Scott Couldrey, Managing Director of rooflight specialist the National Domelight Company, discusses how rooflights can help create a stunning orangery on new home.
Originally made popular in the 17th Century, an orangery remains an aspirational feature on a home. Orangeries create a space with the lightness and openness of a conservatory but by incorporating brickwork that matches the existing house they have a much more robust construction that better integrates them with the rest of the property. To achieve this look and feel orangeries require a special kind of roof.
An orangery has a particular roof structure that differs from a conservatory. It consists of a flat roof element with a roof lantern placed in the centre. A roof lantern is the most effective rooflight shape for letting in maximum light but there are some options to consider before picking a particular roof lantern product. The first choice is whether a factory-built or self-assembly system is best.
For fast and easy installation, pre-assembled roof lantern constructions can be delivered in one piece with the glazing elements pre-installed to fit directly on top of an orangery structure. However, should access be restricted, the roof lantern can be supplied in kit form so that it can be easily moved into position in its component form.
All roof lanterns from NDC are supplied with drawings and installation instructions to ensure that the installation process is as smooth and pain-free as possible.
The additional sunlight from a roof lantern means that less artificial lighting is required, helping to make electricity savings to cut bills and reduce a home’s carbon footprint. Double glazing with an argon filled cavity improves heat retention by as much as 30 percent comes as standard from NDC, but there’s also the option of having a roof lantern triple glazed to improve insulation and provide further energy saving benefits.
The sun’s rays can also help in heating the room. There is the option of fitting solar controlled glass that allows certain amounts of useful heat from the sun into the room to heat it, but moderates solar gain, i.e. the increase in temperature due to the sun’s radiation, by reflecting and absorbing the heat during hot summer days.
A range of different solar control glass options are available and rated on their solar heat transmittance levels.
Selecting the view
The support structure of a roof lantern is very important for its look and feel. NDC supplies roof lanterns with minimal support infrastructure, using sleek and stylish aluminium rafter sections that are slimline and thermally broken to allow vast amounts of light to enter.
Meanwhile, the latest silicone glazing techniques mean that it’s also now possible to fit a rooflight without any internal framework at all. These roof lanterns provide unrestricted views of the world so the outside can be enjoyed inside while letting in huge amounts of beneficial light to the internal space.