UniQuad Makes a Big Impact for Two New Aquatics Centers

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Light Plays a Big Role at Two New Aquatic Centers in Suburban Vancouver, BC

Surrey, BC is a small but growing suburban community outside of Vancouver that is growing into a more fully equiped modern city. The city leaders tasked Bing Thom Architects and Hughes Condon Marler Architects with designing two new cultural hubs for the city, public aquatic centers, to tie into the city’s love for fun and fitness.

These community indoor swimming pools offer up some design challenges though, with the biggest being height for water slides and high dives and a large open span for the pool.

Grandview Heights Aquatic Center

Guildford-Aquatic-Centre-Grandview-Heights-Aquatic-Centre-01Hughes Condon Marler Architects designed the Grandview Heights Aquatic Center with an Olympic sized swimming pool, diving platforms, a leisure pool with water slide, hot tubs, a sauna, and steam room and a weight room all completely filled with light. HCMA created a roof shaped like an ocean wave that operates like a suspension bridge to keep the building free of support beams allow for the walls to be covered in CPI’s UniQuad product.

This very impressive building features 12,700 sq ft of UniQuad Translucent Walls with heights up to 50 feet. The wall panels are a major focal point of the aquatic center and a majority of the light comes from the translucent walls and they add to the visual drama of the space.

Guildford Aquatic Center

Guildford-Aquatic-Centre-Grandview-Heights-Aquatic-Centre-07Bing Thom Architects went with skylights instead of wall lights to bring natural light into the Guildford Aquatics Center. The aquatic center is an addition to an existing athletic center and BTA designed it to hold a competition lap pool, and a family pool with water slide and the always important lazy river.

The Guildford center uses preformed concrete slabs as the walls, the polar opposite of the translucent panels and glass walls of the Grandview Heights Aquatic Center. So to bring in the light and add visual interest to the shoe box shaped building BTA used long wooden trusses and coupled with skylights. The trusses serve a dual purpose as well, they contain the mechanical and sprinkler systems and are large enough to allow maintenance workers to walk through them. The skylights cast striped light and shadow across the eastern wall with the afternoon sun, creating visual patterns and interest while letting in daylight.

Both Aquatic Center’s use daylight to create impact and visual interest, but rely on different methods to achieve their results. Which do you like better? Which product would you rather use? Let us know in the comments!

Read the full architectual article here:

Making a Splash

Photos by Ema Peters.

LEED and Daylighting

Earn LEED Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum

Today, conserving energy is more important than ever, both to help reduce the environmental impact and to help save the building owner money on operations.

LEED and Daylighting

Daylighting is one of the easiest ways to get LEED points for your project. Most of the points come from the Optimize Energy Performance Credit category. Heating and cooling are a large cost of daily operations and daylighting can play an integral role in optimizing energy performance. With ample and well placed natural lighting, using skylights or wall lights, you can reduce the need for artifical lighting drastically. With the proper type of daylighting, making sure it is well insulated and highly efficient, you can save money on having to heat or cool your building from solar heat gain or heat loss.

LEED Logo ProjectLEED in Daylighting Design

When designing a building, the LEED EQ Credit 8.1 for Daylighting and Views can be determined using software. A CG 3D model of the building is built, input and run through a daylighting simulation to ensure that the building meets LEED version 4 standards. This is currently set to a minimum requirement of 75% of the occupied area falling within the 25-500 foot-candle range during typical working hours.

To achieve the maximum LEED credits the architect must consider the daylighting requirements very early in their process. Skylight Specialists works to aid all architects in this process, we can provide information, experiential suggestions, and even run the daylighting study for the architect.

Translucent Vs. Transparent Daylighting

transparent vs translucent daylighting

When Should You Use Transparent Daylighting and When Should You Use Translucent?

Proper daylighting design requires use of both translucent vs. transparent daylighting. Glass or other transparent glazings provide a view of the outside, making the room feel larger and bringing the outdoors in. However, glass also brings in solar heat and causes glare, making the space uncomfortable and difficult to work in.

