Commercial and Public Buildings: Design Matters

When it comes to larger commercial and public buildings, design matters. Whether it’s office buildings, schools, sports facilities or museums and galleries, people want to spend their time in buildings that look good, and make them feel good. 

Many of the world’s most successful companies are making huge investments in their office buildings and facilities because great workplaces are now a key element in retaining the best talent. Meanwhile, public buildings around the world are being designed to make an architectural statement, with buildings reflecting the vision of architects and clients, aiming to attract visitors not only for what goes on inside them, but for the experience of the building itself.

We, as consumers of buildings, are ever more conscious of indoor climate (the atmosphere in which we live during the 90% of our lives that we spend indoors): the quality of the air we breathe, our exposure to natural vs artificial light, and the way buildings make us feel, all contribute to our overall health and wellbeing.

For many years, large offices and public buildings tended to be dark places relying on artificial light and complex mechanical ventilation systems to circulate air, but new products and technologies are changing the way architects conceive and design such buildings. Large atriums with glass roofs flood buildings with natural daylight, all the way down to the lower floors, while creating exciting shared spaces for people to interact in; roofs that open automatically to provide natural ventilation ensure an abundance of fresh air. All this contributes to making people feel more healthy, awake, lively and productive for work and leisure.

A recent studyhas shown that in buildings with good daylight conditions, workers are 18% more productive, students achieve 5-14% higher test scores, while retail spaces achieve 15-40% higher sales. At the same time, better ventilation was shown to improve workplace productivity by 11%. It is no surprise, then, that more and more building owners, developers and businesses are taking these aspects of building design seriously and opting for solutions that prioritise natural daylight and ventilation.

Since 2010, the VELUX Group has moved into this new business area, offering a unique glass roof solution for larger buildings called VELUX Modular Skylights. During that time, this part of our business has grown exponentially, and we believe this is because VELUX Modular Skylights offers a range of benefits that are unique in the market.

They are:

  1. Stunning design! Designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners, VELUX Modular Skylights have a beautiful low profile which still manages to conceal all mechanicals, meaning the static and ventilation modules all look identical. The design possibilities are endless.
  2. Modular: modular construction means they are easy to design with, easy to install, and easy to replace.
  3. Pre-fabricated: The modules are entirely constructed and pre-tested in our factory in Denmark, ready to be installed on site. This means their performance is guaranteed, making the performance issues often associated with glass roofs a thing of the past. No leaks!
  4. Up to 3 x faster to install: Modular design makes installation incredibly easy – meaning buildings are closed faster, speeding up projects and saving money.
  5. Satisfied customers: In a recent study, 90% of specifiers who have worked with VELUX Modular Skylights said they would use the product again.


higher productivity among workers in buildings with good daylight conditions


higher test scores among students in buildings with good daylight conditions 


higher sales reported in retail spaces with good daylight conditions


higher productivity in workplaces with good ventilation 

Take a look at these video testimonials from architects who have worked with VELUX Modular Skylights

Steffen Vogt of Wulf Architeken
talks about the German Centre for Neuro-Degenerative Disease Research (DZNE) in Bonn, Germany

Alexander Vohl of Wulf Architekten
talks about the Hessenwald School near Frankfurt, Germany

Liu Gang of China Southwest Architecture
talks about the new Qingdao International Airport Building in Qingdao, China

Click here for more information and to see detailed building case studies 

1. 2013, World Green Business Council: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors and Occupants, pg. 67

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