One of the most exciting concepts in house design today is Daylighting.
It’s all about bringing an abundance of natural light into your home, to lift the spirits, and create a more comfortable, healthier living environment.
Considering that we reportedly spend more than 90% of our lives indoors, it is vitally important for our physical and mental wellbeing that we plan homes that invite both sunlight and moonlight inside.
If done right, Daylighting can also help reduce energy bills and increase the value of your home.
Whether you are building a new home or doing a renovation, you can add lashings of light-filled luxury by simply including an architectural void or lightwell.
Voids and lightwells are large open interior spaces that let light stream in from outside.
In double-storey homes, voids are usually created by omitting, or removing sections of the upper floor and installing large windows to channel light down to the lower levels.
The idea of sacrificing valuable floor space may seem crazy, but a second storey void can provide an impressive sense of space, passive illumination, and a seamless visual flow between the different floors of your home – well worth the compromise.
For example, in a double-height space, you could have a mezzanine living area with ceiling height aluminium windows on one side of the void and highlight
windows positioned on the opposite wall of the void.
This allows light to flood in across and down into the rooms below. By sunshine or by moonlight, the cavernous interior is illuminated from above and all around.
Voids in single-level homes can take the form of an internal courtyard sanctuary, accessed via bi-fold doors, or a lush garden atrium, framed by elegant fixed aluminium windows.
The strategically placed windows and glass doors create a feeling of protected openness, with low-level views of your garden and high-level views of the sky.
To create your own bespoke void, think fixed 90º corner joined full-height windows or neat cavity stacking doors, or think big with dramatic frameless glass panels sitting above double hinged doors for a real wow factor. Go for the largest panels of glass you can afford – it's a selection choice that you won’t regret it.
Here are some great house entrance ideas too. A stunning Paragon highlight window or gable rake window above your main entrance can add a sense of grandeur and can banish gloom from the dingiest hallway. Every time you make an entrance your heart will lift at the sight of this gorgeous open space.
Light-filled voids are an affordable architectural solution for inner-city homes as well, particularly homes with adjoining walls, and homes built on smaller footprints and narrower blocks.
“I just think in a small house natural light is absolutely imperative,” says House Rules judge Wendy Moore in Home Beautiful Magazine. “So, if you can get a lightwell, particularly over a kitchen, it just instantly makes the whole room feel light and airy.”
Voids not only lift your spirits, they can enhance your wellbeing too. Research conducted by the Lighting Research Centre indicates that people in daylit environments have increased productivity and are mentally and visually stimulated, which helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycle.
Innovative use of natural light can also lead to energy savings. As lighting accounts for around 10% of electricity usage in Australian households, spaces fitted with daylight-sensing controls can reduce the energy used for lighting by over 20%, according to the studies published in the journal Lighting Research & Technology.
With so many benefits, it’s clear that incorporating a void or lightwell into your house design is worth every dollar. But with so many window design ideas the way forward may seem confusing.
To discuss integrating the latest Daylighting techniques into your home, call a Wideline consultant today. No matter where you are in your journey, we are ready to help.
Visit a Showroom, or call 1300 943 354.