The benefits of daylight in public buildings are many, including a positive effect on mental capabilities of the people who work and conduct business there, as well as the potential for saving energy. However, with that said, it is not enough to simply place a large, glass window on one side of a room and make the assumption that it will provide natural light for a room. Danpal translucent façade material offers an intelligent alternative to the plate glass window, with all of its attendant problems.
Why Windows Do Not Maximize Daylight
While windows increase the amount of light in a room, they can also create glare and solar gain. Without careful planning, a large glass window can flood a space with painfully bright light and can act as a lens that will increase the amount of heat in a room. Because of these two factors, people who work in spaces that have large, glass windows frequently add window shades and curtains that can obviate the benefits of having a large expanse of transparent material capable of admitting natural light.
The result is the classic office or large living space that is rendered dark and gloomy thanks to heavy curtains. Furthermore, in warm climates, the energy savings of having natural light is heavily offset by added air conditioning needed to compensate for excessive solar gain. One might think that because of the ability for a glass window to warm up a room, that it would be an ideal situation for colder climates where daylight is minimal at certain seasons. Sadly, even in the winter months when daylight is admitted for shorter amounts of time, simple window glass has some serious drawbacks. Although it heats up a room during the day, it also allows heat to escape back out of the room – particularly at night. Furthermore, at certain times of the day – frequently at daybreak or at dusk, the lower angle of the sun’s rays can create a blinding glare in rooms where windows face either east or west. Here, again, inhabitants will use heavy curtains to cut the glare or they will use insulated drapes to minimize the natural heat exchange capability of glass.
How Danpal Translucent Facades Can Help
Danpal translucent facades are a smart and attractive alternative to the traditional glass window. First of all, they are translucent, rather than transparent. This immediately cuts down on the glare, and it also provides a modicum of privacy for desk workers while still admitting natural sunlight into a room. The translucent panels create a more diffuse light that creates a pleasant glow conducive to reading, writing or quiet conversation.
Second, Danpal also creates panels with operable shade functions so that people can adjust the settings to personal comfort levels without completely shutting out natural light. These translucent panels can create a variety of colorful effects that lend interest to the building as well as comfort to workers, customers and others who might be inside. More than that, the translucent facades come with UV blockers, which keep out the harmful parts of the sun’s rays, and well as toning down the heat index that is so characteristic of plain window glass. This allows enjoyment of natural light without the harmful potential for sunburn, skin damage or glare.
The Benefits of Daylight
One might ask, if natural light through windows has so many problems, why should we bother with it at all. The answer is that, even with all of the attendant difficulties, natural light has been shown to convey many benefits. Humans are primarily diurnal. That is, we are set up to function best in the daylight hours. Daylight not only make it easier for humans to see, it has a positive effect on the pineal gland – and organ modern science is only just beginning to understand. School children who are exposed to natural light for at least fifteen minutes per day – and more is better – tend to be more able to focus during class time, producing better school work and correspondingly good grades. Hospitals have found that patients who have undergone surgery have a better recovery rate when their rooms are open to an outside view and when they are exposed to natural, rather than artificial, lighting. Natural light or light therapy has even been shown to have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s disease patients, particularly the ones who have difficulty sleeping at night. When the light was administered in the morning, it was found that it reduced aggression sometimes displayed by some Alzheimer’s patients in the afternoon. For the rest of us, sunlight is simply uplifting.