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Oliver Heath's Guest Blog: Let there be light

17 Nov 2011

I recently gave a talk at Grand Designs Live at the NEC discussing the different approaches to sustainable housing and was struck by a fellow speakers approach with their recently completed Carbon Light Homes.

HTA Architects’ test house achieves a Code Level 4 in the Code for Sustainable Homes, which whilst admirable, it was actually the level of natural lighting that they had achieved which really got me thinking about the benefits of maximising the glazing throughout a building, not just on the vertical walls but also on the horizontal surfaces as well.

The pitched roof of the Carbon Light Homes in Northamptonshire, is peppered with roof lights allowing five per cent of the external daylight to flood through – that’s three times what the code suggests is necessary. Whilst this natural daylight can help to reduce lighting bills it also creates a psychologically uplifting space within.

For many of us achieving this level of daylight might not be possible in our ordinary old homes, but there’s no reason why we can’t look to utilise what we do have and allow the light to filter down through our homes with the use of internal structural glass floor panels.

Installing a few Sunlight Tubes, lets light otherwise wasted on your roof to filter in through highly reflective tubes to light up dark and dingy internal corridor spaces. But I’d urge you to go a step further. Toughened and laminated floor panels will diffuse light further down –lighting entrance halls and corridors below, with privacy guaranteed by etched surfaces.

It is worth speaking to a specialist installer who can recommend the right specification but you’d be likely to install 30 to 40 mm of toughened and laminated glass, to meet current building regulations.



I recently designed and installed a similar system in a property to great success. A rear lower ground floor patio was partially covered by a frosted glass flat roof, which also formed a ground floor balcony. Not only did we create a nine square meter breakfast terrace but also a sheltered seating area below with a charming mixture of eclectic inside meets out. The frosted glass ceiling / floor allows light to filter into the lower ground floor, whilst extending the footprint area of the house and making a unique selling point for the property.





So give it some thought, where could you add a structural glass floor? I can guarantee your lives will be all the lighter for it.

Click here to see which of our glass products can be used for glass floors and see image below of a glass