The Role of Skylights in Sustainable Building Design for Businesses

Commercial Skylight Systems

Whether you’re designing a new commercial building or renovating an existing structure, it makes sense to incorporate skylights into your building’s design. These features will make your building look more attractive while providing plenty of green benefits. 

If operating an eco-friendly business is important to you, discover how commercial skylights will boost your overall sustainability.

Reduce the Use of Artificial Lighting

People use artificial lighting in every indoor space. This is especially true in commercial buildings where commonly used closets and storage rooms may not have window access to sunlight. 

It’s easy to take artificial lights for granted, but every flick of a light switch wastes more energy. Indoor lighting is one of the biggest uses of electricity in most indoor spaces.

Fortunately, installing commercial skylights can limit the need for those artificial lights. Especially when you create a building design that adds skylights in large public areas or expansive warehouses, you won’t need to rely solely on artificial lights for sufficient illumination. On a sunny day, you may not need to use artificial lights at all.

Improve Air Circulation

Fans and HVAC equipment help circulate the air in your indoor commercial spaces. This is necessary to remove contaminants from the breathable air. Unfortunately, the use of this equipment comes at a great cost. In addition to the energy your system uses, there are the costs associated with preventing wear and tear damage and performing basic repairs. 

You can minimize your operational costs and reduce energy waste with commercial skylights. Use manual or automatic equipment to open or close the skylight. Install screens to keep insects and debris from entering your commercial building. The introduction of fresh air boosts air circulation while reducing the need to use your HVAC system.

Boost Health and Safety

The greater access to sunlight afforded by skylights will keep your indoor spaces dry for longer periods of time. Maintaining a dry climate and reducing indoor humidity will help you prevent indoor mold growth. 

Additionally, more sunlight increases the body’s production of vitamin D. While vitamin D is an essential nutrient, many people have a deficiency. Skylights can help correct this health issue.

Hurricane protection might be another concern. Coastal counties throughout Florida must meet certain Florida building code requirements for hurricane protection. This requires obtaining an NOA (notice of acceptance).

The certification verifies a manufacturer’s skylights meet high-velocity hurricane zone (HVHZ) standards. NOA certification ensures your skylights will stand up against the destructive forces created during tropical storms.

Lower Your Maintenance Costs

Installing skylights in your commercial building will help you reduce your maintenance needs in a couple of different areas. First, reduced humidity and moisture in your building help lower the likelihood of water and mold damage. 

You’ll save year-round on remediation services and other renovations required by this type of environmentally harmful damage.

Secondly, reducing your reliance on your HVAC system will lower the rate of wear and tear damage. You’ll need repairs and replacement parts less often. The HVAC system will last longer as well. This means you’ll need fewer system replacements throughout the lifetime of your business.

Save on Annual Taxes

The business taxes you pay each year are necessary, but they reduce the overall profits your business generates. If you could pay fewer taxes, you could divert that money to cover other business expenses, expansions, and updates. The extra cash flow can help you keep your business sustainable throughout the year.

You can save some money with your skylight installation. The ENERGY STAR® tax credit program offers a 30% discount on window and skylight purchases. You can save up to $600 on your skylights through this program. This tax credit is effective until December 31, 2032.

Ensure Continued Business Growth

There’s no question that skylights improve a commercial building’s curb appeal. From the outside, the building looks modern, bright, and appealing. As curious consumers enter the building, they will find a sunlit and breezy environment. These environmental factors will improve mood and promote better morale.

The positive environment will encourage consumers to shop with your business, generating greater business growth. Since you probably employ other sustainability practices, you can continue your green initiative efforts while meeting the demands of more customers. 

In this way, you’ll reduce your impact on the local ecosystem without sacrificing the growth of your business.

Maximize Indoor Comfort

The best way to reduce energy waste and promote a more sustainable business is by maintaining a comfortable temperature. In addition to using your HVAC system less frequently, installing skylights can help you maintain a temperature that’s more consistent with the outdoor environment. 

Better comfort will reduce the need to adjust the thermostat in your commercial building. As a result, the HVAC system will go through fewer cycles to maintain the indoor temperature. It may take a little time to find the right balance, but a little experimentation can lead to a lifetime of sustainability.

Reduce Your Overall Carbon Footprint

Installing skylights can reduce energy usage in your commercial building in a number of different ways. While reducing the need for artificial lighting and HVAC use are primary factors, improved lighting and air circulation can improve sustainability and keep productivity high.

Since your employees will be healthier and feel more positive, they won’t feel the need to take sick days. When they are present, they won’t waste resources, such as tissue, over-the-counter medication, and other common healthcare supplies. 

While sunlight and indoor air quality won’t eliminate sickness altogether, they do help maintain a healthier environment. The improved health of your team will result in greater corporate and personal sustainability. 

Experience the Sustainability Benefits of Skylights

Working toward greater sustainability by utilizing skylights and other green initiatives can prepare your business for long-term success. These benefits will continue for as long as your business exists. 

Some benefits may multiply over time, helping your business meet new sustainability challenges in the future. It won’t be long before your new skylights pay for themselves.

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