In a move that illustrates a continued, strong commitment to lending support to communities near and far during the coronavirus pandemic, Solatube International Inc. has made a donation to a new 104-bed, COVID-19 Isolation Center in Tigoni, Kenya.
“It’s a unique challenge to design a place where no one wants to end up. That’s why when our long-term Kenya distribution partner Steam Plant approached us about the new medical center in Tigoni, we knew our Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices would be a perfect lighting solution for the health-care setting, not only for patients but also for the staff,” says Robert E. Westfall Jr., president of Solatube International.
Research shows that natural light provides physiological and psychological benefits in health-care settings as daylit environments provide the mental and visual stimulation necessary to regulate human circadian rhythms and the production of neural transmitters, such as serotonin. For patients in a hospital, this can help reduce depression, ease pain, improve sleep and has been shown to decrease the length of stay. Additionally, a study done by Cornell University has shown that natural light improves safety levels and staffs’ ability to manage sleepiness, work in a better mood and stay alert. Moreover, by turning off the electric lights and adding TDDs to the design, the medical center will have a significant reduction in energy consumption, HVAC costs and energy costs.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to continue supporting our communities all around the world,” Westfall adds.
Twenty-four Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices, half of which were donated by Solatube in collaboration with its local Kenya distribution partner Steam Plant, will provide evenly distributed natural light with minimal solar-heat gain to the new hospital.
Earlier this year, Solatube went from manufacturing TDDs to manufacturing COVID-19 face shields for front line workers. Over thousands of face shields were produced and donated to hospitals from New York to California, as well as to fire departments and police agencies.
Cost-effective, energy-efficient and eco-friendly, a Solatube TDD harvests daylight at the rooftop, transfers it down a highly reflective tube and distributes it evenly into an interior space through a diffuser at the ceiling—on sunny and cloudy days—with virtually no commissioning or maintenance.