There are many types of glass rooflights that can be used in overhead glazing and skylights, whether it’s single, double or triple glazed. So, what sort of roof light glass should you look for?
- Toughened glass vs laminated glass
- Low maintenance glazing
- Solar control glazing
- Acoustic glazing
- Privacy glazing
Toughened glass vs laminated glass
We’ll take you through everything you’ll need to know about the types of glass in a skylight you should look out for. Let’s start by explaining what is toughened glass and laminated glass.
Toughened glass is probably the most popular glass rooflights when it comes to inner panes as, should the worst happen, the glass shatters into very small fragments; avoiding any possibility of serious injury or damage to goods below. Sunsquare have always been pioneers in this field and as glass quality started to diminish some years ago, we introduced the only skylight to have heat soaked toughened glass in it.
The result is that any imperfections spotted during the glass manufacturing process are recycled and therefore 99% of the problems are solved. We believe, along with the BSI who Kitemarked our entire rooflight range, that this is the very minimum that should be specified. It took many years for the industry to catch up with us, and now, for most it is a norm. That said, it is a question that should be asked of any rooflight manufacturer from the outset.
As a skylight design and manufacture company who work with some of the world’s best architects every day, we noticed that rooflight specifications for public buildings required a more robust specification to ensure safety. This led us to implement laminated glass within all our flat roof skylights as standard.
The most useful specification of glass rooflights for an inner pane in that environment is a laminated pane. Put simply, this consists of two panes stuck together with an interlayer which means that, should anything shatter the pane, it stays in the same position with zero chance of damage to human or property below.
In the event a laminated pane was broken, we could simply renew the double-glazed unit and no-one or nothing has come to any physical harm. In addition, the interlayer also acts as a UV filter, deflecting as much of the sun’s rays as possible, helping to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. In terms of durability and safety in the home, laminated glazing offers increased security for any rooflight as it becomes progressively harder to break through the glass even when it has been broken.
As we’ve already stated, laminated glass is one of the best ways to combat UV rays, but it’s also highly effective against solar gain for interiors too; especially when combined with a solar control glazing coating. This means that the laminated inner panes of the skylight allow visible light to pass through into living space below whilst absorbing and deflecting the vast majority of the UV transmittance.
Laminated glass is here to stay and is almost certain to remain an integral part of any flat roof skylight manufactured by Sunsquare in the years to come. Another huge benefit of laminated glazing is its ability to reduce the impact of external noise within interiors. It is significantly more effective at minimising external noise pollution than a standard double-pane glass skylight and even more so than a plastic skylight. The one challenge with laminated glass is that it is, by its very nature of the additional processing, more expensive than most other forms of glass. At Sunsquare, we decided that we would rather implement the same specification of glass that everyone is afforded in public buildings into the home too. This means that our standard 28mm unit is by far the highest specification of glazed unit offered as standard.
As industry leaders in the design and manufacture of flat roof skylights, at Sunsquare we are able to glaze almost any glass configuration into our BSI Kitemarked range. You’ll find a list of our comprehensive glazing solutions on each individual skylight page, from our traditional SkyView models to our Horizon walk-on rooflights. Each glazing specification comes with their own unique benefits and can be added depending on your individual requirements.
Low maintenance glazing
Often mistakenly referred to as ‘self-cleaning glass’, our low maintenance glass treatments are somewhat different. Low maintenance glazing still requires sporadic cleaning but the regularity is greatly reduced. The glass units themselves are made to be easier to clean, which also minimises the time it takes to physically clean. The low-maintenance coating results in a smooth external glass surface that’s both durable against the elements and easy to clean.
Who does this benefit?
If your flat glass rooflight is going to be installed in a hard to reach area, low maintenance glazing will almost certainly make your life easier. Similarly, homeowners who may struggle physically with the demands of keeping their skylight glass clean will also appreciate this specification.
Solar control glazing
This glass specification reduces solar heat gain internally, allowing sunlight to pass through a glass roof window whilst radiating and reflecting the vast majority of the sun’s heat outside. As a result, your skylight can still allow abundant levels of natural daylight into the home or workplace, whilst maintaining comfortable and pleasant environments. By preventing excessive heat build-up, solar control glazing mitigates the need for expensive air conditioning or blinds.
Who does this benefit?
This is perfect for businesses that don’t want to have to pay for operation charges of air conditioning units or the installation of unsightly blinds. For businesses and homeowners looking to improve their energy efficiency, solar control glazing is a self-sufficient way to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. This is also ideal for offices that can do without uncomfortable solar glare whilst enjoying plenty of natural light.
For anyone that suffers from noise pollution, such as those living near busy airports or roads, acoustically insulating glazing can help keep the noise outside and leave you to enjoy the view from your magnificent Sunsquare skylight. Acoustic glazing sits within a double-glazed rooflight unit. A special interlayer prevents sound frequencies from vibrating between both panes of glass, acting as a barrier to unwanted noise without sacrificing natural daylight.
Who does this benefit?
Acoustic insulation is essential for businesses to keep noise at sensible, controlled levels and minimise interference from outside influences, creating a calm, tranquil place of work. For homeowners, acoustic glazing can minimise impact noise such as heavy rain on flat roof windows, to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.
Translucent glass rooflights treatments deliver obscuration for your property, controlling light and maintaining your privacy. Privacy glazing diffuses light and guards against unwanted attention, whilst ensuring your living or work areas receive sufficient natural light. It’s possible translucent glazing can be combined with other glazing features, such as thermal and acoustic insulation, to best perform for your property.
Who does this benefit?
Privacy glazing is ideal for homeowners that want all the aesthetic benefits of a roof window or floorlight whilst ensuring that the outside can’t see in.
This article is designed to give you guidance on the glass rooflights treatments that we can provide that match with your particular needs. If you’d like more advice on glazing specifications for your Sunsquare skylight, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly, experienced sales team who will be only too pleased to suggest a solution that matches your particular requirements.
Download our whitepaper on building regulations
Written to help architects, surveyors and home improvers alike understand every UK building regulations.