Bang On: President's Column

Let there be light in your home or office

  • Written by Peder Madsen

It’s no secret that our brains perform better, we feel happier and healthier in a well-lit space. Research and manufacturing changes have produced better and better choices for inside lighting, but the best light is still what filters through your windows naturally. Natural light lifts spirits, makes spaces appear larger and lessens demands on electricity, an important factor in today’s energy – conscious world. Natural light also has been shown to reduce eyestrain, increase productivity and even decrease absenteeism in the workplace. People just function better in environments with an abundance of natural light.

So how do we maximize our natural daylight, summer and winter? In addition to the size and strategic placement of windows, skylights (roof windows) and solar tubes (sun tubes) are great additional options.

Today’s skylights have come a long way from the original fixed versions. Not only do new skylights open but they are highly engineered with the latest state-of-the-art products incorporating a computerized rain sensor system.
They can be conveniently opened by remote control for ventilation and for added peace of mind, they can be closed automatically should a single rain drop hit. Remote controlled blinds, insect screens and engineered flashing systems are also available for added convenience.

All products are designed to fit within the specifications of today's construction codes making installation quick and efficient and straightforward for builders and renovators to fit in their designs. Our members who install skylights do caution that to avoid water problems, it is essential that manufacturers’ installation instructions need to be strictly followed.

By using glass that is Low E and argon gas filled, skylights have become energy efficient plus they block out noise, drafts and enhance durability against extreme weathers. For high humidity areas like bathrooms, there is a product that features a waterproof polyurethane maintenance-free seamless white coating.

To capitalize on natural light, skylights can be hung in a number of configurations – all in a row, squares or banks of rows that can also make a high impact design statement.

Sun tubes or solar tubes, depending on the manufacturers product name, are another way to bring light in, especially useful in a small place where a skylight is not an option. Installed quickly and easily they are a great addition to any home - new or renovated.

Prime locations such as a small bathroom or a walk-in closet that don’t have the benefit of a window, or lighting the hallway to the bedrooms can all become brighter without turning on the lights!

Using a highly reflective material inside the dome located on the roof and through the tube down to the ceiling, low angle and ambient light is redirected maximizing the light into the room. At the ceiling level a diffuser that resembles a recessed light fixture spreads the light evenly throughout the room. Output of light depends on the length of tube, height of room ceiling and of course intensity of the sun. For example, there will be more light at midday than in the morning or evening.

There's no heat build-up and most roof domes include UV protection eliminating 99% of harmful rays so fabrics won't fade when exposed to daylight all day long, a great benefit for a walk-in closet. Also, in the summer, there is no transference of heat, thus not increasing the need for air-conditioning.

Raise your “feel good” serotonin levels by letting the natural light flood in!

Peder Madsen is the president of the London Home Builders' Association and Vice President of CCR Building and Remodeling in London.

Healthy Home Building Environment

  • Written by Super User

London Home Builders’ Association President notes a healthy home building environment contributes to all aspects of the area economy

Most people think industry jobs are what they see on construction sites. While some are, the industry stretches far beyond these. We are often referred to as the Invisible Giant as our workforce is not only on constructions sites but also in businesses, manufacturing plants, showrooms, downtown and home offices throughout the city.

Fighting to give Home Owners a Fair Shake

  • Written by Super User

Continuing our look into the residential new home and renovation industry, our work with officials and politicians of all levels of government is essential to maintaining the affordability of new homes and renovationsand stability for industry jobs.

Right at the top of our work list of issues is taxation. Fees, levies and taxation levels reduce affordability, threaten choice for homebuyers and burden Canadians trying to provide housing for their families.

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Members of the LHBA have been building and transforming communities throughout London since 1952.

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