Fiberglass Skylights

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Pros & Cons of Fiberglass Skylights

Fiberglass skylights are made with FRP, or fiber-reinforced polymers. All fiberglass constructed skylights require maintenance. Cleaning the skylights periodically is helpful in removing pollution and light-blocking dirt from the exterior surface.

Fiberglass skylights have an exterior gelcoat that helps reduce damage from UV rays, but this wears away over time. It depends upon the manufacturer and even when it was manufactured to determine how often the fiberglass gelcoat needs replaced or re-coated. This is critical to fiberglass skylight care, as it prevents fiberbloom, which leads to water infiltration, discoloration, bacterial infection and unpleasant odors.

Do you already have fiberbloom? Read more here.

Fiberglass skylights are commonly used on commercial buildings because they are much more cost-effective than glass. They also provide diffused light, which reduces heat gain, glare and other discomforts usually caused by glass glazing.

Polycarbonate is another option to consider. Like fiberglass, it is much more cost-effective than glass glazing, and provides improved energy efficiency over both glass and fiberglass glazing. It also has reduced maintenance costs, and doesn’t need UV gel coats.

We offer free consultations to help you choose the best product for your building or project. Contact us so we can help solve your daylighting or glazing issues today!

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

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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.

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.

Richmond Olympic Oval Is Awarded with IAKS/IOC All Time Award

New Oval Feature

The Richmond Olympic Oval Is Only North American Sports Facility Awarded with IAKS/IOC All Time Award

The Richmond Olympic Oval, the signature venue from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games – and a venue that has 63,000 sq. ft. of CPI’s Quadwall® – has received the All Time Award from the International Association of Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – an award reserved for landmark sports facilities from the past half-century.

Olympic Oval

I don’t think this is anything close to an (overstatement) – this building has no equal anywhere in the world. No building in Olympic history looks anything like this and will do anything like this.
John Furlong, CEO – VANOC

The All Time Award is only awarded once every 50 years, in conjunction with IAKS 50th anniversary, and will not be awarded again until 2065. The Richmond Oval is the only award winner in North America, and is only one of ten to win.

Olympic-Oval-Gym

We have always been remarkably proud of the visionary work that helped make the Richmond Olympic Oval a stand out facility during the 2010 Games, a cultural treasure for the community and region in the years since, and now with this award from IAKS, one of the best sports facilities of our time.
CannonDesign Principal Ken Wiseman

The Richmond Olympic Oval is the first speed skating facility ever designed with long term use in mind. Built within a new urban revitalization project in Richmond, BC, it continues to enrich and support the community as a sports community center and international sports venue.

Olympic-Oval-Skate

Speed skating venues face significant hurdles after olympic games, their size, specific use, and cost of operations make maintaining them long term problematic.

The Richmond Oval was designed for multi-sport use and convertibility. The main space allows for both ice sports to operate with other sports or community uses simultaneously, and it can always be reverted to a speed skating oval at any time. To keep operating costs down, the building was designed for and achieved LEED Silver status, aided by the inclusion of CPI Quadwall to provide both daylighting and insulation.

Read further on the architect’s, Cannon Design, website here:

Richmond Olympic Oval

Richmond Olympic Oval Recognized