One of the big advantages of fabric shelters, especially when they are being used as workspaces on large mining, industrial or construction projects, is their capacity to provide a bright, naturally-lit environment – even during the winter months.
Fabric shelters provide plenty of natural light in dull and overcast conditions. The fabric allows in a soft and even spread of light throughout, which means there are no dark corners or shadows inside the shelter. This can save on energy costs, increase productivity, and also provide a healthier and more pleasant internal environment for workers.
Savings on electricity costs
Most Australian companies are well aware of the way in which electricity prices have skyrocketed in the past few years. According to a Parliamentary report, in the ten years from 2003 to 2013, electricity costs for manufacturing businesses alone increased around 60%.
There are various reasons for this. Wholesale costs and the expenses involved in transporting energy contribute about 75%. Other items that are factored in may include recent infrastructure investments and state government renewal energy programs. The final factor is the retail mark-ups that are passed onto consumers.
Any positive move that helps to keep energy costs down has to be good for business, and this is where relocatable fabric-covered shelters really come into their own. Unlike permanent structures, which often have solid roofs, fabric shelters allow enough natural light in during the day to avoid the need for internal artificial lights altogether.
At night, LED downlights or floodlights can be fitted to the shelter for 24-hour operational use. LEDs are more long-lasting, energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly than traditional lights. In addition, the shape of the shelters and the reflective quality of the fabric provides for a softer and more even spread of light during the evening and night-time.
Fabric shelters can also be sited to take advantage of passive heating and cooling. At the same time, the fabric that Allshelter uses is UV-stabilised – which means that the internal environment remains cooler than outside on hot days and there is no need for insulation. Fabric also dampens sound waves, making for better acoustics and sound distribution.
A healthier environment for workers and increased productivity
Natural light is regarded as being better than artificial light from a health perspective. As well as needing light for alertness and productivity during the day, natural light also controls the body’s circadian system or body clock, and is involved in the release of hormones which in turn affect mood, blood pressure and blood glucose regulation. Too much artificial light can, for instance, interfere with the release of melatonin, which may then affect the quality of a worker’s sleep and ability to think clearly.
Natural light is also much brighter and stronger than artificial lights, making it safer and easier for workers to see what they are doing.
Studies show that natural light improves perception, fine colour discrimination and performance of visual tasks, and reduces the rate of task errors. Exposure to natural light has also been shown to be beneficial for reducing depression.
Why consider a fabric shelter?
Allshelter’s fabric shelters allow in considerable natural light, saving on electricity costs and creating a more pleasant and healthy internal environment for people working inside. The health benefits of this may include safety and productivity improvements, and greater wellbeing of workers.
For more information on our products at Allshelter, contact us today. We can discuss your specific project requirements, whether you need a shelter to act as a workshop, or for storage.