When you spend most of your time indoors working, you must know how great it feels when you step out of the office for a breath of fresh air.
The sun hits your face and all of a sudden you feel rejuvenated and ready to take on anything that life throws your way. People need natural light to not only stay healthy but to also function optimally.
There’s a need for offices to adopt architectural designs that create naturally illuminated office spaces. This works to the employer’s advantage because natural light improves the employee’s mood and production.
What is Daylighting Architecture?
Daylighting architecture refers to the practice of illuminating indoor spaces using natural light. The source of all natural light is the sun.
We know that smart glass can make homes feel brighter, but it can also do the same (and more) for office spaces.
Maximizing sunlight can be achieved by integrating large windows, skylights, shading systems, and other transparent material or reflective surfaces into a building’s architecture.
This way, the sunlight provides effective internal lighting.
Daylighting maximizes visual comfort and reduces the need for artificial / electric lighting hence saving on energy.
Implementing daylighting in an office goes beyond simply listing and gathering the components that need to be installed. Successful daylighting involves space planning and incorporating smart technologies into your interior design.
One also needs to consider the orientation of the building, building size, and building site.
Daylighting is linked to alertness, improved mood, enhanced morale, less fatigue, and reduced eye strain. All these factors affect a person’s quality of sleep which ultimately affects his/her performance and productivity at work.
Read Also: Benefits of Smart Glass for Building Facades and Commercial Architecture
Why Do Offices Need Natural Light? 7 Main Benefits To Increase Productivity in Workplace
Appropriate light levels are critical in maintaining key aspects of our overall health because natural light is a basic human need.
This explains why daylight is almost a must-have in offices. When it comes to workspace lighting, brighter is always better.
Plenty of natural light within the working environment is one of the most important considerations in office design.
It has numerous scientifically proven benefits that go beyond what we see. What are the main benefits of increased natural light in the workplace?
1. Boosts Mood and Alertness
Natural light and outdoor views in the workplace improve the employee’s overall mood and alertness. If the office is dimly lit the employees tend to feel more tired and sleepy especially if they’re staring at computer screens for long hours.
This triggers a strong craving that makes them desire to look out the window. Happier employees are always in a better mood and are, ultimately, more energized, engaged, and efficient.
2. Healthier Workers
Working near a window or in a well-lit room helps people to get better quality of sleep and be able to stay asleep for a longer time. And of course, we mean sleeping at home and not at work!
Too much artificial light throws the circadian rhythm off and your body doesn’t know when to start preparing to fall asleep. At night you experience brain fog as your body tries to adjust. This leads to a restless night so by morning, you will not be well-rested. This isn’t good for your overall health.
Sleep-deprived employees are unhealthy and are not productive regardless of how much coffee they consume. On the contrary, good sleepers are better employees. Good sleep patterns affect our overall health positively and so workers take fewer sick days off.
3. Enhances Productivity
Generally, workplaces with more natural lighting produce more revenue because the employees are more productive and more creative. Optimizing the natural lighting in an office significantly improves the mental health and wellness amongst the employees, leading to gains in productivity.
You can improve productivity with smart glass if you’re looking for ways to improve your profits.
Lots of companies have realized how important it is that their employees are in healthy and conducive working environments. This means that natural lighting should be a top priority to help generate more productivity.
4. Reduced Eye Strain
Working in a naturally lit office has been proven to help reduce eye strain and other blurry vision issues. Frequent exposure to screens can have a significant impact on eyes, causing fatigue.
This might put employees at a higher risk for other health issues. When employees focus on their work without fatigue, eye strain or headaches, they won’t feel distracted or demotivated while working.
Workers without chronic eye pain are more likely to work a full schedule and are happy as they go about their work. They also engage better with their colleagues hence bringing increased collaboration. This results in increased success for the company.
5. Better Concentration and Memory
Workplace daylight is great at facilitating concentration and boosting memory amongst employees. After that, they come up with so many bright ideas that could positively impact your company.
