Clerestory Windows Are Tops at Ushering in Light

My husband and I recently moved in the apartment which got no direct daylight into an apartment which has direct daylight for at least half the day, if not more. The difference is routine if not life altering.

Now I’m getting up with the sun early in the morning, obviously (no alarm clock), and that will help me go to bed at a decent hour. It’s also no more depressing to operate from home — we’re saving money by taking fewer trips to Starbucks just to escape the flat.

And although I have not noticed a new utility bill, I’m convinced we’re going to be saving money by using less electricity for lighting.

The advantages of organic lighting simply cannot be overstated, and there are lots of methods to get it in to your home. For one, CalFinder, a nationally remodeling company, states that if you put in enough clerestory windows — these shallow panes of glass near the top of a wall — your home might not require electricity during the day. And you may require less central air conditioning, especially in temperate climates which cool down in the evening.

Like all new or renovation construction jobs, it is very good to speak to the professionals prior to making any big conclusions, but here are a few examples of how clerestory windows work to get you started.

FINNE Architects

When you are considering incorporating clerestory windows for more natural daylight, then also consider how much warmth you want to include. Clerestory windows on the side of your house will create more heat from the sun in winter.

The clerestory windows with this escape by Finne Architects in the Cascade Mountains in southern Washington not just add light and warmth during the snowy season, but also visually raise the roof. This prevents the building from looking too top heavy, especially when it’s piled with snow.

Harry Braswell Inc..

A low-emissivity coating to also will reduce heat loss.


If you want to reduce heat, do the reverse: Install clerestory windows on the north side of your home, which will allow natural light in through the cooler part of the day. You could even set up them wherever tree shade will filter direct sunlight.

Consider installing clerestory windows in unexpected locations for optimum natural daylight. For example, the clerestory windows on this garden shed by BMF Construction reduce the shed’s reliance on electrical light.

Furman + Keil Architects

Think about adding windows between rooms. Within this endeavor by Furman + Keil Architects, the windows move daylight from the bedroom to the adjacent room.

Tracy Stone AIA

Clerestory windows in a toilet can be installed rather than (or in addition to) tubular daylighting devices as a means to bring natural lighting in.

As just 1 part of a whole-house daylighting strategy, clerestory windows can save 75 percent of the electricity used for lighting.

RWA Architects

Clerestory windows set high on the walls are often protected by roof overhangs, which let sunlight in but protect the home from summer-sun warmth.

Retractable awnings can supply the best of both worlds, ” indicates the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors: When they’re retracted, the home receives more heat and light during the winter; whenever they’re out they protect the home from summer sun.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

With no windows, this kitchen would be dark, regardless of the white cupboards. Cabinet space would be lost if windows were inserted. Clerestory windows are the perfect solution here.

And when windows such as these are operable, they’re also able to save cooling costs in the summer by allowing hot air to rise and escape.

Sandrin Leung Architecture

Inform us : Do you have sufficient natural lighting in your home?

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Bridging the Distance Inside

A bridge is normally considered as something that traverses a river, a street, or another border. In the realm of residential buildings it might carry over a pond, ravine, or another part of the landscape in order to attain the house. But it may also be something indoors. This ideabook presents some bridges that traverse spaces indoors, linking different elements of a house in striking ways.

Browse modern stairways

This bridge with handrails that seem to float in mid-air straddles a tall living space and connects the first and second floors. You ascend the stair at the foreground, cross the bridge, and ascend again in the opposite direction from whence you came.

At bridge level, it is apparent that the glass walkway adds some enthusiasm — or vertigo — to the act of moving up or down a level.

Chris Donatelli Builders

This is another glass-floor bridge, even although the more robust guardrails give a more powerful sense of safety when crossing it. Unique here is how the roof pops up to allow for passage throughout the space. The architects take advantage of this with windows on both sides along with a skylight bringing lots of light into the space.

Chris Donatelli Builders

Another view of the bridge shows how it’s put above casework dividing the living and dining areas. In this regard the glass flooring can help to bring light to those spaces.

This bridge takes advantage of this space under a ridge linking two limbs at an angle to each other. The numerous angles of the bottom of the roof and program give the view a dynamic quality.

Elad Gonen

Equally dynamic is this second-floor box connected by a stair and a bridge.

This bridge sits below a long skylight that brings light to the path and the bigger space. The glass block helps to make the motion along with the bridge throughout the area special.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

This is another bridge capped by a skylight. Notice how the bridge is a metal grating that allows light filter to the space below.

I like the way this little bridge lines up with a couple openings in the distance, giving the impression that it lasts outside.

Equinox Architecture Inc. – Jim Gelfat

In this complex area, two bridges are observable: the one from the middle photo below the skylight serves the top floor and can be put directly over another stair. Both use metal grating to bring light throughout the space. Notice how each bridge has cable guardrail on one side and a strong one on the flip side, the latter with integral lights that highlight the walking surface.

