IQ Glass are fast becoming the experts in basement glazing due to our expertise in glass, large glazing elements into underground zones and a learnt understanding of building regulation and architecture. To make a basement extension usable, enjoyable and liveable, you need to be clever and creative to get that much-needed natural light into the space.
The first and most straightforward way of getting light down into the internal space of the basement area is by using rooflights. Walk on rooflights are an obvious way to do this as they do not impede floor space on the above floors. Placing these on southern elevations will bring in the maximum amount of light and if your basement extension runs out under your garden walk on glass panels embedded into the floor, decking or patio are great minimal solutions to light ingress below. If the space is available, a sunken courtyard or light well down into the basement space will improve light ingress.
For southern elevations, a solar control coating is usually recommended. In areas where snow fall is frequent or heavy, you may want to consider using IQ Heated Glass on rooflights and glass floors. This specialist technical glazing solution will melt any snow or ice fall on the glass elements keeping them clear and transparent at all times of the year.
Having rooflights translucent or sandblasted is a very straightforward way of ensuring that the glass aspects of a building are not impeaching on the privacy of any occupant, but then will not allow vision through the glass at any time. An alternative option is to use a technical glass solution such as IQ’s Privacy Glass that can change from transparent to translucent with the application of electricity, leaving the choice up to the occupier.
For high thermal performances, IQ would suggest that any external rooflight or walk on glass element be specified as IQ’s Super Insulating Glass. To comply with part L of Building Regulations all windows and doors must have a Uw value of 2.0 W/m2K or less; IQ’s Super Insulating Units carry a standard u-value of 0.7 which will not change if used as a rooflight.
Using transparent items in the entry and exit points to a basement will allow light to seep uninterrupted through the necessary opening into the basement area. Glass Balustrading, open treads, even glass steps all will allow light to filter from above; for a higher end solution glass lift shafts can be used.
If a basement is to be used as a habitable space escape routes need to be planned into the design in the event of a fire. Using Fire Glass around the exit points will ensure that these emergency exit routes are protected and will stop the fire spreading to these must have escape routes.
Further into the basement using floor to ceiling glass partitions to divide the space is a great way of allowing this light transmission to continue. There is no minimum height for basement ceilings under Building Regulations but a practical minimum height of 2400mm is usually adhered to. If privacy is a thinking point between the spaces privacy glass can be used here on this internal element to create controllable vision through the glazing with little change in light transition between the two spaces.
Building basement gyms, pool, steam and sauna areas are very popular. Condensation and glass can be a problem in these high humid environments. By introducing IQ Heated Glass into these glazed elements you eliminate any condensation build up on the glazing leaving the glass clear and all the surrounding finishes minimally detailed.