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Think about this when considering skylights in commercial spaces: how will the space be used?

Considering how inhabitants will interact with the building and spend time in the space can help facility managers determine not only how to achieve these goals but also how to create a beautiful building. Once intent is established, facility managers can evaluate how skylight options can be used to reach those goals.

Daylighting is typically the primary goal when deciding to incorporate skylights, and facility managers are often looking to enhance the overall experience of the building for inhabitants.

Providing natural light is a simple solution to improve the overall wellness of the building, providing a more pleasant experience for those inside.

Modular skylights, for example, are one option that enhances natural light while also boasting a myriad of secondary benefits — fresh air ventilation, shading and the ability to cut down on glare. They typically come in prefabricated systems, which makes installation simple, and with venting units, facility managers can remove stale, polluted air from the space. Plus, the system is available in various configurations for customizable options, including:

  • Wall-mounted designs and low-pitch roof versions – these bring light to the middle of a building;
  • A version which brings in diffused northern light
  • An atrium design, which can fill large, open spaces with natural light; the Ridgelight, with self-supporting skylights, adds symmetry to the space’s design.

For facility managers of warehouses or big box retail spaces who want to capitalize on energy efficiency, the Dynamic Dome commercial skylight is among the best options. The shape of the skylight is engineered to capture more daylight in the early morning and late afternoon, allowing the building’s lights to stay off nearly an extra hour per day.

What are some maintenance and operation tips for commercial skylights?

When it comes to maintaining commercial skylights, Mother Nature will do most of the work for you. Good skylights are intended to be fairly maintenance-free with limited interaction from facility managers. However, in the rare event that cleaning is needed, a mild cleaning solution will work for dust or mild dirt accumulation.

There are also a variety of factors to consider when installing a skylight that will make maintenance and operation easier including the orientation of the skylight, location on the roof and shape of the roof. Working with a skylight professional on placement and installation will help ensure Mother Nature works in your favor.

Velux Commercial Skylight

Ensuring there is a proper seal on the skylight will also help maintain its integrity. First, identify a skylight that has proper condensation and seals. Poor seals on bad products will decay, because the skylight is not designed to withstand exposure to elements. Buying a factory sealed product, like a modular skylight, will significantly reduce the potential for installation error which could lead to leaks. Next, minimize interaction with the skylight. Proper installation of a skylight helps prevent the need for additional adjustments. The more people interact with it, the more opportunity there is for something to dislodge or malfunction.

Good skylights are those that are efficient and do not need a lot of long-term maintenance. They are meant to be installed and last for long-term periods. They should be installed properly and left alone.

Brian Grohe

Commercial sales manager for VELUX, a member of the Window & Door Manufacturers Association

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