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The Cleaning And The Maintaining Skylight Construction Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Construction
Wordcount: 3859 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Nowadays the government keep on introduce sustainable building or green building. Skylight is one of the components of day lighting and day lighting is one of the components in green building.

The function of Skylight basically is to let the natural light to emit into the building through the glazing of a skylight. There are various types of skylight in the market, but the most used skylights are Ventilating Skylight, fixed skylight, tubular skylight. Some of the skylights are design for aesthetic purpose, and more and more Designer and Architect is designing their building with skylight.

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There are many benefit that get from skylight such as energy- efficiency, it will provide more light into house so the user inside the house can switch on less light or install less artificial light. This will also save more energy consume as compare to the normal lighting install. In addition to the energy- efficiency, skylight also can be part of green contribution to the planet.

The aim of this dissertation is to find out the importance and method of maintaining a skylight shopping mall. And with the objective of ” To investigate whether the lack of maintain of a skylight will affect the occupants inside the shopping mall” and ” To find out the methods used to maintain skylight in shopping mall.”

In the research methodology, this dissertation is going to conduct by using both two method of Primary data collection and secondary data collection. For primary data collection, going to use observation, interview and distribution of questionnaire. For secondary data collection, is going to find by using internet, magazine, and books.

Table of Contents



Skylight is a special type of window which built into the roof of a house or building in order to let the natural daylight come into the house directly. A skylight may be installed for aesthetic purposes, or as part of a general passive-heating strategy. Skylight allows approximately eight times as much light to enter the house as a comparably sized wall window. (Brendan McGuigan, 2003)

At the old days Skylight were leak, due to the limitation of contemporary construction and sealing materials. The glazing of the Skylight was leak and allowed heat to escape, the user felt uncomfortable with the temperature and cause them to heat during the winter, it will cause them a fortunes, and the Skylight n were not the demanded after the few problem occur. (Christopher J V Cooper, 2009)

Today in this modern world, we have the benefit of modern dry double glazing techniques, an advanced sealing compounds and automatic electric mechanisms for opening and closing skylight windows. These improvements, together with the use of sealed double glazed panels ensure that modern skylight can maintain a traditional appearance while offering, structural Integrity and durability together with good insulation properties. The use of durable hardwood timber and high quality micro porous paints and stains ensures that a modern Skylight will last for many years with minimum maintenance. (Christopher J V Cooper, 2009)

Problem Statement and Research Question

Nowadays there are more and more designer or architect will include skylight into their design for shopping mall. Skylight in a shopping mall without proper maintenances, it will affect the occupant inside the building. In this case study, I quoted two questions, there are “Does lack of maintenance or cleaning will affect the occupant in shopping Mall?” And “What are the methods used to maintain a skylight?”

Aim and Objective

In this dissertation, the aim is to find out the importance and method of maintaining a skylight shopping mall. The objectives of this research are to be achieved is listed as below:

To investigate whether the lack of maintain of a skylight will affect the occupants inside the shopping mall.

The objective of this research is to investigate the occupants in shopping mall feels when the management is not performing the maintenance regularly. In the manner of aesthetic view or the disturbance (such as leaking) cause by skylight. Besides that, will the cost for cooling down the temperature will be increased while the skylight leaks the cold air inside the building.

To find out the methods used to maintain skylight in shopping mall.

The objective of this research is to find out the method and procedure used for maintaining skylight in shopping mall including the material for sealing the joining between skylight and the frame. Besides that, for performing maintenance procedure, does it have to do it in time frame and how long usually takes while doing maintenance.

Scope of Study

This study will be conduct in shopping mall at town area of Kuala Lumpur which is located at Jalan Ampang for KLCC and Bukit Bintang for Pavilion. In this dissertation, mainly is to study the method used for maintaining Skylight. Identify the various method and analysis which method is better with the consideration of the time and material consume for doing maintenance and the frequency of maintenance have to conduct for a skylight. Besides that, the lack of maintenances of a skylight will affect occupant will be study also. It studies about the aesthetic view for occupants inside the building and the disturbance cause by skylight such as leaking.


To propose the correct and suitable method to conduct the maintenance of skylight.

Research Methodology

This research is going to use three methods for primary data collection they are Case studies by doing Observation, Interview and Questionnaire.

