in large, low-rise commercial buildings have been
custom designed and site built, an expensive and labor-intensive
process. This design brief explores the benefits of a better
alternative: splayed modular skylight wells specifically designed
for use with suspended ceilings. These prefabricated systems, which
consist of a twopart light well with a throat and a splay, are a
relatively new design concept. Although they are not yet
commercially available, there is considerable market interest in
these systems thanks to their potential to provide superior
lighting quality, increase energy efficiency, improve occupant
comfort, and lower installation costs. This design brief provides
four conceptual examples of prefabricated skylight well systems.
Each of these proposed designs integrates suspended ceilings and
traditional skylight systems to introduce daylight into commercial
spaces with finished ceilings. As a new concept, splayed modular
skylight wells can solve many issues faced by designers who wish to
provide daylight in large, low-rise buildings. The following key
issues need to be addressed when designing with these
Design to achieve the best light quality for optimal energy
savings while working with conventional building systems,
construction processes, and standards.
With each skylight well component, satisfy minimum performance
goals for illumination, energy use, fire safety, structural
integrity, and assembly sequence.
Treat skylighting design as an iterative process. Refine the
skylighting design as other building systems are designed. The
skylighting design can start with simple assumptions and be
fine-tuned along the way using sophisticated design tools.