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BUILDING FABRIC & EXTERIORS


Walking on sunshine


With various options available, walk-on rooflights can offer an abundance of light to dark spaces while still allowing for movement above. Chris Chaney of Sunsquare explains how


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ooflights have been maximising daylight in architecture for years but now the need to utilise natural light to boost health and wellbeing means they are not only featuring in commercial properties but providing a stunning feature for homeowners, too.


Walk-on rooflights are a fantastic feature for areas that require pedestrian access, such as walkways, roof terraces and patio areas that sit above subterranean rooms. They not only provide much-needed natural light for the room below but they are also a highly practical and aesthetically pleasing addition to the home. Designed for the glass to sit flush with the surface, walk-on rooflights are weathertight, safe and thermally efficient especially when installed on a fully insulated upstand. They are also tested to withstand a point load of half a ton, and can easily handle the extremes of the British weather. This allows them to lighten living spaces while surpassing all the required Building Regulations giving you genuine peace of mind.


WHEN TO USE THEM


Walk-on rooflights are an excellent way of introducing natural light to dark rooms, even if the light has to be utilised from another room in the building. External walk-on rooflights are generally provided with clear glass as standard as clients tend to wish to maximise the light and provide the room with a view of the sky. However, an obscure interlayer that is bonded between the external panes can be included if privacy is required. Anti-slip patterns such as a dot matrix pattern can also be used to provide a decorative safety feature without hindering the full impact of light.


38 www.sbhonline.co.uk


Internal rooflights, known as floorlights, provide borrowed light from another room in the building. It is not uncommon for deep plan multi-floor buildings to utilise the light from a centrally placed rooflight on the main roof and for the light to travel through several floors to the basement. Alternatively, you can use floorlights to spread light from one room to another. This may be particularly useful if you have a bright hallway that’s directly above a subterranean bedroom or basement for example, breathing new life into the darker space and making it more useable than ever before.


If a floorlight is used in a fire exit route, Building Regulations require for them to be fire rated for safety. Typically, the required rating is either 30 or 60 minutes of integrity and insulation.


WHAT TYPE OF GLASS & GLAZING IS REQUIRED? Walking on glass sounds like a risky business. But actually, walk-on rooflights are designed with safety at the forefront. In fact, to meet Building Regulations, walk-on rooflights typically have two panes of surface glass that are bonded together with a strong laminate interlayer. This means that in the unlikely event of the outer pane breaking, the laminate and inner pane would be able


september/october 2017


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