First method for getting primary data is Case Study through Observation in shopping mall. In this research, the observation is going to conduct in Kuala Lumpur (KL) is because KL have shopping mall that always occupied with lots of occupants. The observation will be conducted in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) which is located at Jalan Ampang Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Pavilion which located at Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The design, type and pattern of skylight will be noted by sketching and will be added with the condition of skylight such as the visible leaking, banding frame, and the cleanliness of skylight.

Second method for getting primary data is Interview, The interview will be conducted with interviewee who is the person in charge of doing the maintenance or the management of the shopping mall and ask them about the common problem occur in skylight and how they managed to solve the problem. Besides that, the management will be interviewed with the question of maintaining the skylight and cleaning the skylight.

Third method is through Questionnaire, the questionnaire will be distribute to the people who can’t entertain the interview and the people who work, or shops in KLCC and Pavilion is because they spend long hours in that building, so they surely will notice the condition of skylight. In the Questionnaire will ask how they solved the problem when leakage occurred for the people in the management. For the people who work there I will ask their opinion about the skylight and have they seen a skylight leaking or other defects while they work and how the management people overcome the problem.

Secondary data collection, the information will be getting from three main sources Interne, News Paper, and Books.

Internet there are a lot’s of website providing information but we our self have to be smart to search for the information. In this research will search for the information related to this research such as, the methods used to maintain skylight, lack of maintenance of skylight will affect the occupants, causes of leakage in skylight and, cost saving of skylight with a proper maintenance in shopping mall.

Library is one of the best place to look for information, regularly check for the News Paper, magazine, journal will be better if there is any update. The article or information search must be under the objective of this research, the research scope will be the same as above.

Book in the library can provide information about skylight, and in this research will look for the book any data which related to skylight, but most of it the title will be Day Lighting, Green Building, and Sustainable building because skylight is a part of day lighting, and it often appear in Green Building and Sustainable building.

Literature Review

Definition of Skylight

Skylight can be consider as a part of Day lighting, Skylight is a special type of window which built into the roof of a house or building in order to let the natural daylight travel into the house or building directly. (Brendan McGuigan, 2003) Skylights are also literally windows in the roof that bring a bit of blue sky into the building or house. In the night time skylight also can display the stars and the moon. (California Energy Commission)

Skylights also provide the interior of a house with the warmth and brightness of natural daylight. They also reduce the number of artificial light. They will brighten up dark corners and let in lots of warmth. Besides that, they can also provide ventilation when it is needed. (California Energy Commission)

Skylight may be installed for aesthetic purposes, some of it maybe for general passive-heating strategy. There are many types of skylight in the industry, with differing designs, materials, and added components. Most of the people end up choosing a skylight that is far too large for their house is because they want more light as possible. Unfortunately, even the best skylights have much poorer insulation than a comparable space of roof, so a large skylight allows large amounts of heat to escape during cold weather, and too much heat to enter the house during warm weather. (Brendan McGuigan, 2003)

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Types of Skylight

There are various types of skylight being use in these days, the most widely used Skylight are Ventilating Skylight, fixed skylight, tubular skylight. Ventilating Skylight is to allow air to pass through into the building normally use in bathrooms and kitchens which helps to relieve excess moisture and keep the flow of air steady. Fixed skylight is a skylight that cannot be opened it is solely to allow the natural daylight to pass into the house. Tubular skylight is a very small skylight, intended mainly for hallways and small rooms where a traditional skylight wouldn’t easily fit. (Brendan McGuigan, 2003)

There are some skylight is for aesthetic purpose. The most common skylight is Flat Skylight, consisting of a square or rectangular piece of flat glass or acrylic that may be fixed or ventilating. Next is Round Skylight, if we view from the roof it is like half-sphere bubble. Next is Polygon Skylight, is a skylight which is looks like polygon that juts out of the roof with a number of glass or acrylic. Besides that, Pyramid Skylight is a simple four-triangle pyramid that juts out of the roof. Finally, Dome skylight is similar to a flat skylight but the glass is rounds up past the surface of the roof. (Brendan McGuigan, 2003)

Furthermore for the residential, there are four type of skylight more often associated with large buildings. First is Hip Ridge Skylight is a long rectangular skylight which peaks up above the roof surface to a central ridge, with a sloping triangular piece of glass on either short end. Next is Ridge skylight is a simpler version, with two long triangles sloping in towards one another, and straight triangles closing off either end. Besides that, Lean-to Skylight is a simple slope which rises from the roof of one story and ends by leaning against an upper wall of the next story. Last, Barrel Vault Skylight is a more complex form of the lean-to, which consists of a half-sphere against an upper wall, often seen in large arboretums. (Brendan McGuigan, 2003)

