Borrowed or direct: Getting natural light deep into the veterinary clinic

June 7, 2018

Augment electric fixtures with daylighteven when the room is in the middle of the building.

The presence of natural light indoors is more than just aesthetically pleasing-it affects our well-being. As famed 20th century architect Louis Kahn once stated, "Natural light gives the time of day and allows the mood of the seasons to enter."

Thus, in a setting that exists to foster wellness, the need for natural light is even more pronounced. Getting daylight into your lobby or other rooms with exterior walls shouldn't be a problem, but what about those areas located deeper within the hospital? HospitalDesign360 speaker Wayne Usiak, AIA, says even those spots can receive some of the outside world with a little work.

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"Use transom glass or glass panels that can borrow light from a room that has an outside wall and bring it into an interior space," he says.

Of course, there still may be rooms buried even deeper within the building. In these cases, Usiak suggests using skylights or daylighting products from Solatube. However, he cautions that this solution will require an effort to control potential glare.

"Oftentimes, we'll control glare with baffles that filter the light so you get diffuse instead of direct sunlight," he says.

According to Usiak, Solatube products also have the ability to completely shut out light in cases such as an ophthalmic exam where a darker environment is desirable.

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