Bungalows, due to their large floor space, have inherent problems with the provision of natural light. With all the rooms on one level a long corridor or hallway is oven provided to gain access to the rooms. This hallway will typically be located centrally with rooms on each side and thus little or no natural light can be provided. Occasionally borrowed light can be provided by using fanlights above internal doors so that natural light in the rooms can provide some light to the hallway. The appearance of these fanlights can look unsightly and the quality of the light provided is often inadequate.
Another solution to this problem is to provide sun tunnels along the hallway, the amount of light provided by these are limited and depends on the sky conditions.
One of our clients had a long hallway in the centre of the bungalow which had no natural light. By using a light coloured hallway decoration and adequate hallway lights the brightness of the hallway was increased as much as possible. But with having to leave bedroom doors open to get natural light or using the electric lights during the day, we were approached to offer a few ideas to help solve the problem. Sun tunnels had already been tried in the hallway but the amount of extra light was still inadequate.
We assessed the roof structure of the bungalow and found that the traditional cut roof structure would be easily changed. Cutting the ceiling joists over such a large area would affect the structural integrity of the roof with the roof triangulation being destroyed. To overcome this problem a large steel beam was added to the ridge line of the roof. This allowed the ceiling to be removed over the hallway.
Six large Velux windows were added, three Velux windows to either side of the roof. We decided to enlarge the upper level of the hall way to provide a false room, this was to reduce the appearance of height, access to this area is through a cloakroom and loft ladders.
Although this upper area is not to be used accept for maintenance and repair a balustrade and handrail was added to the edge of the opening. This gives the appearance of an upper landing.
Natural light is now provided to the whole length of the internal hallway. Since the ceiling is now removed the ceiling lights are now placed at the upper level with recessed light fittings being used.