Otherwise, without proper natural lighting in the offices, these ideas will never see the light of day (pardon the pun)!
With improved concentration and memory, employees no longer have to rely on tech to remember things. It saves so much time when workers have information at the tips of their fingers as opposed to when they have to keep referring to a stored document.
6. Improved Visibility for Safety Reasons
We are not like cats and other animals with a superior ability to see in the dark. Poorly illuminated spaces are like disasters in waiting. A bad accident can cause injuries, throw off a good momentum, and even cause property damage.
On the flip side, compared to accident-prone, dimly-lit offices, offices with ample natural lighting are more aesthetically appealing. They also look more open and inviting which creates a great working environment for the employees.
7. Reduced Energy Consumption
Using more electricity is costly and makes the business less eco-friendly and sustainable. Artificial lighting takes up about half of the total electricity used in a commercial building. This percentage can go higher if there are no fixtures allowing natural light to get in.
More sunlight reduces the need and expense of artificial lighting. To reduce utility costs, you need the right kind of design, layout, and window products that prevent overheating.
7 Strategies to Implement Daylighting Architecture: Ideas To Turn Your Office Into Productive Space
Daylighting strategies promote the quantity and distribution of natural light in a building. To reap all the benefits of natural light in office spaces that we talked about in the previous section, you need to have a clear vision of the architecture to implement.
The type of designs you choose depends on the layout of the office, employee’s needs, and budget but the end goal remains the same – to let in as much natural light as possible.
It’s quite understandable that not every office can transform into a futuristic workplace.
But there are a couple of ways in which you can turn your office into a healthier and more productive space. Here are a few ideas to help you implement daylighting techniques in your office.
1. Optimize and Maximize Space
Optimizing natural lighting in an office doesn’t mean that every employee has to sit near the window or get a view of the outdoors. that would be so difficult to achieve. The most important thing is that sunlight reaches his/her desk.
One simple way to do this is to resituate shelves and other large furniture that block natural light. Also, desks should be rearranged so that employees have prime access to outdoor light.
2. Direct Available Natural Light to Employee Workstations
Commonly used areas like employee workstations need bright natural light.
To ensure that all areas get evenly illuminated and that as much light as possible gets into the building, install large windows on all the walls.
Ensure that the windows are uniformly spaced for uniform lighting.
Avoid using artificial light where possible, because it causes eyestrain and headaches when it’s too dim or too harsh.
3. Skylight Installation for Overhead Natural Lighting
Skylights allow sunlight to enter from above. This is very ideal for tall buildings or extra-large ones. Architects install skylights high above the floor so that light can diffuse before it reaches the ground.
You can install skylights if you have an open office plan with multiple cubicles or desks at the center of the room where light doesn’t spread properly.
4. Light Shelves for Reflecting Light Inside
Light shelves are reflective horizontal shelves placed above windows. Their main purpose is to reduce glare and direct light deeper into the room or toward the ceiling.
They collect natural light and reflect it into darker areas of the building.
The light that’s distributed in this manner doesn’t have hot spots and sharp shadows that negatively impact visibility and productivity.
5. Choosing the Right Paint Colours
Light paint colors are generally reflective and help light to bounce around the room. This makes the room feel brighter and appear bigger.
The building’s orientation might influence the suggested colour palettes you should use, so you can always consult an interior designer for ideas.
Ensure that the colors have a matte finish. This will absorb and minimize glare that’s quite common with paint sheen.
6. Outdoor Workspaces – Balconies, Patios, Gardens
The light will be too bright and may produce a strong glare if you’re working outdoors. To avoid wrestling with the glare, architects can install external shading systems
When installing these systems, a combination of factors needs to be put into consideration e.g. the climate and the location of the patio, garden, balcony, etc.
Working outside can reduce the cooped-up feeling that some employees may feel. So, this technique has the potential to boost employee morale as well.
7. Replace Walls with Glass
If you’re doing a renovation, try implementing glass walls instead of traditional brick walls. These go a long way in helping spread light throughout the office. It also makes the space feel more inviting, open and bigger.
