By now, most people are familiar with the concept of bringing in natural daylight through a roof. However, we’re often asked if the system can be used to light basements and underground builds. The simple answer is yes but there can be a little bit more to it than just dropping it through a roof.
The success of any basement or underground building project is often judged how bright the final space is when the builders have left and the building decorated. Solarspot Tubular Daylighting systems can significantly help to achieve substantial levels of natural light to such spaces but they need to be included in the original building specification as ‘retro-fitting’ can be problematic and expensive.
Underground buildings and homes
Building underground homes or extensions has never been more popular. Modern damp-proof membranes and insulators have eradicated the problems of cold, damp buildings but the issue of natural light can still be the deciding factor in the success or otherwise of a project. In order for an underground house to feel enough of a home rather than a bunker, the levels of natural light need to match, or even exceed those expected in a ‘traditional’ house.
There is absolutely no reason why an underground house shouldn’t be as bright, or even brighter, than a conventional surface built house. The inclusion of sufficient Solarspot® Tubular Daylight Systems (TDS) can more than compensate for the lack of conventional windows. In fact, it’s possible to create rooms that exceed the brightness levels enjoyed by window-lit houses.
For situations where it is not possible to bring the tube down through the roof it is not uncommon to bring the tube in through a wall – like a hi-tech port hole. It is also possible to bring a tube down from the roof in a space in a garage and duct it through 90 degrees into an internal bathroom or cloakroom.
Whilst it is quite possible to light a basement with a Solarspot Tubular Daylight Systems the level of success, difficulty, and therefore cost, can vary dramatically. As a general rule of thumb, if the domes can be mounted in a bright location then the installation can be a huge success. Alternatively, if they or located in a shady spot against a north facing wall then the light levels may make the project unviable.
As with any work that involves underground spaces, always consult an expert familiar with all of the potential building issues and regulations.