The days are stretching into the evenings lifting our overall mood as we beaver away in our attic studio. Our office windows face west which means the afternoon sun streams in through three VELUX® windows. Sunlight is a wonderful thing. Quite apart from the mind-blowing fact that life on earth couldn’t be sustained without it, its health benefits cannot be denied. As it passes through glazing it does, however, lose some of its brownie points.
Direct sunlight emits ultraviolet radiation consisting of both UVB and UVA rays. UVBs are the good ultraviolet rays that promote the production of Vitamin D in humans while UVAs penetrate the skin deeper and exposure to them in excessive amounts can cause sunburn and skin damage. Among other benefits, vitamin D is essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium in the body. Sadly, glass blocks out the UVB rays, allowing only the more potentially harmful UVAs through.
Nonetheless, the windows of a house are so important to the general wellbeing and comfort its inhabitants. Psychologically, there’s nothing more peaceful that the sight of beautiful green fields, leafy treetops or even clouds floating calmly across the vista. Windows maximise solar gain when faced in a southerly direction and offer a means of refreshing the air through ventilation. I cannot fortheloveofgod understand why people buy artificial air fresheners when there is a perfectly good window waiting to be opened. And all that glass fills our rooms up with a natural source of light reducing the need to switch on the electric lights.
As much as we love our VELUX windows, in the summer months we will find it difficult to work in our office between 3 and 4pm with the intense heat that the sunlight produces. Luckily, the clever folk at VELUX are a step ahead of us! They have specially designed blinds that provide welcome shade from excess summer sun and at the same time offer insulation during the winter. Like I said…Clever! We will certainly be investing in these before summer arrives. Although, downing tools at 3pm to absorb some essential UVBs is an attractive alternative….