- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 02 Mar 2018
Windows are openings fitted with glass to admit light and allow people to see out. They are often openable to allow ventilation. Rooflights (sometimes described as ‘roof lights’ or ‘skylights’) are windows built into the roof of a building.
|A dome light, lantern light, skylight, ridge light, glazed barrel vault or other element intended to admit daylight through a roof.|
Rooflights are effective at allowing natural light deep into the centre of a building, particularly where it is not possible to install windows in perimeter walls or where privacy is needed. Where they are openable, they can also be effective at promoting natural ventilation, as they tend to be at the top of buildings and so can benefit from the stack effect. They may also be used to allow access to roofs or to roof terraces.
Some rooflights however can be seen as a poor design solution, contributing little to the architectural form of a building, and simply creating a hole in a roof because without them there would be insufficient natural light. They can also suffer from ponding, dirt accumulation and staining.
Rooflights must have safety glazing, and if they are out of reach, may need a mechanism or motor to open them.
BS EN 14351-1 (Windows and doors. Product standard, performance characteristics. Windows and external pedestrian doorsets) suggests that the term ‘roof window’ refers to a window that is in the same plane as the surrounding roof, and has a minimum pitch of 15 degrees. This is as opposed to 'rooflights' which by this definition are installed on an upstand, and so are not in the same plane as the surrounding roof.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The rich archaeology of the Isle of Man is an important part of its cultural heritage.
BSRIA call on the industry to attract more women.
The construction methods have changed a lot since the first roads were built around 4,000 BC.
How to deliver a five-fold multiplier effect from investment in water infrastructure.
RSHP's Leadenhall building is named a 2018 RIBA National Award winner.
Gary Neville's controversial Manchester tower gets the green light to go ahead.
Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility.
BSRIA guide to energy storage in buildings - a technology overview.
The UK’s largest Passivhaus accredited affordable housing scheme.
ICE set out 5 recommendations for the Government Construction Strategy 2018 update.
Balfour Beatty fined £500,000 for exposing workers to hand-arm vibration.