What are the design benefits of using prefabricated skylights for commercial developments?

Prefabricated modular skylights allow specifiers to realise complex, architecturally interesting projects and ‘future-proof’ the fabric of a building.

What are the design benefits of using prefabricated skylights for commercial developments?

Prefabricated modular skylights offer a range of benefits for commercial projects which help to ensure a building achieves all of the performance characteristics required of it, and delivers a comfortable indoor climate for occupants at the same time.

Modular skylights also represent an ideal way for architects to ‘future-proof’ the fabric of a building, delivering sustainable solutions and driving change for the better of the construction industry.

Free eBook  Guide to Daylighting and EN 17037  Designing daylight to the new European Standard EN 17037 Read Now

Factory production of commercial skylights

Across the construction sector generally, there is a focus on offsite or modern methods of construction (MMC). Manufacturing building elements and components in the controlled conditions of a factory improves quality and consistency, and means products don’t have to be adapted or altered on site.

Meanwhile, Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of building regulations and the construction industry, Building a Safer Future, advocates taking a system approach to construction. Designing construction products and building elements so that all of the components work together, and testing them to assess the performance as a whole, improves certainty about performance.

While modular skylights do not necessarily meet precise definitions of ‘offsite’ or ‘MMC’, their production in controlled factory conditions means consistent and dependable performance. Testing is carried out on the complete modules, which are delivered to site ready to be installed.

Modular skylights are therefore one way in which specifiers can help drive a change of culture in the construction industry.

Installing commercial skylights

Contractors and installers need to be able to deliver a high standard of construction quality. Designers and specifiers help to achieve that, through the clarity of the drawn and written information they produce, and through selecting products and materials that help achieve better processes on site.

Prefabrication is part of that, and we discuss the installation benefits of prefabricated rooflights here. The same post discusses the health and safety benefits of modular skylights, which is a responsibility of the person or organisation acting as the Principal Designer under CDM - the Construction (Design and Management) regulations.

Achieving performance standards and regulations

Certainty of performance means specifiers can be confident when factoring the performance characteristics of modular skylights into design-stage compliance calculations. They also know those same performance values can be relied upon in as-built compliance calculations.

Achieving regulatory compliance, or meeting other voluntary performance standards, is one thing. The ultimate test, however, is the comfort and wellbeing of the building’s occupants post-completion.

VELUX Commercial's guide to the new EN 17037 daylighting standard explores in detail the relationship between the thermal performance of modular skylights; natural light levels in buildings and the benefits for occupants; reduced reliance on artificial lighting; and whole-building energy efficiency.

A range of optional products from VELUX Commercial allow specifiers to optimise the indoor climate of their building designs, controlling daylight, heat and glare. Similarly, modular skylights can be specified to provide comfort ventilation and smoke ventilation, achieving the balance of building performance and safety, and better living or working conditions.

Aesthetics

Building design must be functional and achieve its intended performance. Construction should use resources responsibly. Buildings should operate efficiently during their life to minimise long term energy use.

But that doesn’t mean building design can’t make a statement at the same time. Modular skylights help create striking glazed roof designs, heightening the architectural ambition of a proposed development. For designers and specifiers, a range of standard module sizes can be employed to create impressive atrium roof systems.


The option of custom skylight modules means there are solutions for a unique new building, or for a particular constraint during the refurbishment of an existing building.

Modular skylight guarantees

Designers and specifiers deliver buildings for their clients, who want peace of mind. VELUX Modular Skylights come with a 10 year guarantee for the skylight and flashings, giving reassurance that even the most complex roof glazing design will continue to offer quality and performance in use.

Modular skylights are designed to work as a single system from the moment they are made in the factory. For further specification support, brochures and guides are  available on the VELUX Commercial website, as are CAD and BIM object downloads. VELUX Commercial also offer a comprehensive, RIBA CPD-accredited learning programme.