Blog 1. Part 2

How Skylights & Roof Glazing Systems Can Enhance Architectural Glass Facades

In a high-performance building specification, Residential & Commercial Skylights might have a U-value as low as 0.13 W/m2K. It’s not uncommon for a U-value of 1.4 W/m2K to be expected from the glazing, and for a U-value of 1.0 W/m2K to be perceived as very low.

Given the disparity in performance, the temptation might be to keep the inclusion of Roof Glazing to a minimum – but that would be to ignore the advantages of permitting light into the building. Using the ‘free light’ of the sun to illuminate a building reduces its energy demand by using energy less.

Unfortunately, without adequate shading it is risking overheating and creating a stifling internal environment. Sized appropriately and positioned correctly, Skylights are an important part of the Glass Facade – providing good U-values, contributing to a continuous Thermal Envelope, and helping to take advantage of energy gains throughout the year.

Commercial Skylights may be subject to impacts both from the inside and outside. The size of the window and the thickness of the glass can both affect the impact resistance, and glazing can have special treatments to improve resistance.

Things that can affect the acoustic performance of windows include the thickness of the glass and the amount of space between panes of glass. Thermal transmittance is also known as the U-value, this is a measure of how effective a material or building element is as an insulator. The lower a U-value is, the better the material is at keeping heat inside the building.

When specifying Glass Floors or Walkable Skylights, ensuring the elements meet the minimum legal requirements is a must – but, depending on your situation, you may also want the item you choose to go beyond the basics. Structural Walk on Glass Floor provided by different manufacturers will have different performance characteristics, and different products from the same manufacturer will also vary. With this in mind, it’s always important to check the relevant product specifications carefully. At Next Level Group, we can also work with clients to ensure that the product you select meets your requirements.