Winter light in the home
Winter light in the home - the environmental & health benefits of glassIncorporating glass into residential architecture can be an excellent way of tackling those winter blues
Next month, Glasgow will play host to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Following a year's delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event will bring together almost every country on earth, with many believing that this could be the world's best last chance to get runaway climate change under control.
While sustainability and protecting the environment certainly aren't new concerns, the pandemic has undoubtedly encouraged more of us to think about living greener and healthier lifestyles. Yet, with winter fast approaching, this is a time we often associate with being tucked away indoors without access to natural light. However, incorporating glass into residential architecture can be an excellent way of tackling those winter blues while also being a more sustainable choice of building material.
Bringing light into the home
Seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD) is a very real type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. It's often known 'winter depression' due to the symptoms being more apparent during the colder months. While SAD affects up to three in 100 people in the UK at some point in their life, most of us are probably familiar with experiencing lower moods during colder periods.
Getting more light is the most common advice for improving mood during the winter. While artificial treatments in the form of light boxes can help, natural daylight is most important for supporting our circadian clock, allowing us to sleep at night. Therefore, transforming existing or building new areas in your home that let in natural light is an excellent solution. Sky-Frame Sliding Doors and Solarlux are just two examples of how this can be achieved and are perfect for creating a stylish and seamless connection between the outdoors and indoors.
More energy efficient than you might think
Environmental impact in architecture has become more important than ever, but glass probably isn't the first building material that springs to mind when thinking about energy-efficient structures. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. First of all, glass allows natural light to enter the room easily, reducing the need for artificial sources. Secondly, the technological development in glass allows it to regulate heating and cooling, which is crucial for meeting energy requirements and reducing costs.
That's all very well, but what about the other materials required when building with glass? Most modern glass structures are designed using lightweight aluminium or steel frames, as is the case with our MHB Steel Windows. Although steel is an extremely efficient conductor of heat, using thermal breaks creates a physical barrier to stop heat from being conducted through the framework. Therefore, it acts as an effective insulator while also maintaining the structural integrity of the frame assembly.
A sustainable choice
Glass is an incredibly flexible material in terms of building methods and can be produced using the most sustainable manufacturing practices. The production process uses fewer pollutants than some alternative building materials, helping to push forward net-zero design goals.
It also contributes to the circular economy, as it is a fully recyclable product. The whole process of recycling glass uses less energy than alternative materials like plastic, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint.
Gray & Dick is the market leader in the design, supply and installation of high-end structural glazing. With more than 40 years' experience, we partner with the best brands to deliver a long-lasting product that will transform commercial properties.
To find out more about structural glazing from Gray & Dick, call us on 0141 952 9619 or send us a message via our website contact page.