Glass walls whether they’re situated on the building’s exterior or inside the building work to optimize daylighting – they harness the power of natural light and make the most out of it.
Smart Glass as a Daylighting Strategy
An office that doesn’t make use of natural light doesn’t make workers feel good and productive. It’s no doubt that people appreciate proper daylighting in the office.
Workspaces with balanced natural light distribution help support productivity by combating sunlight-dependent mood disorders. Here are other reasons as to why architects use smart glass as a daylight strategy.
– Reduced Energy Consumption
Smart glass can be used as part of daylighting strategy as an energy-saving solution. It helps companies achieve their sustainable goals by reducing the power needed for interior lighting, lowering cooling costs, and improving the health and well-being of workers.
– Light Intensity Control
Given these benefits, more and more architects are now relying on the smart glass as a daylighting strategy to capture natural light within their building plans.
While smart glass is more commonly known for its ability to offer privacy on demand, it also performs the double duty of allowing light to reach deep into interior spaces.
Thanks to its versatility, room occupants can control the glass transparency hence the amount of light that gets home. Smart glass lets in the most light when it’s clear and the amount of light when it’s opaque.
– Provides Light With Minimum Heat (Heat Insulation)
Another great benefit of smart glass is that it’s energy-efficient in that you don’t need an HVAC system. This reduces capital expenditures and this money can be used in other areas.
Smart glass allows light to pass into the office but blocks out the heat from the sun. This prevents overheating and the office doesn’t get uncomfortably hot.
Additionally, smart glass is an excellent insulator. When it’s cold outside, the heat stays trapped inside so it doesn’t escape and the cold is kept out. You end up using less electricity which has a positive impact on your energy bills.
Read Also: 6 Simple Tricks to Save Your Electricity Bill
– Flexible and Versatile
Designing for smart glass daylighting strategies can be challenging because some factors complicate the design process. For example, it can be a little difficult to maximize sunlight for multi-story buildings.
The challenge comes in when directing light into the center of the building to the space furthest away from exterior windows.
However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to maximize daylight for such buildings. An experienced architect knows exactly where to place smart glass fixtures to make the most of what natural light is available.
While it’s best to incorporate smart glass daylighting strategies at the beginning of the project, it is still possible to introduce these elements later on.
It’s never too late to introduce more natural light into your workspace but it can get more complicated and costly if huge changes in workplace design need to be made.
– Multi-Functionality Lets it Double as a Projector Screen
The multi-functionality of this product remains unmatched. It can be transformed from a simple privacy solution to an adaptable screen and back to clear when not in use.
When turned off to offer privacy, smart glass doubles up as a projection screen where workers can show their presentations during meetings.
– Secure, Safe and Durable
What’s more, is that this product is so easy to clean and maintain. This makes it an ideal solution for many applications, especially where strict cleaning measures have to be followed.
It also offers extra protection in environments where ordinary glass can’t guarantee enhanced security.
Smart glass is made using extremely sturdy and high-quality materials which makes it extremely robust and long-lasting. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll need to replace it afterwards.
– Market Value of Office Space Increases
When incorporated into a building, smart glass is bound to influence its aesthetic qualities. It is a long-term investment that enhances the architectural look of the whole structure.
If you are looking to make your office building look more stunning and sophisticated, then you ought to try out smart glass as a daylighting strategy.
And, of course, when you add aesthetic improvements combined with modern features to a building, its market value increases.
Considering all that we’ve discussed above, it’s very clear that natural lighting is something that we all need to implement in our office designs.
Employers and employees alike benefit when a building utilizes natural daylighting. It’s great for their overall health and wellness as well as for the environment
Have you been meaning to introduce more natural light into your workplace but are wondering whether it’s a worthy investment or where to get started? Look no further than Chiefway Malaysia.
Feel free to check out our website to find out more about the different glass options we offer.
Our team will offer expert advice if you’re not sure which solution best suits your project. Sustainable practices like daylighting are at the heart of our designs and we’re here to help you.