Scooping light on decent home upgrade

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council has scooped an innovative approach to overcoming original design constraints and potential tenant disruption in its commitment to bring older housing stock up to Decent Homes and current Building Regulations standards.

Under its upgrade programme, the Council has renewed the roof covering to 33 bungalows in Sedgley, simultaneously increasing insulation and natural light, the latter achieved by the inclusion of 3 no 250mm dia Glidevale Sunscoop tubular rooflights in each property, two in each kitchen and one in each hallway.

The main aim of the programme was to upgrade the insulation in the roof, but the roof design at the properties impinged on a simple ‘topping up’: the kitchen windows were located into the roof and supported by a pitched section of the roof. As a result, the already small windows were being further reduced in height to accommodate the thickness of insulation. Installing Glidevale’s Sunscoops enabled simple cutting of the roof covering between rafters, causing little disturbance to the roof decking, no damage to internal décor and improving natural light levels beyond the existing.

“Our specification team made the decision to use Sunscoops, to ensure the roofing work did not impinge on the tenants’ internal ambience. Readings taken at a test property showed the Sunscoops were more than fit for purpose in terms of the natural light they allowed in; the tenant of the test property was very pleased with the result. The ease of installation also meant we did not have to relocate the tenants whilst the work was undertaken,” observed Stuart Hyde, operations officer for the roofing programme.

Councillor David Simms, cabinet member for housing, said, “We are very of the level of service we offer to our tenants and are working hard to ensure our properties reach, and maintain, the decent homes standard. We selected Sunscoops as they offered us a good solution to the problem and following testing we found that was received positively by our tenants and the operatives who undertook the installation.”

Glidevale’s Sunscoop is one of the leading tubular rooflights on the market. Sunscoop comprises either a  glazed dome or ‘in-plane’ unit mounted on the roof, which ‘scoops’ natural daylight down a highly reflective tube through the roof void to a ‘diffuser’ mounted in the ceiling in areas that have little or no natural light. Independent testing has shown even the smallest 250mm dia Sunscoop gives at least four times more light than a 60watt incandescent bulb (13watt low energy lamp) on a clear summer day, yet Sunscoop uses NO energy to operate, purely harnessing daylight.

Additional internal options include an integral light fitting complete with low energy lamp to ensure the dark room remains light even at night, and a Light & Sun Deflector which ensures that direct light is more effectively captured and transmitted down the tube thereby further increasing light levels by up to 20%.

The Sunscoop glazing and flashings are all AA fire rated, enabling use without restriction in number, spacing, position or proximity to neighbouring properties.

Glidevale is part of the Building Product Design Group, which specialises in developing innovative yet practical roofing and ventilation products in line with changing market requirements.

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