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

UniQuad Makes a Big Impact for Two New Aquatics Centers

Guildford-Aquatic-Centre-Grandview-Heights-Aquatic-Centre-03

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.

New Translucent Polycarbonate Glazing System – UniQuad®

A new way to install Polycarbonate panels that provides the ability to easily remove a particular panel anywhere within the system

At first glance you might think that this new product is just a marketing gimmick. However, this product really is revolutionary. I love when a manufacturer makes a good product, but I even love it more when a manufacturer tries to improve what they have already designed and sold successfully. The bullet points listed below are important but one of the keys to the success of this “new” product is the time savings on installation and the ability to have a seamless system that you can still remove an exterior panel, if need be. Click the link below for more detailed information and/or contact us for a quote or someone to talk to, to help with your project.

The power of two independent translucent glazing panels in one UNITIZED assembly

    • Unitized Long Span Panels
    • Minimizes Structure Support Requirements
    • Factory Glazed and Assembled Panel
    • Reduced Installation Costs
    • Removable Exterior Panel
    • Highly insulated Glazing Assembly
    • High Performance Daylighting Panel
    • Rain Screen Principle