Natural Light and Sustainability

In architectural design, sustainability is one of the key considerations. There are a few things that contribute to sustainable living and the utilisation of natural light is among the most important. Reducing the use of artificial light during the daytime and potentiating natural light instead will not only lower your electricity bills but will also contribute enormously to energy efficiency. It’s our job as architects to ensure that this is possible both in new homes and home renovations.


Window placement and design
The most obvious way to improve the natural light in a house is with careful consideration of the size and orientation of windows. Orientating living areas and large windows towards the north allows for optimal natural light penetration during winter while minimizing heat gain in summer. Equally important is the use of double-glazed windows with low emissivity glass (Low-e) that significantly reduce heat transfer and improve energy efficiency.


When traditional windows are not an option, skylights become extremely important. At BY we deal with many renovation projects where we use skylights to introduce natural light to interior or dark spaces giving them a completely different feel.


Locating skylights above the staircase in our Carlton project allows light to travel numerous floors and bounce within a narrow, double-storey home that does not allow side windows.


Light-reflecting surfaces and materials
The choice of materials and colours is also integral. Light-coloured walls and floors or reflective materials will help enhance natural light and bounce light within interior spaces. Even the use of mirrors can amplify natural light.

The kitchen in our Balwyn project incorporates a number of strategies, from skylights to bright colours, to create a well-illuminated working space.


By incorporating specific architectural solutions and design considerations into our homes, we can maximize the benefits of natural light and create more sustainable, comfortable, and healthy environments.


Judit Solerdelcoll October 24th, 2023


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