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Originally made popular in the 17th Century, an orangery remains an aspirational home extension. Orangeries create a space with the lightness and openness of a conservatory but by incorporating brickwork that matches the existing house they have a much more robust construction that better integrates them with the rest of the property. Yet orangeries require a special kind of roof to achieve this unique look and feel: Scott Couldrey, Managing Director, discusses this in more detail.

Evolving applications

From the 17th to the 19th Century, orangeries were a fashionable way of growing trees and plants from warmer climates. With their vast glass roofs, they made a grand statement that illustrated wealth. Now, their function has changed with orangeries being a fantastic way to extend a building and enjoy both more space and light in a living space.

We’re all aware of the importance of natural light: it lifts and gives the feeling of more space while also helping to improve the mood, concentration and wellbeing of those using that area. Rooflights and skylights allow up to three times more natural light into a room than the same sized vertical window, making orangeries the perfect solution for a well-lit extension.

Fitting options

An orangery has a unique roof structure that differs from a conservatory. It consists of a flat roof element with a roof lantern placed in the centre. A roof lantern is the most effective rooflight shape for letting in maximum light but there are some options to consider before selecting a unit. The first choice is whether a factory-built or self-assembly system is best.

For fast and easy installation, pre-assembled roof lantern constructions can be delivered in one piece with the glazing elements pre-installed to fit directly on top of an orangery structure. However, should access be restricted, the roof lantern can be supplied in kit form so that it can be easily moved into position in its component form. All roof lanterns are supplied with drawings and installation instructions to ensure that the installation process is as smooth and pain-free as possible.

Energy saving benefits

The additional sunlight from a roof lantern means that less artificial lighting is required, helping to make electricity savings to cut bills and reduce a home’s carbon footprint. Double glazing with an argon filled cavity improves heat retention by as much as 30 percent comes as standard but there’s also the option of having a roof lantern triple glazed to improve insulation and provide energy saving benefits.

Solar controlled glass

The sun’s rays can also help in heating the room. There is the option of fitting solar controlled glass that allows certain amounts of useful heat from the sun into the room to heat it, but moderates solar gain, i.e. the increase in temperature due to the sun’s radiation, by reflecting and absorbing the heat during hot summer days. A range of different solar control glass options are available and rated on their solar heat transmittance levels.

Selecting the view

The support structure of a roof lantern is very important for its look and feel. They supply roof lanterns with minimal support infrastructure, using sleek and stylish aluminium rafter sections that are slimline and thermally broken to allow vast amounts of light to enter and great views. Meanwhile, the latest silicone glazing techniques mean that it’s also now possible to fit a rooflight without any internal framework at all. These roof lanterns provide unrestricted views of the world so the outside can be enjoyed inside while letting in huge amounts of natural light to the internal space.

Rooflights & Skylights is the online store for The National Domelight Company: specialist suppliers of domelights, rooflights, skylights and smoke vents.

A family-run business, we’ve been helping customers improve their living space with natural light for over 35 years, and our UK-based sales team has more than 100 years of rooflight & skylight knowledge between them. With this knowledge and experience, you can be sure that we will offer the best advice and guidance to help you choose the right daylight solution.

Widest choice: As the UK’s leading supplier of rooflights & skylights, we’re able to supply any size, shape or material of unit, with any combination of upstands and accessories you may require – and all at the best trade prices!

No more waiting: We deliver a first-class service and our large warehouse and stocks mean that you won’t have to wait long for your order to arrive. We can deliver most stock units direct to home/site within 72 hours. Our FREE nationwide delivery service means your rooflight will be safely delivered at your convenience – just where and when you need it.

Best quality: Guaranteed industry leading quality and service in everything we do – and still at competitive prices.

Dedicated support:. Useful resources such as CAD drawings and datasheets are available upon request. Please don’t hesitate to call our Technical Support Team on 01276 450620 for practical advice and support, no matter what you need.