IO2: Importance of Natural Light in our Homes

Published on 13th July 2020 by Wendy Perring

We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates. Junichiro Tanizaki

Continuing with our mini-series on the importance of design in our homes, this time we take a look at why natural light is so essential in creating a well-crafted home.  

Utilising natural light within a home can have many benefits, from aesthetic, economic and most importantly health, however it is not just a case of installing large windows and flooding a home with light, it needs to be designed to mitigate issues such as solar glare and overheating issues.  

At our eco-friendly Foxhills house a large emphasis was placed on creating minimal environmental disturbance during the full lifecycle of the building. The house is orientated on south west axis to maximise the positive solar gain, using shading to naturally minimise overheating.  

On the southerly living room a large canopy was constructed over the window, which naturally offers shade to this large window but is also crafted as an external covered seating area. A pergola by the ground floor bedrooms supports a deciduous creeper, further protecting the glazing from the sun and offering additional privacy.  

The New Forest House was a replacement dwelling which was limited in terms of its footprint due to the planning restrictions on the site, to achieve the size the client desired a basement level was added to the design.  

Traditionally basements can be very dark and uninviting places, but with careful design detailing the basement has been flooded with natural daylight from strip roof-lights offering defused lighting into these spaces. 

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