What types of atrium roof systems and atrium windows are available?

Atrium roof systems and windows give specifiers the flexibility to create large, natural light-filled spaces that serve as both a practical and aesthetic function.

What types of atrium roof systems and atrium windows are available?

A variety of modular skylight configurations can be used as atrium windows, giving a range of solutions to help create atrium roofs in commercial building designs. The choice of atrium roof systems gives designers and specifiers the flexibility to create large, natural light-filled spaces that serve both a practical and aesthetic function.

Atrium window solutions continue the historical tradition of atria being a centrepiece of building designs. Broadly, an atrium provides building users with a connection to the outside, while also providing shelter from the elements. Atrium roof products are therefore typically specified on the basis of the size of space to be covered.

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Which VELUX modular skylights can be used as atrium windows?

As the primary characteristic of an atrium roof is the large expanse of glazing, atrium windows need to offer the ability to link together.

VELUX Atrium Longlight and Atrium Ridgelight solutions allow multiple rows of Longlight and/or Ridgelight modules to be attached via the roof’s supporting sub-structure (designed and delivered separately). A drainage gutter runs between each row of rooflights. The distance between each row is determined by a variety of factors, including how well insulated the modules are, the width of the gutter, and the roof pitch.

The VELUX Atrium Longlight/Ridgelight solution can create a very effective atrium roof system, as seen at the UK Hydrographic Office where VELUX Ridgelights were installed at 5° with beams to deliver the maximum amount of daylight.

The VELUX modular system allows skylights to be used as an Atrium of Combined Solutions. VELUX Longlight/Ridgelight modules can be mixed, and also used in conjunction with a VELUX Wall-mounted Longlight if the building design requires, to create almost any atrium roof design.

Another option is the new VELUX Step solution, which allows for the creation of even larger atria spaces. With no gutters between modules, a maximum height of 15m can be achieved. Read more about the features and benefits of the Step solution here.

The role of atrium roof systems in fire safety?

It’s not uncommon to encounter blurred lines on a project concerning whether a space is an atrium or not. A designer might not choose to think of a space as an atrium, but as stated within Approved Document B regarding Fire Safety, for buildings other than dwelling houses, an atrium is “a space within a building, not necessarily vertically aligned, passing through one or more structural floors”.

Poor atrium design can contribute to the risk of fire spread in buildings, especially where they pass through compartment floors. The recommendations of BS 9999 Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings. Code of practice apply when designers and specifiers are looking to include an atrium in any building design.

Atrium windows should be specified to provide the necessary level of ventilation and smoke control. VELUX smoke ventilation skylight modules can be incorporated into a building-specific smoke ventilation system, as part of the building management system.

Smoke ventilation modules, like all VELUX Modular Skylight solutions, are fully prefabricated offsite. Manufactured to tight tolerances, they offer repeatable and dependable performance. The modules are designed to work as a single system from the moment they are made in the factory, and can be linked in rows to suit the atrium roof design. VELUX Modular Skylights have a 10 year guarantee.

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.