Designing a rooflight might seem like a complicated process, especially if it’s something you’ve not done before. Here, we’re going to cover all of the main rooflight design considerations and hopefully we’ll be able to help you make that initial process a little easier. And remember, you can always give Sunsquare a call if you’d like assistance in picking out the perfect model.
Here, we’re going to take a look at the practicalities of designing a rooflight. What are the main things you need to bear in mind in terms of the rooflight itself?
Size is one of the major factors involved in rooflight design. Interestingly, many of our customers end up wishing they’d gone slightly bigger than they did, which is something to think on: it’s quite possible you’re underestimating the size of rooflight you’ll need. One of the main concerns (and one of the reasons people often go smaller than they should) is that they’re worried a larger rooflight will increase the temperature of the room. However, there are a number of glazing options - which we’ll cover further down the page - that can prevent any increase, so don’t be afraid to go for a larger model than you originally planned.
The other thing to bear in mind regarding size is not letting the shape of the rooflight impact how big an aperture you select. It’s somewhat of a misconception that by employing a pyramid-style rooflight you can get more natural light from a smaller aperture. Often, the opposite is true! (Of course, if you’re after a pyramid rooflight simply because you love the look there’s nothing wrong with that.)
These are the frames that the rooflight sits in, and they’re worth examining during the design process. An effective upstand allows the roofing membrane to be properly installed before the light itself, and also allows the rooflight to lean in such a way as to allow water run-off. (It also means that should the light need repairing or replacing at any point in future, the roof won’t get damaged as a result.) Finally, upstands are also a key part of ensuring the light meets the building regulations. When planning your rooflight, ensure you consult your manufacturer about installing an upstand: it’s worth the investment.
Typically, you won’t need planning permission to install a rooflight. (Rooflights usually replace an existing light or form part of an extension that’s already been agreed on.) The Building Regulations do have limits on the amount of glass allowed in a roof design, but rooflights rarely exceed these limits.
If you work with a specialist to design your rooflight, of course, they’ll be able to advise you on what the limits are.
There are a number of different types of glazing, and they can all make a big difference to a rooflight’s effectiveness. Here are some of the major types.
Another key consideration is whether double or triple glazing will suit your needs best. Both are great options, and offer a number of benefits over a traditional single pane design:
So, assuming you’re going to go with one of the two, you’re probably curious if triple glazing is really worth the upgrade.
This is largely down to a few key factors:
Remember that if you’re at all unsure about the right glazing, you can always give us a call.
This isn’t to denigrate triple glazing at all. We offer them at Sunsquare for a reason. The right models can make a real different to your bills.
Triple glazing can allow for a high level of solar heat gain, ensuring that whatever time of year it is, you’ll be able to enjoy a nice warm home without having to deal with UV rays.
It’s also a very secure option: it’s a simple fact that if there’s an extra pane in the window, it’s far less likely to shatter in the event of any impact. Triple glazing is simply a more secure option.
Many of our customers want an option that’s somewhere between triple and double glazing. If you were thinking the same thing, you should take a look at Advanced+ Glazing. This isn’t available everywhere, but if you work with a specialist – such as Sunsquare – you’ll be able to include it in your rooflight design.
How does Advanced+ Glazing work?
It’s actually quite simple: an extra film is installed in the airspace of a single glass unit. The result is an increase in performance versus triple glazing, but in a window that’s 33 per cent lighter (indeed, Advanced+ Glazing weighs little more than traditional double glazing!)
Advanced+ Glazing blocks 99 per cent of all UV rays that hit it.
This capability means that Advanced+ Glazing can:
If these are the sorts of benefits you’re interested in, you should definitely consider Advanced+ Glazing as part of your rooflight’s design.
Another option is classic ‘solar control’ glazing. As you’ve probably gathered from the name, this form of glazing allows sunlight to pass through the rooflight whilst reflecting the heat that the rays result in. This is great for anyone who wants to brighten up a darker room without having to deal with the inevitable increase in temperature!
This is a very popular option for commercial offices looking to maintain a pleasant work environment without having to spend thousands on air conditioning or waste time fiddling with blinds!
It’s also worth mentioning low maintenance glass. This is an option that many manufacturers – Sunsquare included – offer as part of their rooflight design.
Rather than being a specific type of glazing, it’s actually a treatment that can be added to your rooflight.
What are the benefits?
Simple: you’ll spend less time cleaning your light! Indeed, low maintenance treatment can cut down your cleaning time by as much as 70 per cent without affecting your solar gain or the transparency of the glass.
What’s more, low maintenance glass is far less likely to suffer from corrosion than traditional glass. If you can afford it, it’s an investment that’s well worth making.
When it comes to opening options, there are three main choices:
The most popular option at Sunsquare is the ‘vent’, simply because of the versatility. Some people prefer a manual rooflight they can push open, while others want a window that’s already open and letting the cold air in when they get home from work!
Get in touch
If you’re at all unsure about designing your perfect rooflight, then give Sunsquare a call on 01284 723377. We’re specialists in working with our customers to ensure they get nothing less than the best possible results from any flat roof rooflight installations.