Energy Saved...  
By the Bell  
Massive New Jersey Renovation  
Includes Photovoltaic Glass Skylight  
by Nick St. Denis  
uilding Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is a rel-  
Bell Works is a landmark-protected building,  
atively recent phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean so all renovations must respect its original design.  
it applies solely to recently constructed buildings.  
Case in point: the Bell Works project in New  
This applied to the skylight, which underwent pre-  
liminary evaluations before the owner settled on  
Onyx as a supplier.  
A landmark building in  
New Jersey is undergo-  
ing a major retrofit that  
includes implementing  
The former Bell Labs building—which previous-  
ly hosted 44 years’ worth of research and develop-  
ment—was taken over by Somerset Development  
New Jersey and is undergoing a more than $100  
million adaptive reuse redevelopment.  
During the initial testing, a full-size mock-up  
consisting of 64 lites of glass was installed at the  
atrium to ensure it would work with the existing  
framing system—while at the same time offering  
the aesthetics and transparency desired.  
,200 photovoltaic glass  
panels into its existing  
0,000-square-foot skylight  
Both 10-percent and 20-percent visual light  
transmittance (VLT) glasses were installed in the  
More than a Skylight  
framing. The above photo  
shows the newly installed  
glazing. The top-right  
image shows the building  
prior to being purchased  
by its new owner, and the  
middle-right photo shows  
the interior atrium just  
prior to the new PV  
Designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen, mock-up, and the building owner opted to move  
the 2-million-square-foot building was originally  
built in the early 1960s and renovated in 1982. It  
features a 60,000-square-foot skylight, which will  
now do a whole lot more than bring natural day-  
light into the building.  
forward with the 20-percent option.  
Glass Used  
The overall project consists of 3,200 panels of  
amorphous silicon photovoltaic glass by Onyx.  
Structural engineer LaufsED surveyed the exist-  
ing skylight and determined a total of 24 different  
types of photovoltaic glass would be required to  
cover all the different existing glass schemes.  
The ongoing large-scale retrofit includes the  
integration of electricity-generating photovoltaic  
glass from Onyx Solar into the building’s existing  
glazed atrium.  
skylight installation.  
Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal  
The most common of the 24 types of lites used  
measures 76 by 33 inches with a peak power of  
the installed glass will maximize at 175-kilowatt  
peak capacity, according to Onyx.  
Roofing contractor Elite is installing the  
product for general contractor Structure Tone.  
The Electrical contractor, Abender Corp., is also  
6-watt peak capacity per unit. Once completed,  
Also in  
Just north across the New  
York-New Jersey metropoli-  
tan area bays, another photo-  
voltaic glass project is under  
Progress Report  
Solaria Corp. recent-  
ly supplied 2,300 of its  
PowerXT and customized  
PowerView solar modules to buildings on Cornell Tech’s new campus on  
Roosevelt Island in New York City.  
The campus’ Bloomberg Center, designed by mOrphosis Architects,  
and Bridge building, designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Urbanism/  
Landscape, combine for 47,000 square feet of Solaria photovoltaic panels, the  
equivalent of a 900-kilowat system.  
As of August, the most prominent area of the  
skylight—the center—was completed, and the work  
was being completed on the East and West sections.  
According to Onyx, a logistics plan was put in  
place allowing for partial deliveries of the glass in  
order to reduce storage needs. All of the photovol-  
taic glass will be delivered within a 17-week span.  
Nick St. Denis is the editor of Architects’  
Guide to Glass & Metal. He can be reached at  
The Bloomberg Center plans to achieve net-zero energy through multi-  
ple strategies, including an energy-efficient facade and building integrated  
photovoltaics. AGG  
Fall 2017  

Architects\' Guide to Glass & Metal
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