Natural ventilation and daylighting improve your home interiors and the quality of your life. You must prioritise both factors in every new build or renovation project. Here’s why:
Why natural light is essential
Even if you invest in the highest quality of light bulbs in your home, it still won’t level to the power of natural light.
Based on decades of research, we need natural light to function. It affects our circadian rhythm or our everyday biological processes. Without enough exposure to natural light, we disrupt our circadian rhythm and we compromise our health and well-being.
For one, lack of exposure to natural lighting and higher exposure artificial light raises the Cortisol level in our body. Cortisol is the hormone that induces stress. Increased levels of this hormone affect our mental performance, immune system, and even physical growth.
Sad to say, prolonged exposure to artificial lighting is unavoidable nowadays because we spend so much time indoors.
Now that you know this, you can do something to bathe in daylight for a few hours in the morning, at home, before you go to work. Start with investing in good windows.
If your windows don’t get enough natural light into your home, it’s time to replace them.
Let the cooling breezes in too.
Apart from proper daylighting, your windows should allow the flow of air in and out of your home. Have enough operable windows, so fresh air can come in and push the stale air outside.
When air doesn’t circulate inside the house, the indoor air quality inside your house drops. Impurities and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) get trap inside and you breathe it in. You might inhale dust, pollen, mildew, and other chemical substances too. Breathing these invisible particles, VOCs, and other chemicals may also result in respiratory problems, headaches, and exhaustion.
Yup, without proper ventilation, the air you breathe inside your home can get more polluted than the air outside.
The best solution to this is to have cross ventilation. First, you must install the right kind of operable window in the right place. It must catch the cooling breezes. Open these windows to encourage air flow from one room to another and then outside the house. Turn on your fans for it keeps the air moving inside the house.
Inputs of architects/designers are valuable here
Getting your windows done might sound easy, but it is more complicated in reality. To get this right, you need to know how to catch sunlight at the right angle and utilise the cooling breezes that come from different directions.
Here’s where a great architect and designer will come in.
During the planning stage of your new building or renovation project, the architect/designer will study the site. He/she will take note of the sun and wind movement. Knowing this information will help design a well-oriented structure with natural ventilation and daylighting.
He/she will also know the right size and kind of window to use in the north, south, east and west sides of your house to avoid unwanted heat gain and loss. Finally, an architect and designer can ensure a beautiful yet private looking home from the streets.