Daylighting Dilemma

How to design a daylighting project without the worry of too much or too little light

The daylighting dilemma is how do you design a large enough skylight to bring in adequate light during the winter months without bringing in too much light and heat during the summer months? The answer is simple, design a daylighting system that is controllable. In the past controlling daylight required a separate shading device, either passive or active.  Passive overhangs works well on vertical applications and clerestories can work for getting light back into the interior spaces, but they have their disadvantages, too. Active shading devices are expensive and hard to maintain and eventually quit working properly. I have even seen an exterior baffle system on a military base where the architect used electric motors to open and close the air-foil type baffles. Only problem was they didn’t plan for the snow and ice and all the motors burned out the first time they received a heavy snow.

All of this sound familiar? Ready for the best solution I have found in over thirty years of being in the daylighting business? Great, because I was skeptical at first until I actually put my hands on the product, saw the testing data and then saw an application installed on a defense contractor building. The results were amazing. The control was amazing and scalable. The ability to monitor and control the daylight was futuristic, but here it is working the way it was designed, and well-designed I might add.

SolaQuad Glazing Panels. Check out the link below for drawings and technical data and additional links. Not a believer? Check it out more thoroughly and you will be.

Daylighting Helps Healing

Evidence-based design teams determine that light and color effect healing.

Evidence based design has determined from studies that color and light do shorten healing time. Natural light aids healing including reducing pain medications needed by 22%. Check out the video link below for more information.

Retrofit Skylights

Many fiberglass skylights are failing and need replaced

Many architects, contractors, insurance adjusters, engineers, forensics specialists and building maintenance people are discovering the deterioration of fiberglass skylights. Fiberglass is protected from the suns damaging UV rays by a gel coat. Unfortunately, the gel coat only lasts 10-15 years and then the fiberglass begins to fall apart, allowing water and debris penetration. Many times the water inside the system causes mold growth an/or causes a very rotten-smelling skylight.

The good news is there is a superior product on the market that can “skin” the skylight, utilizing the existing structural components, which keeps the cost down. Polycarbonate products on the market push a single layer, but a dual layer is much better for many reasons including UV protection, U values, and storm protection.

Check out the CPI Daylighting link below for more detailed information.