Top 5 Key Considerations for Decision Making
Last week we covered different types of skylights and what they are best used for.
This week we are going to dive into what else we need to take into consideration when
deciding which to use for your project. Beyond merely letting in light, skylights play a
pivotal role in shaping the ambiance, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal of your
space. We have come up with the Top 5 Key Considerations for Decision Making.
1. Understanding Project Requirements
Is there a spec for this project? Is an exact company or product called out? Are they
open to comparable products (especially if it will save them $)? We know every
construction project is unique, and understanding its distinct requirements is
the first step in choosing the right product. Consider the following aspects:
-Space Utilization: Assess how natural light can optimize the functionality of
your space. Whether it's an office, retail store, or warehouse, different areas may
benefit from varying amounts and types of light.
-Building Orientation: Evaluate the direction your building faces and the path of
the sun throughout the day. This will impact the amount and intensity of sunlight
your skylights receive.
-Regulatory Compliance: Be aware of local building codes and regulations
regarding skylights. Compliance ensures safety, energy efficiency, and
adherence to environmental standards.
2. Defining the Desired Aesthetic
I know I am biased since I work in the industry, but skylights really have the ability to
elevate the look of your space! Not to mention, biophilic design is in right now (and here
to stay in my opinion!) and skylights are such a great way to incorporate that into your
design. Consider the following factors when defining the aesthetic of your space:
-Shape and Design: Skylights come in various shapes and designs. Consider
whether a flat, domed, or pyramid-shaped skylight complements the architectural
style of your building.
-Frame Material: The frame material not only affects aesthetics but also
durability and insulation. Options range from traditional aluminum to sleek steel
or even energy-efficient composite materials.
-Glazing Options: Explore different glazing options such as clear, tinted, or
frosted glass. There’s even bright and beautiful colored glazing color options as
seen with Kingspan Light + Air’s Briteway. You really can’t help but be happy in
that kind of bright environment! Each option has unique aesthetic qualities and
influences the amount of light and heat entering the space.
3. Navigating Budget Constraints
The unfortunate but true reality of any project is that there is a budget. While skylights
can add significant value to your space, it is still an added expense. Consider the
following cost-related factors:
-Cost of material and freight: Especially so during the pandemic, we saw how
the prices of metal, wood, freight and so much more absolutely skyrocketed. Now
in 2023, the prices are still high but at least there is some stability. What type of
material used for the skylight and where the product is being manufactured and
shipped from are important to think about.
-Installation Costs: Installation costs can vary based on the complexity of the
installation, the size of the skylight, and the type of roofing material.
-Maintenance Expenses: Different skylight materials and designs have varying
maintenance requirements. Factor in long-term maintenance costs to ensure
they align with your budget.
4. Prioritizing Energy Efficiency + Ecofriendly Goals
Energy efficiency is a critical consideration in modern construction projects and often
can be a requirement! Skylights can contribute significantly to both lighting and thermal
comfort. Here's how to ensure your skylights align with energy efficiency goals:
-Glazing Technologies: Opt for skylights with advanced glazing technologies
that provide insulation, UV protection, and optimal light diffusion.
-Natural Daylight: By utilizing natural daylighting, you are reducing the need for
artificial light. This investment saves energy (and $) in the long run.
-Recyclable Materials: Opt for skylights made from recyclable materials to
reduce the environmental impact. Manufacturers offering eco-friendly options
contribute to sustainable construction practices.
5. Consideration of Maintenance Requirements
Maintenance can be an afterthought but it is important to take it into consideration from
the beginning as it plays a pivotal role in the longevity and performance of your skylight:
-Material Durability: Choose materials that are durable and require minimal
maintenance. Regular inspections for damage, corrosion, or wear are essential
to catch issues early.
-Frame Material: Different frame materials have varying maintenance needs.
Ensure proper coatings and protection to prevent rust or corrosion, especially in
outdoor or high-moisture environments.
-Seals and Flashings: Weather seals and flashings are critical components for
preventing leaks. Regular inspections and prompt replacement of damaged seals
or flashings are crucial for maintenance.
All in all, choosing the right skylight for your next project is a multifaceted decision that
requires careful consideration of project requirements, desired aesthetics, budget
constraints, energy efficiency goals, and consideration of maintenance requirements.
Whether it's transforming workspaces, enhancing retail environments, or optimizing
energy efficiency, the perfect skylight is the beacon that guides your project towards a
brighter, more successful future.