Daylighting Always A Compromise

Daylighting is always a compromise. How much light do you need vs. how much solar heat gain can you accept.

When considering a daylighting system there are three main performance measures.

  1. Light Transmission
  2. U Factor
  3. SHGC

The more light transmission you require will result in more solar heat gain. Reducing light transmission to reduce solar heat gain is not always the best trade off. A daylighting model may be necessary to determine the appropriate light level.

CPI LogoIn our research and experience, the best product for currently on the market is UniQuad by CPI Daylighting. UniQuad has the best light transmission percentage to solar heat gain in the industry. Coupled with Skylight Specialists Inc, they can also provide assistance with daylight modeling and studies.

UniQuad vs. Non-Removable Skin Systems

Not all daylighting is created equal! Glass, fiberglass and other non-removable building envelopes can’t compete with the UniQuad system.

Daylighting Technology Visible Light Transmission NFRC-100 Center of Glass U-Value
Glass (Clear/Dbl Glazed, 90% Argon Filled) 79% 0.48
FRP (Crystal/Crystal w/batt insulation) 30% 0.29
UniQuad (Clear Matte/Clear Matte, Air Filled) 50% 0.23

The UniQuad system is the best of both worlds – it will give you up to 50% LT with a U-Value of 0.2

Commercial Flat Roof Daylighting Solution

The Velux Commercial Sun Tunnel for a Commercial Flat Roof

Getting cost-effective daylighting into a commercial building can be a challenge, especially when most have a commercial flat roof. Velux Commercial Sun Tunnels are a great potential solution.

Why Velux Sun Tunnels?

The Velux SunCurve diffuser is designed to capture light at all times of the day and reflect it down the shaft, giving you ample daylight dawn dusk.

Velux Sun Tunnels have a variety of parts and accessories to work with whatever needs your location might need; from forced entry protection, A, B, or C fire classifications, to a daylight controller for room darkening.

Sun Tunnel Parts and Accessories.

Velux also provides the best warranty, giving you peace of mind.

Ideal Applications

Velux Commercial Sun Tunnels were created for commercial flat roof applications, no matter the material. They work best over areas that can benefit from natural daylight, and help reduce energy loads and improve the comfort and performance of employees, guests, or customers.

Open Ceiling Sun TunnelSchools, retail spaces, warehouses and office locations benefit the most from Velux Commercial Sun Tunnels. They provide a very cost-effective way to bring in daylight through the roof. Even greater cost savings can be attained with open ceiling applications.

Removable Skin Technology Utilized at Seattle Public Utility South Transfer Station

Seattle’s Public Utility’s South Transfer Station Earns Gold LEED with Removable Skin Technology

Seattle Public Utility used CPI Daylighthing’s Quadwall® sky and wall light to earn Gold LEED status on their new 33,000 square foot South Transfer Station. The Quadwall offers 40% light transmission without any additional artificial lighting on an average Seattle day. And because SPU processes up to 700,000 tons of trash annually, every detail counts.

We were very concerned about hot spots and glare temporarily blinding equipment operators with light and we haven’t seen any of that [with the Quadwall]. The natural light has been a big help and improved color recognition. We have a lot of heavy equipment and customers moving around and it’s better everyone.

Facilities Program Manager Jeff Neuner, SPU

Quadwall is a system of two independent translucent insulated panels, resulting in one integrated, high-performance daylighting system. Quadwall is the only system that can provide indefinite building envelope protection with its advanced RST — Removable Skin Technology.

What Is Removable Skin Technology?

This product has the ability to remove the outer skin without disturbing the inner portions of the building. For instance, a bad storm hits and debris damages some of the panels. To repair the building, you only need to remove and replace the damaged exterior panels. The interior panels are left in place and maintains the safety of the people and operations inside the building.

Being able to include a lot of daylight in the facility means that we’re not relying on the electric lighting.

Sian Roberts, The Miller/Hull Partnership

Quadwall can also be configured with additional insulation, FM-Rated Class A/B fire-rated roof assembly, sound reduction, dynamic shading, additional structural performance or even military forced entry resistance. Joined mechanically, Quadwall does not use vulnerable adhesives, for long term durability and performance. Quadwall’s nanocell technology creates even light distribution and removes glare.

This is a huge upgrade for Seattle Public Utilities to have even distribution and good quality of light to operate in. Per code, the South Transfer Station was required to meet FM-rated Class B roof construction. With a proprietary insert, the scalable Quadwall was the only solution.

CPI had the right balance – what we needed for the Class B roof and the level of quality we were looking for with the price we could afford.

Sian Roberts, The Miller/Hull Partnership

The mechanically interlocking connection was a bonus for South Transfer, helping to seamlessly integrate the sky and wall lights with the building’s exterior metal paneling.

Otterbox Gets New Warehouse Skylights

Otterbox’s new home brings natural daylight into the workplace

Otterbox’s new home brings natural daylight into the workplaceSkylight Specialists was contacted by General Contractor Brinkman Construction. They wanted to bring in Daylighting into a 36,000 sqft warehouse. Their goal was to achieve savings to the lighting costs of such a large indoor space. The placement of the 4’ x 8’ translucent skylights bring in a tremendous amount of light. The dramatic scene shown above illustrates the need for very little electrical illumination.

Bringing natural daylighting into the workplace or schools for that matter achieve better attendance, higher productivity and even health into the structure. Daylighting studies have shown that when you bring in the blue spectrum of natural daylight you make your workers and your students better and healthier people.

Saving Energy With a Good Daylighting System

Properly designed daylighting systems save energy and costs

Artificial lighting requires large amounts of energy and can represent as much as 50% of the electricity consumption of a building. Artificial lighting also generates a large amount of heat. When a good daylighting system is considered in the design phase the HVAC system can be reduced in size and operational cost will be lower.

Replacing artificial lighting systems with an effective daylighting system can reduce a building’s energy costs by as much as 30% to 70%. It is essential that lighting controls be utilized in a good daylighting system.  If the artificial lights are not turned off when the appropriate light levels are met the daylighting system is probably not saving any money on energy.

There are skylight manufacturers that tie the available daylighting into the lighting controls to always insure correct amounts of light and at the same time manage costs to avoid waste.