Translucent Vs. Transparent Daylighting

Translucent Daylighting Is the Most Cost Effective

Utilizing translucent daylighting is the most efficient and effective way to provide natural daylighting. Translucent panels are far more effective at blocking heat, providing savings in energy usage. Translucent panels also scatter the light, eliminating glare and reducing the amount of both artificial light and amount of daylighting needed, reducing both operating costs and installation costs. Translucent panels are cheaper to manufacture and install than glass, providing the best cost to usage ratio.

CPI Daylighting’s translucent polycarbonate, like their UniQuad or QuadWall products, provide highly diffused light without glare or solar heat gain. Diffuse light is like light on a cloudy day; small shadows, no spotlighting, low heat and easy on the eyes.

Transparent Daylighting Provides a View

Glass on the other hand provides a view. However the tradeoff is that it also delivers glare and solar heat gain. Glass is also expensive, and to get similar U-values, the glass has to be coated, triple pane, and insulated with argon gases, all adding to the costs. The seals will eventually break down, the gases leak out, and performance drops, and either replacements are expensive and difficult, or impossible.

But, there are areas that a view is necessary. No one wants to work in a building without a window or view outside. So the key is to balance the translucent vs. transparent daylighting in the design.

Translucent Vs. Transparent Daylighting Usage

For general use, walls at eye height (6 feet – 8 feet) should have some transparent glazing, allowing for views outside. In almost all other cases translucent daylighting provides the best performance at the best price. It really depends upon the usage: gymnasiums work best with translucent daylighting, and office buildings do well with translucent daylighting, as glare and heat can drop productivity quickly.

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.

Lakewood Mall Retrofit with Quadwall

Los Angeles area mall reduces glare and daily energy expenditure with CPI Daylighting’s Quadwall® panels

Bright spots, dark patches and solar heat gain plagued suburban Los Angeles’ Lakewood Center for decades, causing a rise in the mall’s HVAC costs and energy expenditure. In 2010, the then 60-year-old mall began a 4-phase renovation over the next four years that would replace 42,000  square feet of ageing plexiglass skylight with CPI Daylighting’s Quadwall® panels.

The number one advantage of the Quadwall is that there’s an insulating factor between the outside and the inside, which helps the climate control inside the mall because the right temperature can be maintained using less HVAC, since the renovation, we’ve cut the run time of the AC units by four hours per day!

Scott Cleveland, Operations Manager, Lakewood Center, Lakewood, CA

The skylights were installed 25 years ago when the roof was first put on the once open mall, but had leaked and cracked over time, holding a U-value of .73 when replaced. By contrast, the new CPI Daylighting Quadwall panels have a .22 U-value.

An assembly of two independent translucent insulated panels, the Quadwall system provides indefinite building envelope protection with its Removable Skin Technology (RST) that allows the exterior panel to be removed while still maintaining the integrity of the interior panel. Joined by a mechanically interlocking connection, the dry-glazed Quadwall system eliminates the need for vulnerable adhesives, adding durability, as well as even light distribution with the system’s tight-cell technology. Specified for Lakewood Center in 10 mm ice white matte exterior over 8 mm ice white matte interior, the two panel Quadwall system is an integrated, high-performance daylighting system.

With the Removable Skin Technology, we won’t have the same type of replacement challenges, plus the strength of the panel and the way it’s built makes a big difference too. In the long run, because of zero maintenance and CPI Daylighting’s warranty, costs should be very low on the maintenance side of it.

Scott Cleveland, Operations Manager, Lakewood Center, Lakewood, CA

Scalable, the Quadwall system can be configured with additional insulation, UL-rated Class A or B fire rated roof assembly, sound reduction, dynamic shading, additional structural performance or even military forced entry resistance as well.

Today, visitors to the Lakewood Center enjoy an enhanced shopping experience, as high quality light streams through the new CPI Daylighting Quadwall panels.

I definitely see a difference in the way the interior light looks from the old skylight to the new Quadwall. It’s much brighter without any glare. Now, that’s what we were looking to achieve!

Scott Cleveland, Operations Manager, Lakewood Center, Lakewood, CA