Studies continue to show the positive impact of natural light for people who spend much of their time indoors. From improved productivity of office workers to faster recovery times for hospital patients, access to daylight is being directly connected with human wellbeing. However, in a time when energy efficiency is at the forefront of architectural designs, the two goals can seem at odds. A commercial retractable awning offers a dynamic solution for reducing energy usage while maximizing natural light.
Understanding the Relationship Between Natural Light & Wellbeing
A study conducted at Cornell University found that optimal light can result in an 84% drop in eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision and a 10% decrease in drowsiness. A related study at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that office employees who experience a robust dose of daylight in the mornings experience better sleep and lower levels of depression and stress than their counterparts who have limited access to circadian-effective light.
Similarly, in a compilation of global research entitled Daylight Benefits in Healthcare Buildings, the BRE group concluded that access to natural sunlight plays an integral role in the patients’ experience from the perspectives of healing, mental wellbeing, and long-term prevention of certain health conditions.
Regardless of whether your property falls into either category (an office building or medical facility), these benefits have far-reaching implications for shops, restaurants, or other types of businesses.
Balancing Natural Light Exposure with Energy Efficiency Goals
As energy efficiency continues to grow as a centerpiece of functional building designs, many are finding it challenging to balance the desire to block the heat-inducing qualities of sunlight with the health-promoting benefits. To minimize the energy required to battle solar heat gain (aka the UV rays that cause your building to heat up as the day progresses), many businesses have opted for solutions that block sunlight all together, such as blinds and window treatments. But this does little for business owners who also value the benefits of natural light.
Incorporating a commercial retractable awning has become one of the most cost-efficient options for providing the best of both worlds. With a commercial retractable awning, property owners are able to retract the awning into its cassette or enclosure during the majority of the day while extending it only when it’s needed. This gives your employees and customers a healthy dose of natural light, while also reducing your energy costs.
Looking for the right solution for your business? Check out our post: Choosing the Right Retractable Fabric Structure for Your Commercial Property.
Is a Commercial Retractable Awning Right for Your Business?
At Retractable Structures (a division of Eide Industries, Inc.), we specialize in designing, manufacturing, and engineering commercial retractable structures and awnings. With almost 80 years of extensive design, construction, metal fabrication, industrial sewing, and installation experience, we are proud to offer the highest quality custom and pre-engineered products possible, made right here in the U.S.