Looking For New Roofing Options For Your Commercial Building? Why You Should Consider Skylight Systems

When you're exploring options for new commercial roofing, don't dismiss the value of natural light transfer through the use of large skylight units. Natural light is an essential resource in the workplace, and research has shown that people with natural light exposure at work sleep better, have more productive days and higher energy levels. If you want to help your staff become the healthiest and most efficient that they can be, talk to a roofer about installing skylight units. Here are the things that you need to consider when you're shopping for skylight units.

Size and Structure

One of the biggest decisions you'll need to make is in the size of the skylights you have installed. Some commercial buildings feature roofing that has more skylight area than not, while others have staggered skylights with more roofing structure.

You may find that your building is a better fit for many smaller skylights instead of a few large ones. The best way to determine that is to figure out how much light you need in each area and how easy it will be for that light to get through various window sizes and placements.

Your roofer can provide some guidance about the best skylight selection and placement based on the roofing structure and building's position. It's important that your skylights be installed in an arrangement that will be structurally supported by the roof design so that you don't have to be concerned about damage to the roof's integrity. And, by optimizing the design to your building's position, you can maximize the sunlight.

Light Control

When you install a skylight system in your commercial building, you should also take time to evaluate your light control options to help you regulate your building's energy consumption. You can reduce your electrical lighting usage when the daylight transferred into the building is at its peak, but you also need to have a way to regulate the light flow so that you don't end up with bright hot spots in the building from too much light.

Open Loop Light Controls

With an open loop light control system, a sensor monitors the levels of daylight in the building and automatically adjusts the electrical light usage accordingly. The sensor for this system typically faces up toward the skylight or sits just outside on the roof.

Closed Loop Light Controls

The closed loop system relies on a sensor that is installed along the roof area and pointed into the office space. It measures the combined light amount of the daylight and the electric light in the space and adjusts the electric light automatically to reach the pre-configured levels.

Glazing Material

The glazing material on the skylight will affect how much light passes through into the building. Here are the factors that you need to consider when you choose the glazing material for your skylights.

Visible Transmittance Rating

This rating determines how much light is actually transmitted through the skylight. The higher the rating, the more light is passing through into your building.

Haze Factor

This factor refers to how much of the total transmitted light is diffused as it passes through the window. Diffusion is beneficial, because it provides a wider dispersion of the light coming through your skylight. Too much undiffused light coming in the skylights will cause hot spots from direct sun rays, which can cause general discomfort and may damage your equipment, paint and carpeting.

Heat Gain Coefficient

The solar heat gain coefficient is a number assigned that indicates how well the sun's heat is blocked from transferring through the window. The lower the coefficient, the less heat is passed through into the building. This is an important rating if you want to avoid an increase in your climate control costs during the summer months.

Thermal Conductance

This is referred to as the U-factor, or the insulating value of the window. This rating identifies how well the material prevents thermal heat transfer into the building. The lower the rating, the better it is at insulating against the heat.

Natural light helps to keep your office space bright and helps your employees feel more relaxed and comfortable in the environment. With the information presented here, you can approach the skylight selection process with confidence. Before you do any work, talk to a commercial roofing contractor about the benefits of a skylight system.