Brighter, Smarter Spaces: The Versatility of Modular Applications and Tubular Daylighting

The world of construction has witnessed a remarkable evolution in recent years, particularly in the realm of commercial buildings. Traditional construction methods, while still prevalent, are now being challenged by an innovative approach known as commercial modular buildings. These modular structures offer a range of benefits that are revolutionizing the industry. Furthermore, when combined with the technology of tubular daylighting, modular buildings become even more versatile and efficient, creating bright and sustainable spaces that cater to the evolving needs of businesses.

In this blog, we will explore the advantages of commercial modular buildings over conventional construction methods, and shed light on the versatility and synergistic benefits of combining modular building and tubular daylighting to create dynamic environments that enhance productivity, well-being and energy efficiency.

What is Modular Construction?

Modular applications involve the prefabrication of building components or entire modules off-site in controlled factory environments. These modules are then transported and assembled on-site, enabling faster construction timelines and enhanced flexibility in design and functionality.

Five Advantages of Modular Construction Over Conventional Construction Methods:

  1. Saves Time: Speed is one of the main benefits of modular construction. Projects can be delivered 50% faster compared with traditional construction methods because groundwork and foundations are completed on-site while modules or components are manufactured off-site.
  2. Cost-Effective: The speed of modular construction also makes it more cost-effective. By getting into the building quicker, you can enjoy a faster return on investment than you would with traditional construction methods.
  3. More Flexible: Modular construction offers greater flexibility in terms of design modifications and future expansions. The modules can be easily reconfigured or relocated to meet changing needs, making it a flexible solution for evolving businesses or organizations.
  4. Sustainable/Less Waste: Modular construction utilizes efficient construction processes, reduces energy consumption during manufacturing and often incorporates eco-friendly materials. Modular construction also generates significantly less waste compared to conventional construction methods. The controlled manufacturing environment allows for precise material utilization, minimizing excess waste and reducing the environmental impact.
  5. More Reliable/Less Disruptive: Due to the controlled factory setting, modular construction is less susceptible to weather-related delays and other external disruptions. This leads to more reliable project timelines and minimal disruption to surrounding areas or ongoing operations.

The Power of Tubular Daylighting:

The benefits of modular construction are undeniable, revolutionizing the world of commercial buildings with their speed, cost-effectiveness, flexibility and sustainability. These versatile structures have found applications in education, outdoor recreation, clinics, shelters and even military hangars. However, to truly unlock their full potential, the integration of Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) takes modular buildings to a whole new level of brightness, variability and efficiency.

Five Advantages of Tubular Daylighting:

  1. Adaptable and Reconfigurable: One of the best features of a TDD is the flexible tube design which can adapt to the ever-changing building interior needs.Since TDDs are designed to effectively distribute harvested daylighting throughout the building using advanced optical light guides, the rooftop apertures can be easily relocated from the location of where the daylight is actually used in the building’s interior. As a result, a single-ganged flashing system can be used to effectively daylight multiple interior spaces, whether they are on the same floor, or even different floors of the building.The ability to untether the rooftop apertures from needing to be located directly over the space being daylit means that the rooftop apertures can be located where they naturally fit within the building’s structural system and layout, thereby simplifying the structural design complexities associated with traditional skylight-based daylighting solutions.

    Additionally, the TDD’s ability to duct daylight to where it is needed also means that TDDs allow for future interior design layout flexibility. If the building’s interior layout changes, the TDD’s light distribution lens and tubing can easily be re-aligned to new locations. Fixtures can also be swapped out and new Effect Lenses or lighting controls can be added or removed to easily customize the new space.

  2. Smaller Roof Openings: Unlike traditional skylight systems that require large roof openings, Tubular Daylighting Devices are able to provide abundant natural daylight with a much smaller opening. The unique optical characteristics of a TDD’s Capture/Transfer/Deliver components, offers the ability to capture sunlight through a small rooftop lens and deliver it deep within a building’s interior through a reflective-lined tube. This design not only maximizes the amount of natural daylight entering the space but also minimizes the potential for roof leaks, heat loss during colder months and solar heat gain on hotter days. By utilizing smaller roof openings, TDDs effectively preserve the integrity and insulation of the building envelope. This ensures a more energy-efficient and comfortable indoor environment while reducing the risks of air infiltration and water damage. The compact and efficient nature of TDDs makes them a reliable and sustainable solution for introducing natural daylight into modular applications without compromising the building envelope’s performance.
  3. Thermal Performance and Energy Efficiency: TDDs reduce electrical energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions created during electricity generation. Due to the excellent thermal efficiency of a Solatube tubular daylighting system, minimal heat is lost during the winter, reducing the need for heating. On hot days, minimum heat enters the building, reducing the need for cooling. This is because the InfraReduction Technology, which is integrated into the Spectralight Infinity tubing, uses a proprietary process to filter out infrared wavelengths and minimizes solar heat gain. Thermal breaks designed between the flashing and tubing ensure heat is not conducted from the roof to the interior. Thermal insulation panels are also available for most models.
  4. Improved Well-being and Productivity: A study by Dr. Alan Hedge, a workplace design expert and professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University, found that workers in daylight office environments reported a 51% drop in the incidence of eyestrain, a 63% drop in the incidence of headaches and a 56% reduction in drowsiness. Hedge concluded that “As companies increasingly look to empower their employees to work better and be healthier, it is clear that placing them in office spaces with optimal natural daylight should be one of their first considerations.”
  5. Ease of Installation and Maintenance: Similar to modular design, TDDs feature factory-assembled parts for faster, easier and more professional-looking installations. Solatube TDDs feature angle adaptors for tube-run flexibility, twist-on diffusers and extension tubes with notches on top and bottom tubes. The passive daylighting technology does not rely on moving parts, making it virtually maintenance-free. Seals prevent bug and dirt infiltration. In addition, the dome and flashing are designed to eliminate debris build-up. Unlike traditional skylights, which need periodic cleaning and inspection, Solatube TDDs do not require ongoing maintenance.

Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices in Modular Buildings:


Outdoor Recreation

Container Homes

Container Offices

The versatility of modular applications combined with the power of Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices creates brighter smarter spaces in various industries. From education and outdoor recreation to clinics, shelters and military hangars, the integration of tubular daylighting enhances the functionality and sustainability of modular buildings. By embracing natural daylight, these spaces become more inviting, energy-efficient and conducive to productivity and well-being.

Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices contribute to the transformation of modular buildings, ensuring that they are not only versatile and flexible but also brilliantly illuminated with daylight, making a positive impact on the occupants and the environment.

If you want to learn more about using Solatube Tubular Daylighting in your next modular project, you can call 888.SOLATUBE to set up a free consultation or visit to find your local distributor.