Modern commercial buildings have entirely different needs than their predecessors. Although their main purpose is still the same, to hold businesses and possibly act as warehouses, they must also be energy efficient as well as meet certain aesthetic needs. Whereas aesthetics used to be to merely make the building look good, today’s aesthetics are designed to build morale as well as help with energy efficiently. They must also meet other requirements as well, but commercial skylights make for some interesting solutions.
Helping with energy efficiency
A warehouse is the most energy inefficient building. It is hard to heat and cool, and the lights spread throughout the building are usually always on regardless of the lighting situation outside. It may sound strange that another hole in the building can actually make the building more energy efficient, but the skylight allows the building a way to cool inside temperatures by providing a way for interior temperatures to rise and dissipate. As the day cedes to night, it actually helps to keep warmth in, which is actually a good feature during the night. It also allows for fewer lights during the day, which also helps efficiency. Also, during winter, the skylight helps warm the air, which is forced down due to convection currents throughout the building. It may not be much, admittedly, but every little bit helps.
Helping with morale
One of the problems with modern architecture is that it is easy to feel boxed in. Between cubicle farms and other ways of managing employees, it is easy for those within commercial buildings to feel like the walls are closing in on them. Those that have studied office psychology have determined that having windows helps to alleviate that problem as well as make employees concentrate better. For when the buildings are too close, the windows do not help as much and so other solutions needed to be found. Commercial skylights, which tend to be larger than regular skylights, were found to be ideal solutions. They also help some buildings deal with cooling issues during the summer.
Commercial skylights have been used for a number of purposes throughout the modern era. With the emphasis on energy efficiency required in some areas, as well as incentives offered for maintaining that efficiency, architects have been working with environmental scientists to determine the best ways to increase energy efficiency in modern buildings. Skylights continue to be one of the best ways to help control interior temperatures as well as allow sunlight into the building, making for overall healthier employees. Although it has to work in conjunction with other systems, skylights are nonetheless a great beginning.
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