Sunrooms and solariums are structures, which are constructed as part of a house to receive the maximum amount of sunlight, enjoy surrounding landscapes, and to be protected from unfavorable weather conditions. Sunrooms and solariums may also be referred to as patio rooms or enclosures, conservatories, or Florida rooms.
Sunrooms and solariums are often built from a combination of brick, glass, wood, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Brick or wood is often used to make the base support for the PVC. Sunrooms and solariums feature large, clear glass panels. Glass panels may also be used for the roofs, but sun-permeable plastic materials are commonly used as well.
Sunroom and solariums are often categorized by the shape of the roof, zoning requirements, and the number and size of the windows used. Common types of sunrooms and solariums include straight sunrooms, curved sunrooms, cathedral style sunrooms, and conservatory rooms.
Straight-style sunrooms and solariums are best used as patio enclosures. This type of sunrooms and solariums often has aluminum interiors and exteriors, while the beams are made of wood. Curved sunrooms and solariums have symmetrical lines that curve upward to form the room of the sunroom or solarium.
Cathedral and conservatory style sunrooms and solariums are also available. Cathedral sunrooms have sloped or vaulted roofs with a central beam. This type of sunrooms and solariums often has aluminum exteriors and interiors, while having insulated roofs. Cathedral sunrooms and solariums can have sliding or French doors with multi-locking features. Conservatory sunrooms and solariums feature glass panels on the roof, which join together at a central beam. This allows light to enter the sunroom at all angles. These sunrooms and solariums are built to be energy-efficient with insulated roofs and thermally broken glass panels. Other types of sunrooms and solariums may also be available.
Important considerations for designing sunrooms and solariums include window placement to allow maximum ventilation and sun exposure, selecting panels while allow for climate control options, and insulation of roofs to keep the room from chilling too much in cold conditions. Architectural design considerations also include materials, wall thickness, total size of the room, thickness of width of glass panels and walls, and wind and live load and resistance.