Applications for daylighting systems

Education

If ever there was a marriage made in heaven between building types and usage, and the application of Solarspot® daylight systems then it has to be in schools and colleges. In general, most schools and colleges are rarely more than two stories high; ensuring that at least 50% of the building’s space has direct access to the roof, and the building is predominately occupied during daylight hours only.

Major benefits to schools and colleges

  • Reduced energy consumption and running costs
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Improved attendance
  • Improved academic performance and results

If a school requires the electric lights to be on when it’s a bright day outside then the design could be accused of failing. Clearly, on ground-floor class-rooms with a second story above, over-head daylight may not be an option. But for the vast majority of class-rooms, a daylight solution, such as Solarspot® daylight systems, could be providing the light required for the majority of the year.

The inclusion of Solarspot® daylight systems into new build specifications or as a retrofit as part of a school refurbishment can deliver immediate results to reduce energy consumption and, therefore, a schools carbon footprint. Solarspot® daylight systems are perfect for all areas of a school building; class-rooms, offices and corridors, providing a free source of natural light saving the requirement for electric light for the majority of the life of the school.

Correctly specified it would be reasonable to expect the requirement for electric light could be reduced by up to around 70% or more in areas where daylight systems are fitted. In schools that are completely single story, most primary schools for example, this could represent a total saving on electricity for the entire school of around 40%*.

Solarspot® daylight systems versus traditional roof windows

The traditional solution for over-head daylighting is usual met with the use of large, square roof lights, however there are several pit-falls that make them less than ideal for schools. Firstly there is no mechanism for distribution of light into the class-room resulting in a light ‘hot-spot’ directly below the roof light and dark areas away from it. Secondly, they can often be a source of glare. All Solarspot® daylight systems delivery light via a diffuser, evening out the light-levels throughout the room and eliminating any glare.

Roof lights can often be a thermal weak-point in the roof, allowing heat into class rooms during the summer whilst letting heat out in the winter. The excellent thermal properties of Solarspot® daylight systems ensure that any heat gain or loss is reduced to a minimum, meeting all part L requirements for thermal efficiency.

Finally, if installed as part of a refurbishment, Solarspot® daylight systems can be supplied is sizes that will fit through existing roof structures, eliminating the requirement for changes to the building fabric and greatly reducing installation times and costs.

*Based on schools using gas for central heating.