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How Glass in Architectural Design Boosts Health & Reduces Energy Usage

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Glass floors. Glass stair treads. Walkable skylights. Whatever option you choose, incorporating glass into your architectural design allows light to penetrate multiple levels of a space. (This is known as “daylighting,” and it provides a number of benefits.) Whether you’re a private homeowner looking to enjoy these advantages yourself or you’re creating a commercial space where patrons and employees can all benefit, learn more about all the ways natural light improves any given space.

7 Benefits of Using Natural Light in Your Architectural Design

1. Better, Longer Sleep

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Exposure to natural light has been shown to provide a better night’s sleep. At least thirty minutes of natural light in the early morning is linked to more refreshing and longer sleep that night. For the maximum sleep-related benefits, consider where you’ll receive early-morning light, and create a glass design that capitalizes on that.

2. Boost Vitamin D

Natural light has been shown to increase your body’s storage of vitamin D. This aids in the absorbing of calcium and can help prevent bone loss.

Other claims include the following:

  • Reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Minimizing weight gain
  • Lowering your risk of depression and certain cancers

For a high-level discussion of vitamin D and the role it plays in your body, check out this article.

3. Increased Productivity

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This link between vitamin D and increased productivity is an especially important benefit for any office or commercial space.

With so many people moving to remote or hybrid work, however, designing with the intent of letting natural light into a home office can also allow private homeowners to enjoy this benefit.

4. Improved Vision

In today’s digital landscape, our eyes go through a lot of strain. Computer screens, smart phones, televisions, and fluorescent lights can all cause weary eyes. (As this article notes, there’s no conclusive link between screen time and permanent eye damage, but digital eye strain is common and well documented.)

Natural light helps the eye produce dopamine, a necessary component for healthy eye development. Some studies have even tied natural light exposure to a decreased risk of myopia, or nearsightedness, in children.

5. Improved Moods

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition caused by too little natural daylight exposure. It causes depression and other negative mood effects, and it afflicts around 6 percent of the population. Another 14 percent have less severe symptoms, which are often grouped under the umbrella of “winter blues.”

Designing a home or commercial space with the incorporation of natural light can help increase one’s daily exposure and potentially stem some of these seasonal effects.

6. Reduction of Energy Bills and Your Carbon Footprint

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When you have natural daylight as a lighting source, you are less reliant on artificial or fluorescent lights. This means your net energy usage is going to be lower. This can reduce your monthly bill, as well as help contribute to a greener lifestyle. (This is equally beneficial for individual homes and commercial spaces.)

Depending on the positioning of your building, having glass that lets natural light in can even cut down on your heating or cooling needs. Again, this can reduce that monthly energy bill and your overall carbon footprint.

7. Design-Related Benefits

Natural light can go a long way toward improved health and well-being for the people spending time in the building, but glass also provides a litany of design benefits:

  • Makes the space appear larger, more airy, and more open.
  • Adds a minimalist, contemporary beauty.
  • Provides a unique design that sets your space apart from other residences or commercial buildings.

Interested in learning about the benefits of glass floor specifically? Check out these top seven reasons to install see-through flooring.

Have any questions about designing with glass? Daylighting? The actual glass manufacturing process? How to choose the right glass manufacturer? Whatever you need, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always happy to help!