Modular Block Skylight

Modular Block Skylight

Daylight in buildings - Region 5: Africa


Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology


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Uganda is among the countries that are crossed by the equator. It hence faces the equinox twice a year and despite having a mainly comfortable climate faces a very high UV-index.This causes a challenge in the use of skylights as the sunlight causes heat gain within the structure and disrupting the thermal comfort.The psychrometric chart displays the relationship between the thermal comfort and climate mitigation strategies which due to the location is influence by solar heat radiation and high UV-index.This calls for skylight designs that use diffused sunlight rather the direct sunshine. Direct sunshine due to its intensity in regions along the equator is visually uncomfortable.The focus of this modular block skylight was on ways to allow diffused natural light into the interior space with a minimal amount of direct sunshine.The design incorporates the concepts of reflecting incident sunshine on to an opaque surface to produce soft diffused natural light.The incident rays are first refracted into the block through the transparent UV-glass. This glass layer doubles as UV-filter and a weather seal.Depending on the orientation of the block relative to the incident sunshine, the light will be reflected by the mirrored surface on to the opposite surface to produce diffused light or it will be partially directed into the interior space.The modular design with easily available raw materials means that it can be manufactured in developing countries. It can also be installed in existing buildings specially in public places. A case example of Kololo Jamia Mosque, located in Kampala- Uganda, has been used to visualize the application of the prototype.