Replacement or Installation of Rooflights
VBS Ltd have found through client feedback, business managers are increasingly finding that their staff come to work only to spend their days getting little to nothing done, slowing down important projects and negatively impacting on the workload. If this sounds like your business, how can you boost your employee’s productivity and avoid this vicious cycle.
The answer? Natural light
It sounds crazy, but when it comes to implementing changes for a positive office environment, many have argued for the health benefits from natural light. Daylight is very important for well-being because of the UV rays it provides. These help the human body to produce vitamin D, dubbed ‘the sunshine vitamin’ by health experts. Vitamin D has been hailed as an effective treatment for allergies, back pain, tension headaches and namely, depression.
Studies have proven the benefits of natural light for workplace productivity. In 2008, a study of 1,000 city workers by the Federation for Small Businesses found that 22% of workers got less than 20 minutes of daylight a day. As a result, two-thirds of participants suffered with depression and four out of five blamed their lack of motivation on their sunless working environments.
So what can you do? Well, rather than paying out on expensive light florescent lighting or artificial sunshine ceilings, the simple installation or replacement of Rooflights / Skylights is a worthwhile investment.
Advancements in research studies over the last decade have shed light on the benefits that natural daylight brings to working environments. This advancement and shift in opinion was as a direct result of a study linking a lack of natural daylight to decreased productivity within.
Natural V’s Artificial?
Natural Lighting as a Superior Alternative The best alternative to harsh lighting and dim lighting systems is natural light itself. In a study conducted in Britain and published in “The Responsible Workplace,” it was shown that windows and rooflights / skylights were the number one determinant of the occupants’ level of satisfaction with an industrial building or office. This effect is due to lighting’s ability to affect the human body in two ways: directly, in the form of affecting what and how well we are able to see, and indirectly, in the form of effects on our mood, behavior, and even hormonal balance. Natural lighting renovations have been shown to result in happier workers, less absenteeism, and fewer illnesses, and, because better lighting encourages satisfaction among workers, it also results in increased productivity.
The Drawbacks of Artificial Lighting
The first culprit, dim lights, can be detrimental to productivity for several reasons.
- Dim lighting can cause eye strain and headaches, because, when lighting is inadequate, the eyes are forced to work much harder in order to see.
- Dim lighting can also result in drowsiness and lack of focus, which would obviously have a negative impact on employee motivation.
- Harsh lighting, is much more common than dim lighting and is just as harmful.
Florescent lighting, especially, has a number of negative effects on employees, as it has been known to cause eye strain, and it is also cited as a trigger for migraine headaches. This harsh lighting also makes it more difficult for the eye to focus, so alternatives should be sought whenever possible.
How far back have we been designing buildings to allow natural light?
Dating back to Roman times, openings to allow natural light into a structure were an ESSENTIAL feature in architecture. But by the mid-twentieth century, due to the availability of cheap electricity and the popularity of fluorescent lighting, windows and other openings to the sky were no longer needed to illuminate interiors.
Building codes that once required natural illumination changed to comply with the times. Consequently, new commercial and industrial buildings were designed with deep floor plans to maximize space and reduce construction costs. Daylight came to be viewed as an impediment to energy savings and a hindrance to a uniformly lit environment. But that perception is changing as studies reveal the triple bottom line benefits of increased ‘daylighting’.
‘Daylighting’ is the use of openings and reflective surfaces to take advantage of both sun and skylight to provide natural illumination to a building interior. And it is gaining favour as companies search for ways to save money on energy costs, reduce their carbon footprint and keep workers happy, healthy and productive — all at the same time.
NARM, reports that lighting costs account for 35% to 40% of the total electrical energy consumption in commercial buildings and recommends daylighting as the most cost-effective strategy to reduce these costs. NARM estimates that daylighting can reduce total building energy costs by as much as one third.
Daylighting can not only save money in reduced energy costs, it can generate income in the form of increased sales. The positive effects of daylighting on sales were given credence by two carefully designed studies. In both studies, researchers found the introduction of daylighting through the placement of diffusing skylights increased retail sales in a particular chain store by an average of 40%.
Rooflights and Regulations for Daylighting
Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state – “Every workplace shall have suitable and sufficient lighting which shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be by natural light”. These comments are restated in HSG38 – Lighting at Work.
The most effective method of providing even, consistent daylight, particularly in large buildings, is through rooflighting – up to three times more efficient than windows of a similar area. Diffusing materials should be used wherever possible to provide even light distribution and avoid glare. Wall glazing is less effective and can create internal shadows and dark corners. However it does offer good psychological benefits and must not be ignored.
Low Carbon Roof Lights These low carbon rooflights offers the best solution when renewing your old existing rooflights and a non fragile superior strength is needed.
Benefits of Low Carbon Roof Lights
- High strength rooflight sheet with lower embodied carbon
- Stronger than conventionally reinforced GRP rooflights of the same weight
- Better profile definition to suit the surrounding metal sheets
- Best for strength, durability, performance and peace of mind
Dome Roof Lights
Dome Rooflights are an ideal way to maximise the transmission of natural day light through a flat roof into the interior. This system is highly suitable for flat roofs ie Schools, Offices, Corridors
- Can be installed into existing flat roofs
- Can provide three times more daylight than the same area of vertical windows
- Provides a much more even distribution of light.
- VBS can replace existing defective dome roof lights with new
Factory Roof Lights
VBS Roofing Contractors offer the replacement of Northlights being Georgian Wired Roof Lights and Rough Cast Unwired Roof Lights for the older pre 1950s buildings. If a glass roof panel i.e. Georgian Wired Roof Lights or Rough Cast Unwired roof lights gets damaged in any way, it can become a serious Health and Safety issue. We can replace these with rough cast Georgian wired glass or twin walled poly-carbonate panels.