Modern trends in architecture aim to maximise brightness and ventilation in the rooms. Whole research teams exist solely to find new, more efficient solutions. However, the notion of filling the inside of a house with natural daylight is not a modern invention. It was already a popular solution during ancient times, when Romans started using skylights in their buildings. At first, skylights were created in the form of an oculus, but such application was limited due to their susceptibility to weather conditions. As glass production was still in its early stages, it generally wasn’t possible to incorporate glazing as a precaution against the elements. However, the idea of a bright and ventilated house was gaining popularity. Around this time, lantern-like structures started to appear above the skylights in order to guarantee at least a modicum of protection from the external conditions.
The beginning of glazing
As time progressed, glazing started to become a more common feature in the creation of lanterns. But high costs combined with the complexity of the manufacturing process were still restricting its usage. Glass windows were a luxury only a select few could afford, so they were mostly seen in castles and cathedrals. While glass making was getting more sophisticated, the function of skylights started to evolve as well. Although providing light was still their main purpose, they started gaining decorative elements.
Revolution in roof windows
Along with the Industrial Revolution came a big improvement in glass production techniques. Suddenly, glass of a much better quality was available in big quantities. Around this time is when the history of skylights similar to the ones we are accustomed to today begins. Around the end of the 19th century, patents concerning roof windows started to appear in Great Britain. They presented improvements to the window structure in regards to sliding and pivot opening, as well as a higher resistance against weather conditions. Thanks to this, skylights became a lot more practical than ever before.
A booming industry
Over the last century, roof windows have evolved quickly in terms of design and functionality, and many successful production companies have been founded. Today, it’s a well-established, booming industry, which constantly improves itself by incorporating the latest scientific findings into its products. New solutions,such as the electrically operated opening systems or smart glass, which can transform your room in a matter of seconds, guarantee modern and exciting options for everyone planning to convert their loft.