Swatt Architects

This last batch of illustrations are technically mezzanines, rather than bridges, but in being open on one side and acting as corridors they are very bridge-like. And elements like the glass floor which is different than the adjacent floor, create this walkway next to a wall of publications particular.

Ziger/Snead Architects

This walkway overlooks not only the large living room but also an outdoor area (at left) in a level above the patio seen through the opposite glass wall.

House + House Architects

This little walkway leads from the top of the stair to a kitchen at the distance. The windows at left, together with the skylight over the stair, give the sense of a bridge traversing open area.

Contemporary house architects

This bridge overlooks a double-height that serves a pool to the left of this photo. Notice the door in the end of the walkway…

Contemporary house architects

It proceeds as a bridge out! What better place to finish this ideabook?

More: Bridges Home — A Sense of Entrance
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Artful Stairs: Continuity in Steel
Level Changes Define Interior design
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The Outside Comes Inside Under

The New Year might coincide with reduced temperatures and snow for a lot of the world, but in the Southern Hemisphere it’s summer and warmth. Even though this winter is unseasonably mild for much of the USA, it’s still simple to pine for warmer temps and longer days. So let’s take a look at some homes in Australia, especially ones where connections between inside and outside are flexible and open. The next examples demonstrate that homeowners at Australia — be it Sydney, Melbourne, or even someplace in between — really enjoy their outdoor spaces and the dry climate that makes it possible for them to be an expansion of their inside.

Sam Crawford Architects

Architect Sam Crawford has a number of exceptional projects on , the majority of which display a propensity of opening living spaces to the outdoors. The Caristo House’s living/dining space extends to an outdoor dining pavilion via an operable glass wall. The house’s generous roof overhang, matched by the wall extensions, strengthens the space’s expansion to the yard.

Sam Crawford Architects

The Wake Murphie House from Crawford uses an identical sliding glass wall because the Caristo House, but on a smaller scale. With the slender canopy between the operable wall and clerestory, the dining space feels like outdoors.

Sam Crawford Architects

The Sewell House shows Crawford’s predilection for operable walls in the end of dwelling spaces, as well as his use of sloped roofs. In this house the roof actually continues on one side to eventually become wall, giving the house a unique profile that is expressed from the patio.

Sam Crawford Architects

In Crawford’s layout for the Petersham House, coated at a tour, the architect inserted a little courtyard in an existing house. A few rooms overlook the distance, a number of these opening themselves to it more than others via operable windows. The courtyard effectively creates a fresh core — a void — for the house, with just a little bit of character, skies, light, and atmosphere.

Sam Crawford Architects

Another project by Crawford mixes up things a little bit. The opening occurs in a bedroom and also in the room’s corner; however, the roof still slopes to one side. Notice the louvered band between the sliding glass doors and clerestory, a zone which allows for ventilation.

Ian Moore Architects

Architect Ian Moore’s layouts are a lot more nominal than Sam Crawford’s homes, but we still find a solid link between outside and inside. The Cohen House is notable for the distinctive all-natural circumstances: a large tree is almost dwarfed by a stone wall; the house occupies the zone in between.

Ian Moore Architects

A closer look in the Cohen House shows substantial glass walls which swing open to connect inside and out. Louvered jalousies above are utilized to ventilate the big interior space. When we step inside, next…

Ian Moore Architects

… we see the way the stone wall sits under a few feet from more sliding glass walls running the length of this distance. Taking into consideration the presence of the natural feature from outdoors, it seems sensible that the architect made it the attention of the interior living space.

Ian Moore Architects

The Cost Oreilly House from Moore seems completely closed off by the road, a geometric exercise in squares and rectangles left in gray and white.

Ian Moore Architects

Yet, at the back of the Cost Oreilly House, inside and out are linked when double-height glass walls slip to one side. The ease of this white interior is offset by this enormous operable wall which attracts the exterior, and all its messy vitality, in contact with the residents.

Rudolfsson Alliker Associates Architects

The Maroubra House from Rudolfsson Alliker Associates Architects blurs distinctions between inside and out through the use of a steel framework on two sides of the pool.

Rudolfsson Alliker Associates Architects

Looking back towards the preceding view, we can see the way the living space opens to the patio and pool via a sliding glass wall. The overall effect is one where the outdoor space is characterized by the steel framework, even as sunlight and the components input it.

Secret Gardens

This house in Sydney situates a lap pool next to the house. Overlooking the water within an outdoor patio and second-floor balcony, each linked to the interior through sliding glass doors. The opinion to the living space from the pool, and vice versa, is especially wonderful.

Jaime Kleinert Architects

The Baker House from Jaime Kleinert Architects looks just like a conventional bungalow in the front, with its hip roof, shattered windows, and symmetrical elevation.

Jaime Kleinert Architects

At the back of the Baker House this belief falls away. The roof slopes to one side, expansive glass walls open to the patio, and a flat roof caps the living space on the floor.

Jaime Kleinert Architects

A closer look reveals the big operable opening which connects inside and out. Notice the ever-present jalousies to the side which naturally ventilate the interior.

More: Sliding Walls Bring the Outside In
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