Common Problem of Skylight

The most common problem of skylight is leak, mostly due to the limitation of contemporary construction and sealing materials. The glazing of the Skylight was leak and allowed heat to escape, the user felt uncomfortable with the temperature and cause them to heat during the winter, it will cause them a fortunes, and the Skylight were not the demanded after the few problem occur. (Christopher J V Cooper, 2009)

Heat loss

A skylight in the roof of a building will lose about 35% to 45% more heat during cold weather than the normal window installed on the side of the building with the same glazing that install in both Skylight and normal window. That is because hot air rises. As the hot air in the building rises toward the ceiling, it comes in contact with the cold surface of the skylight. The same theory but in the other way round the cold air falls, it will form a large draft loop which will decrease comfort of the occupants. If the skylight is more horizontal the effect will be more significant, the more significant. This type of heat loss is caused by convection. Even in dual-paned installed in skylights the warm air between the panes rises upward to meet the large, cold, nearly horizontal glazing. This hot air then falls and replaced by more hot air from below. (California Energy Commission)

Heat loss in building through convection is not as great through windows installed on the side of a building. That is because the direction that heat flows through them is primarily horizontal, not vertical, and because the side windows are not generally placed near the ceiling. Besides that, skylights also lose heat through radiation. As normal windows are often shaded by exterior shutters, trees and shrubs and overhang, but skylights are exposed to the cold night sky. (California Energy Commission)

Heat gain

In hot weather Country, heat gain will become a problem because additional cost for cooling down the building is required. Skylight is more exposed to the sun than normal vertical windows, it can let the heat pass into building as much as four times the amount of heat as a normal window. Unless the user or house owner can manage the heat gain or else the building will be uncomfortable during hot weather and have to switch on air conditioner overtime. Energy experts estimate that a 2-foot by 4-foot of skylight made with a single panel of clear glass will allow heat into a home to make a typical air conditioner use an additional 240 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. (California Energy Commission)

Besides that Brendan McGuigan also stated that, Skylights also have the potential to cause drafts, making the room uncomfortable. During rainy weather it will leak if the seal not good in quality. Although skylight can reduce the amount and cost of energy consume for artificial light inside the building but they can let in extra and unwanted heat that will make the air conditioner work harder during the summer and in the winter they can allow precious heat to escape. (Brendan McGuigan, 2003)

Cleaning problem

After quite some time the glazing panel of skylight will become dirty and most of the people will think is the skylight problem, a malfunction other type damage, or the life span of the skylight is near. Skylights are installed around the roof or on top of the house so it is hard to reach. That is made the skylight cleaning more difficult, it will consume lots of time to clean a skylight than normal window because it needs people to climb up to the roof and clean the skylight. If hired a cleaning service provider it will cost the house owner a fortune. If a skylight without the cleaning it will accumulate dust, sooner or later the skylight will eventually block the sunlight and the main purpose of installing skylight will be defeated. (Jon Nunan, n.d.)

Cleaning and maintaining skylight

The main purpose of skylight is to bring in additional day light from outside of a building into the building. In the same time skylight also can add for the aesthetic purpose, besides that it also can provide a great view from room inside. The occupants inside only can enjoyed if the skylight is clean. (Skyler Carpenter, 2005)

Skylight is installed outside and it will expose to outside weather such as rain, snow, bird droppings, moisture, dust and leaves. The view of a blue sky will be blurring because the dust let the skylight emit less sunlight passing through and that is good time for cleaning. (Skyler Carpenter, 2005)

Skylight is not hard to maintain and clean, and there is no need clean the skylight very often if it in a rainy climate, because the rain will wash away the dirt on the skylight. However, the skylight should be cleaned at lease twice a year to protect, from scratches. And it does also will bring maximum amount of light into the building. (Skyler Carpenter, 2005)

