Interior Design is arguably one of the most important defining factors regarding the quality of internal spaces that a Kenyan interior designer requires to undertake. Human beings relate with internal spaces of a built environment through their senses, and they perceive, smell, hear and touch the space. The human senses define an individual’s perception of the space.
Tips for a Kenyan Interior Designer– The Influence Of Day Light
The power of light is manifested in buildings that have good daylight filtering into its internal spaces. This can be enhanced through the use of artificial lighting that can be manipulated to create specific effects within a habitable room. Day lighting from the sun is pleasant and natural, and with good quality of daylight coming into a space one can achieve a wonderful natural ‘light’ feel within a room.
This can be achieved by allowing in light through the building’s envelope and channeling it to reach the deeper regions of a building. Practically this can be accomplished by having large fenestrations, roof lights and light wells to internal spaces of a building.
Using Large Fenestrations (Windows) to allow light into interiors.
Large windows are the most basic way of allowing natural light into interior spaces. A Kenyan interior designer should be aware of the kind of solar radiation that is incident in a given locale, and based on that information, a building should be planned and oriented wisely. The architect working with the interior designer should strive to achieve a balance between the external façade requirements as well as internal space requirements.
The best way to achieve this in this case is through the orienting the building in a north-south orientation, whereby its largest windows are facing a generally north south orientation. In this case, the wider facades of buildings that are more likely to receive higher solar insolation are placed on this axis. Such facade orientation shall assist the building to allow in natural light from the sun that is relatively pleasant and comfortable, while using the more massive building walls to ward off unwanted sun light that is too hot or too bright.
Sunlight that is incident from the Eastern and western facades will tend to be more intense, and likely to create challenges regarding glare and heat gain. While the early morning eastern sun can be pleasant at certain times of the year, the western sun will more often than not create heat problems in spaces, and requires to be planned for.
The easiest way to resolve this challenge in a passive manner is to simply orient the buildings away from this light and create more massive facades with fewer openings in this orientation. In addition, spaces that do not ordinarily have continuous occupation can be planned in these areas to buffer the more occupied spaces from this unwanted sun heat and glare. Such spaces can include ablution areas, storage areas or even circulation lobbies. In this regard locating these and similar facilities along the eastern and western facades can be a wise planning decision that ultimately will contribute to less cooling energy requirements, and assist in the building’s sustainability.
A Kenyan interior designer need to partner with architects early in design.
In addition, architects should work with interior designers to recommend that developers come up with spaces that are not too deep and far from windows as much as possible. Economic considerations to projects may work against this at times, especially when developers are seeking to maximize on creating lettable area rather than creating comfortable interiors.
However, the best green buildings will often have a ‘slimmer’ floor area, which allows light from openings to penetrate much deeper into the spaces. The value of this is evident as regards the savings realized through reduction of artificially lighting a working environment throughout the lifespan of a building. In addition the more brighter, airy ambience that is so created ensures greater worker productivity and human comfort.
It is vital to ensure that windows that are selected at each glazed opening are sensitive to the elements of light and heat which are an intrinsic part of sunlight. While it is preferable that the windows allow in as much light as possible, it is also vital that the ultraviolet rays that are part of sunlight are cut out. In addition, the level of light requires to be comfortable to users within a space without creating glare problems.
Passive light control would seek to achieve this through using deep overhangs and sun shading elements along the building facade, to cut off sun light at particular incident angles. This can be quite effective in dealing with the midday and early afternoon sun that can be extremely bright and hot. However in tall buildings this may not be as efficient during the early and latter hours of the day whereby the sun is quite low over the horizon. Curtains and blinds are the traditional means of simply cutting off unwanted sunshine at these times.
Technology offers several options that can be interesting to explore. The use of special solar glass that has low emissivity as well as glare reduction properties will assist in both cutting out radiant heat coming into the building from day lighting, as well as controlling the amount of light that is entering the interiors. This can be achieved by employing a system of double-glazing or laminated glass that can deal with the heat and excess light separately. They ensure that the light getting into a space is bright enough, yet without usurping the internal temperatures through unnecessary heat gains.
The influence of natural light must be harnessed by the Kenyan interior designer.
The influence of day-lighting within buildings is immediately apparent if one visits a well lit interior space, vis a vis one with less lighting levels. One cannot underestimate the gains that are made in terms of economical and human comfort benchmarks that characterize spaces that have good natural lighting. Human comfort levels and associated productivity is definitely higher than in workspaces that do not have the same spatial quality. In addition the energy savings realized as a result of lower artificial lighting bills is a major contributor towards achieving sustainable architecture.
The Kenyan interior designer should therefore consider and employ creative options in ensuring that built spaces maximize on day light for optimum human comfort and productivity.