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Electricity in Australia costs roughly twice as much as it costs in many other parts of the world, and that can make costs expensive for a small business owner. If you want to cut costs and save energy, you may want to consider focusing on daylighting techniques during your next commercial renovation.
In many cases, architects say that daylighting needs to be considered while the building is being designed, but don't let that sentiment deter you. There are actually a lot of daylighting techniques that you can embrace retroactively with the help of a skilled commercial renovator.
1. Add Windows
To get the most light into your commercial space, windows are essential. In particular, consider adding north-facing windows to get the maximum amount of light. There is also modeling software that can help you track the sun's rays into your building, taking into account nearby obstructions, seasons, and other factors.
Remember that tall windows are the most effective. If you have a lot of north-facing windows already, you may want to add height to them. Alternatively, you may want to reorganise your work space to ensure that you are optimising the light that is coming through the windows.
2. Consider Heat Gain
Of course, when you are adding more light to your facility, you may also be adding more heat. If you are adding heat, that will force you to run the air conditioner, and those extra costs can cancel out any benefits you get from extra light.
To counteract that effect, you may want to look at the outside of your building and consider adding awnings to your windows. Small awnings can provide a bit of shade when the sun is at its peak and producing lots of heat, but they can allow the sun to stream in when it gets a bit lower in the sky.
3. Add Photosensitive Lights
Of course adding windows that allow more light in is only half the process. If your overhead lights keep burning regardless of sunlight levels, you will waste energy. In most cases, it can be very hard for employees or managers to remember to keep an eye on switching lights on or off when they are trying to focus on work.
To make the most of your daylighting efforts, talk with your renovator about adding photosensitive controls to your existing lights. These controls sense when there is ample outdoor light coming in, and they turn off. You may also want to section up the controls so that various parts of your business can have lights on while other areas have the lights off.
4. Look Into Skylights
In some cases, you may also want to add skylights during your renovation. Many styles are very easy to add, especially if your commercial building has a flat roof. They can be great over work spaces, but they can also lend light in small areas such as storage closets or toilets.
5. Integrate Light Shelves
You may also want to integrate light shelves. These reflective surfaces can be attached to your ceiling, integrated into cubicles or put into your design in other ways. They catch the natural light coming from your windows, and they bounce it into other locations in your space.
Light shelves can add a stylish, modern touch to your commercial building, and they help to optimise your other daylighting techniques. Even if you don't modify your windows, light shelves can help to improve the amount of light you have currently in your commercial building.
To get more ideas about improving daylighting during a commercial renovation or to talk about other renovation details, contact a commercial renovation company, such as Randstar Building Services, today.