Lights up a Farm Conversion

Guy and Nicki Radford and their three young sons, moved into a most unusual and interesting property near Chippenham, Wiltshire, almost three years ago. It was originally an old farmyard which dates back to the 16th century. 12 years ago the site was redeveloped and there are now 10 properties on the site, six of which are new. As is normal practice these days, part of the planning constraints stipulated that all the old farm buildings were also to be refurbished. The Radford’s home is a four bedroom house built of local stone. Adjoining it is a 16th century single storey stone cowshed with a slate roof. The cowshed was refurbished when the house was constructed, but it was not used for various reasons, mainly because of the very high ceiling and the associated difficulties of lighting and heating this area. It was then that Guy and Nicki realised that Monodraught Sunpipes could answer at least one of their problems in bringing in natural daylight to what was otherwise a rather dark and dull barn-like building.

Since the Radford¹s have moved into the property they have modernised the original cowshed to fit in with their particular lifestyle needs. As is normal in many old buildings, in this area, the cowshed is supported by attractive Malmesbury pillars, which make an interesting architectural feature. When the house was built it was constructed sympathetically with the cowshed so the adjoining kitchen also features Malmesbury pillars with an A frame ceiling. The Radford¹s converted the cowshed by lowering the ceiling to the same height as the A frame beams and incorporating a guest bedroom and ensuite bathroom at one end. Most of the area, is now a play room for their growing, and boisterous children.

Monodraught Sunpipes not only bring in natural daylight into the playroom and save on electricity but the introduction of Sunpipes also has a very calming and soothing effect on children. It is far more healthy than electric lighting and the natural daylight this produces is more restful and completely floods the playroom but without the attendant problems of glare. Enough natural daylight is provided to eliminate the need for electric lighting even on cloudy days! What so many people find amazing is that even when it is raining, the amount of natural light piped into the room below is noticeable.

Sunpipes are ideal for both new build and refurbishment projects, as they offer superb freedom of design, and can be used to provide light to any room, corridor or landing. The SunPipe consists of aluminium mirror finish tubes which are available in practically any length, that can twist and turn to carry daylight from the rooftop down to the room or area below. At roof level is a patented Diamond dome that catches all the available light; typically 98% of it. By intensifying and directing the natural light through the silverised aluminium tube, the SunPipe delivers energy-free natural light from dawn to dusk. This light is evenly diffused by a circular translucent ceiling fixture which fits flush with the ceiling. The ceiling diffusers are manufactured with a clear stipple finish and a range of ceiling bezels are available to suit every style including chrome, aluminium and brass. Monodraught SunPipes are regularly featured on many of the TV makeover programmes, such as Grand Designs, Room for Improvement, and others.

Says Guy Radford “We are very pleased with Monodraught and the SunPipe. The whole package was excellent. Delivery only took two days from ordering, the SunPipe was easy to install and it has transformed our cowshed. It is much more inviting and welcoming”. It is also now well documented that the provision and quality of natural daylight in any indoor environment is essential everyone’s general well-being. There are proven health benefits to individuals of all ages because our bodies are regulated by natural day light, SAD is a consequence of the lack of natural day light. More interestingly, though, a lot of research has been carried into children’s behavioural conditions and the effects of SunPipes. For example, Lisa Heschong of the Heschong Mahon¹e Consulting Group, found that concentration and productivity in nurseries and schools increased by as much as 40% when children worked under natural daylight.

Monodraught SunPipes are available in 10 sizes, with prices starting at only £210 including VAT and carriage. A full installation service is available if required. They are quick and easy to install on any type of roof - pitched, flat, green or listed.

Normally they fit easily between the rafters and eaves. All SunPipes are supplied with a full 25 years no-quibble guarantee. They are self-cleaning, maintenance-free and are vandal-proof. There is no heat loss in the winter or solar gain in the summer. Lastly, but not least, SunPipes are also good for the environment as they use only the power of the sun, which is a renewable energy source, and they are good for your pocket as there are no running costs. It is easy to understand why over 2,000 Monodraught SunPipes are being sold in the UK alone, every single month, and that number is steadily rising. They are popular with home owners, house builders, developers, specifiers and architects.

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