right is critical to maintaining comfort levels in your home. When making glass selection choices it’s important to consider all variables and balance the benefits of natural light with its side effects-heat gain/heat loss and glare. These elements can be controlled with shading techniques, proper window placement and orientation, and the usage of energy-efficient glass.
It is important to note that daylight penetration is influenced by room shape, window size, position and glazing treatment. Average daylight levels (at floor level) of 3% of available daylight (ideally ranging between 2.5% and 3.5%) are sufficient to provide a healthy spread of daylight. When planning window placement for daylight penetration, attention should be provided to areas commonly used during the daytime.
It’s with these figures and supporting research we can see how a few well-placed windows, allowing maximum natural light, can prove to be invaluable for not just the home, but the well-being of the residents both short term and long term.
1. [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389945706006812]? 2. [http://www.healthdesign.org/sites/default/files/Role%20Physical%20Environ%20in%20the%2021st%20Century%20Hospital_0.pdf]? 3. [http://ccssolarenergy.net/natural_light.pdf]? 4. [http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/18381737/list/11-Ways-to-Create-Indoor-Outdoor-Connections]?