Light is one of the most important factors in building design
Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Never has that been more true. Today we spend 90% of our time inside, even though we all require natural daylight to live healthy, productive lives. We need daylight to see, but perhaps more importantly, we need it to maintain the circadian rhythms that govern the function of our organs. According to a Harvard report, lack of access to natural light disrupts our circadian rhythms and can drastically affect our overall health and wellbeing. (For more information on designing buildings focussed on health and wellbeing, watch our webinar. )
The power of natural light
A recent study by Leesman found that 75.5% of office workers identify access to natural light as an important physical feature of a workplace. However, only 57.3% percent of those surveyed were actually satisfied with their access to natural light at work. What’s more, according to the Nine Foundations of a Healthy Building, access to daylight supports good cognitive function; helps working memory and executive function; and reduces the likelihood of headaches and depression.
Awareness of the importance of daylight is leading real estate investors to use human-centric design, creating healthy buildings with ample access to daylight. But what happens when you need to work with an existing space, and you can’t change the overall structure? Enhancing and increasing natural daylight can be a huge architectural challenge.
How to increase the natural light in a dark space
With the right building materials, it’s possible to create a bright, comfortable and modern spaces almost anywhere. By choosing materials with high light reflection and high light diffusion, you can draw daylight further into a room or space. And to avoid too much glare, choosing materials with a matt surface finish will offer the best visual comfort.
With the right building materials, such as ceiling with a light reflection value of 87%, you can pull daylight 11% further into the space. Not only does this make it much brighter and more comfortable, it creates an energy saving of 23%, so occupants can enjoy a healthier space that’s also healthier for the environment.
Explore Rockfon Blanka® to find out how you could harness natural light in your building