Roof windows are a special type of window that is used for the roof of a property rather than for the walls. The idea of roof windows isn’t a new one but developments in materials and technology have meant that these windows are now much more advanced and cleverer than ever before.
This also means that light is no longer a limiting factor when it comes to designing spaces in homes or businesses. Rooflights, roof windows, skylights and other light wells are now considered in equal terms to other windows and doors when interior spaces are being designed. Architects and engineers are now including the ceiling as standard as another option to bring light into a building and often making a feature of this light option in high spec homes and commercial spaces.
Roof window basics
Roof windows are often known as rooflights or even skylights but there are some differences – mostly in how they are used. Roof windows fall under the British Standard that says they must be installed in the orientation and ‘in plane’ with the roof they are situated within. This usually means at least a 15-degree pitch. They also need to have weatherproofing measures which are normally flashings or some kind of a skirt.
Rooflight is used for the type of window that is installed in a flat roof or ‘out of plane’ on a pitched roof. They tend to have systems such as an upstand to install them and ensure no water leaks in around the window. Skylights are another roof window term that can be anything from small windows on flat roofs to larger windows that allow access to flat roof areas.
Why roof windows are so important
The idea of adding roof windows to a room might at first just seem like a nice extra benefit but there are concrete reasons for installing them. That’s because there are studies showing that high intensity, direct sunlight is good for our health.
In fact, daylight is said to help with a positive attitude, enhanced morale, lower fatigue and also is easier on the eyes than artificial light. This impacts workspaces, home offices but also just in our general lives. That’s why most architects now recommend a mixture of direct and diffuse sunlight as well as light reflected from the ground and other structural elements in new buildings.
Roof windows can help with the direct sunlight as they allow it to come straight down and into the space. Wall windows can help with diffuse and reflected light from neighbouring buildings or other structures. But the best roof windows also offer more benefits than just letting the sunlight in.
Other roof window benefits
Another key concept when designing a space is the ventilation it needs. Without proper ventilation, there is a risk of condensation and damp problems. And a room that doesn’t have an air will feel uncomfortable and stale. Roof windows are the easiest solution for rooms with a pitched roof, opening to allow ventilation and making the room more comfortable.
Roof windows also help to comfort noise pollution from outside. If you install them in a bedroom, they are ideal to help reduce noise from traffic and other activities outside that can disturb sleep. This is even more important for night shift workers and for children who go to bed while there is still lots of activity outside.
Roofglaze are experts in sourcing or crafting the roof glazing to bring light into any space.