The skylight should be located on the roof in such a manner that it is clear of overhanging trees and depending on aspect, is configured to meet lighting requirements of the room. They should also be located clear of obstructions including hips, valleys, air conditioning, vent pipes, solar water service etc.
As skylights do not rely on direct sunlight, but also work well on the ambient light, it is possible to compensate easily for a less than perfect aspect by selecting a larger skylight, flaring the light shaft or varying the glazing material. Selecting a larger sized skylight is generally not overly expensive provided it is from the manufacturer’s standard range.
The facing of tubular skylights north is more important for maximum light as it allows the throat to face the sun directly for optimum efficiency. Although some products are not aspect dependent as their throat is horizontal to allow for year round performance.
Where there are difficulties in achieving optimum orientation, some manufacturer’s products provide assistance to the collection of light from non-optimum orientation by the incorporation in their designs reflective or prismatic elements.
Another issue to consider when selecting the location of the skylight is to ensure the roof space is inspected. Inspection of the roof space before determining of the final location of the skylight and the opening of the ceiling will avoid expensive relocation of the services such as electrical wiring, plumbing or air conditioning.
As with any building work, co-ordination of the work with other trades is a must prior to commencement of any installation work to avoid unnecessary costs.
Acknowledgements: Skylight Industry Association Inc.