Rooflight refurbishment and key factors to consider


The interior of Freinet school De Harp, in Ghent, Belgium with structural glazing system
The interior of Freinet school De Harp, in Ghent, Belgium with structural glazing system

When choosing a new daylight solution as part of a refurbishment project, understanding a building’s functionality plays an important role in decision making. If able to establish the influential factors involved in design, specification and installation, better decisions can be made.

Advanced planning plays an important role in realizing time constraints and specific building requirements in commercial projects. Every building is unique. Being aware of all components of a project can help fulfil refurbishment objectives. Replicating features for older buildings is an additional consideration when choosing daylight solutions.

Consider cost and design ambitions

Whether seeking to retain an existing building style or create a more modern aesthetic, project cost will need to be considered when choosing your architectural design. This can mean that certain features or appearances may require replacing.

Three common influential factors to consider: 

  • Durability and longevity of rooflights
  • Creating a modern aesthetic
  • Meeting regulations and industry standards

Assessing the different types of rooflight product offerings available in advance, for example: glass, polycarbonate and fibreglass, can help refine early proposals for a refurbishment project. Understanding the impact these choices can have in the long term will influence decisions such as replacing existing rooflights or pursuing a complete roof replacement.

Interior before and after views of a Grillodur rooflight installation as part of a refurbishment project in Switzerland.

Interior before and after views of a Grillodur rooflight installation as part of a refurbishment project in Switzerland.

VELUX Commercial eBook guide to rooflight refurbishment

Operational considerations for the entirety of a refurbishment project

Applying practical expertise is important in a refurbishment project. Where one commercial project may benefit from a building remaining in operation throughout the duration of a project, another may wish to have a swifter installation process outside of opening hours. Both options are possible and how long a project takes will be part of any operational decision making, influenced by cost and safety regulations.

Maximising natural light and fresh air inside a commercial building can be two of many factors associated to a successful refurbishment. The measurement of success on a project can also include ensuring buildings such as train stations, schools or sports facilities are in operation as much as possible. This in-turn can impact local authorities positively, while helping to reduce cost.

Maintenance of rooflight refurbishment

Regular maintenance and repair can extend the service life of your roof components. It may be that one of the goals of a refurbishment is to provide better roof access than was previously available. Thorough surveys of existing roofs are essential to identify all possible issues.

Beyond regulatory requirements

The specification and installation of daylighting and ventilation solutions provides an opportunity to address any performance concerns and think about sustainability. When refurbishing a building, planning in relation to thermal control, sustainability and occupant wellbeing can have positive long-term results.

Creating a comfortable environment for those who occupy a commercial building should be part of a project completion goal. Ensuring manufacturing standards and lux level requirements for industrial spaces such as warehouses, where machinery is being used is an additional planning consideration. Education facilities also benefit from a reduction in glare and even light distribution throughout a classroom.

A train passing through

A train passing through Almere Centrum Railway Station in the Netherlands.

Fire safety and ventilation control

In the event of a fire, smoke can be the biggest risk for building users. Smoke and heat exhaust ventilation (SHEV) is provided by automatic opening vents (AOVs) designed, tested and CE-marked in accordance with EN 12101-2:2003. This is a critical area of rooflight refurbishment specification to consider. Working with a trusted manufacturer who can provide expert advice on how their tested components meet fire performance requirements gives a greater understanding on protective measures. A successful refurbishment can achieve better rates of controlled ventilation without decreasing energy efficiency.

VELUX Commercial has a full range of daylight solutions available. This includes dome and flat glass rooflights, continuous rooflights, and glass roof systems. We provide flexibility in design and offer a range of accessories to meet your needs.

With us, you'll receive support for the entirety of a building refurbishment project. Support ranges from product selection to technical advice, installation and post-sales service. We help ensure your construction project stays on track. Our expert knowledge and continued support make VELUX Commercial your preferred partner for daylight and ventilation solutions. Download our refurbishment whitepaper to learn more.

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