Daylight energises us, affects our mood and breathes life into the interiors of our homes. Building on difficult plots can present a real challenge in this respect, but with clever planning it is a challenge that can be creatively overcome. So how do you go about getting plenty of light into a difficult plot?
The Lighthouse in Notting Hill is a fine example of what can be achieved with the right attitude. It may be overshadowed on all sides, but the architect has integrated a full glass roof that allows light to cascade through all three floors.
Clever architectural software meant a model could be created which would show how light moves across the plot throughout the year. This information directly affected the placement of the rooms and gardens across the site, allowing the optimum usability for each area of the building.
Simple ideas are often the most effective. This applies when considering how best to naturally light your home. Glass flooring, for example, lets light stream through multiple floors. Open tread stairs are another straightforward means of allowing light to flow freely through a house.
There are, of course, some interesting ways of using gadgetry to enhance the levels of light in your home. Take light tubes a tried and tested success story. They can be up to six metres long and provide as much light as a 500 watt bulb in optimum circumstances. This can be used to light areas as large as 20 square metres, and can be bought for just $415.
Installation might cost $290, but remember that this is a completely renewable light source that will bring the suns rays into dingy corners that were previously dark and depressing. Best of all, they are fairly easily integrated into an existing building, making them a viable option for current homeowners.
If you’re building from scratch, light tubes should be integrated within the plans but there are other opportunities too. Meticulous planning can optimise the levels of light in key areas of the home. Think about the placement of rooms, having bedrooms and utility rooms in the darkest parts and common living spaces, such as lounges and kitchens, in areas that are well-illuminated.
Introducing glass and how to position your windows might all seem like common sense, but it’s so easy to get wrong, especially if you’re working with a difficult plot. You should never underestimate how important light is in a building. It can transform any design and make your home a happier place to live.