Cleaning from the inside, inside of the skylight does not get as dirty as the outside of skylight. If using a wet cloth to clean away the dust is normally sufficient. Cleaning from the outside will be more effort, First have to go on top of the roof and with a bucket fill with some detergent and water, a sponge, a couple of dry cloths, some car wax for polish, and a garden hose. Second have to rinse the skylight and wipe the dirt off using a detergent-soaked sponge but not knife or scrapper as it may scratch the glazing or acrylic panel. Last is to polish the skylight panel by using the car wax. Wax can cover minor scratches and as well as to protect the glazing from damage caused by outside elements, besides that wax will cause the rain to drain off or slide off easily. (Skyler Carpenter, 2005)

Skylight Glazing

The material of skylights glazing are mostly made of either plastic or glass, depends on the choice and several factors such as weather, location within the home and price. Manufacturers may refer to the types of skylights by their glazing. Plastic glazing is less expensive as compare than glass glazing but yet it’s still fairly durable. Plastic glazing has the disadvantage that are it will scratch, discolour or warp easily, unless the glazing is coated with a special film, these kinds of glazes will let in dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, it will harm the occupant’s skin and furniture. Most of the dome or bubble shaped skylights are plastic. (John Fuller, n.d.)

In other way, the glass glazing is more expensive than plastic, but it’s preferable by most of the people is because it is more durable as compared to plastic, glass glazing doesn’t discolour and it will have better appearance than plastic glazing for a long time period. The glass glazing must be made of safety glazing material, it has to be tempered or laminated. Tempered glass is a glass that has gone through a process of heating and rapid cooling to make the glass much harder than normal glass. If the glass breaks it will shatters into small pebble-like pieces with no sharp edges. Laminated glass is made with a thin layer of plastic sandwiched between two pieces of glass. (John Fuller, n.d.)

Skylight’s Benefits

Skylights are the one of the best solution for adding lighting in the building, besides from providing natural day light, skylights also help in minimizing heating, cooling, and lighting costs. Skylight is mostly used for energy-efficiency purposes, for the residential used, it is more commonly used as simple lighting and the appearance of the overall building as well. Nowadays, skylights had become much popular mostly due to the current research stated that natural light or sunlight not only helps the occupants concentration, but raises the spirits of occupants, increases the productivity, and aids the healing process. (Roof 101, n.d.)

Skylight contribute in Productivity

Skylight provides natural daylight from outside the building into inside of building. It will bright the building during the daytime, the glazing will allow sunlight to enter the building to illuminate for occupants to see. (Consolidated Roofing System) According to scientific experts stated that natural Light can boost energy up to 24%, this is show that increasing in productivity. The National Commission estimates that, businesses lose more than $150 billion a year in America because of employee fatigue due to lack of daylight. Lockheed Martin also claims that after adding skylights to he’s building, the company have increased 15% higher productivity. (Velux, n.d.)

Skylight contribute in House value

Skylight take illumination to another level, it is important because it helps the building owner and real estate agent, because the skylight will makes the home brighter and it will looks much larger than it is, and benefit the people who trying sell house in this tough real estate market, the presence of a few skylights can affect the potential buyer by viewing the space inside the residence. (Consolidated Roofing System, n.d.) Skylight will increase the overall value a houses. House owner or investor can always count on getting back the money that they had invested in installing skylights. Mostly it’s because skylight has become a part of current trend in this modern society. Besides skylights have modern appeal, it also has energy-efficiency and this will add some point to the house value. (Jenny Schweyer, 2008)

Skylight contribution Green and Energy efficiency

Skylight not only provides natural day lighting it also will lower the electricity bill. If skylights are strategically place it will replace the artificial electric lighting in a building during the daytime. Skylights are as part of green, since the occupants are saving electricity they are helping to preserve the environment. Nowadays skylight has become is latest trends in building that is green building, that is building built with maximizing efficiency and preserve that nature or planet. Most of the people cannot afford other green home technology because it too expensive but skylights is affordable as compare to solar panel when consider about the energy savings and cost saving. Besides that it also will reduce our carbon footprint. (Jenny Schweyer, 2008)

Skylight contribute in Health

Skylight let the sunlight to emit into the building, through its glass glazing. The natural sunlight that emitted will provide the occupants inside the building. Natural sunlight will helps to regulate the occupant’s body’s circulation rhythm and have better sleep at night. (Jenny Schweyer, 2008) Besides that, natural sunlight will give us the Vitamin D, but with the skylight, it can partially reflect or filter the UV ray and it will benefit the occupants with natural sunlight from the sun and the occupants without getting burn.


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