Volume 35, Number 6, June 2000

ILLUMINATING Possibilities

Skylight Systems Radiate from Coast to Coast

by Ellen Giard

As worldwide popularity of natural light grows, people are discovering that skylights are an illustrious way to bring more light to their surroundings. Whether commercial or residential, more and more skylights are appearing in everything from hotels to shopping malls, offices and homes.


Even in the Rain, San Juan
Hotel Sees the Light

The recently constructed skylight roof of the Radisson Normandie Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was designed to withstand the torrential forces of hurricane wind and rain. Before renovation, the boat-shaped hotel had sustained vast damage due to Hurricane George. Commercial Plastics of Bensalem, Pa., was hired to re-build the 15,000-square-foot ceiling into a one-of-a-kind hurricane-resistant roof. Hotel owner Andres Gomez said Commercial Plastics was hired for the project for its skylight expertise.

Designed with white translucent multi-wall polycarbonate, according to the company, it is the largest structure of its type in the Caribbean. Good weather enabled Commercial Plastics to complete the project ahead of schedule.

Take a Shine to the
Mandalay Bay Resort

wpe5.jpg (5639 bytes)Planning a trip to Las Vegas? You may want to pay a visit to the Mandalay Bay Resort and catch a glimpse of the structure’s newest addition.

Architects lightened up the Vegas resort by taking ad-vantage of the EZ™-BMS program from Naturalite of Terrell, Texas. The program allows architects to design custom shapes. BMS-3000® pyramids, ridges and octagons were installed, as well as a 32-foot polygon skylight and 24- by 34- foot hipped, ridge skylight. A custom skylight with four intersecting quarter vaults and a 16-foot pyramid covers the registration lobby. Naturalite also provided a 20-foot octagon skylight over the hotel’s tram station. Las Vegas contractor, Accuracy Glass & Mirror, installed 13/16-inch VEG-55 blue-green, low-E glass from Viracon in the project.


View a Clearsky™ with
CPI International

CPI International of Lake Forest, Ill., has a skylight system for most any building. The company’s latest line, the Clearsky Fastrak Glass Skylights are designed with CAD/CAM technology, and are available in a variety of pyramid and ridge styles, sizes and shapes. In addition, CPI also offers curb mount and pre-engineered skylight systems.


A Ray to Follow

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TRACO Skytech Systems® of Bloomsburg, Pa., recently added a skylight system to the oval-shaped Bryce Jordan Center located at Penn State University. Thirty custom designed skylights, each a different size and pitch, were added, encircling the entire structure.

Installation was difficult, since most of the skylights were tucked under overhead structures. Much of the installation work was completed with lift equipment from inside the building rather than the usual outside installation.

The building has been hailed as a state-of-the-art structure, and has been said to have enhanced the quality of life in Central Pennsylvania.


 Skywall Translucent Panels Featured in Medical Center

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The Augusta Medical Center in Fisherville, Va., features two translucent panel systems, provided by Skywall Translucent Systems. Both a ridge skylight system and a circular lean-to skylight system top the hospital. The panels are crystal fiberglass on the exterior and white on the interior with an anodized finish on the fra-ming. According to the company, the panels are virtually unbreakable and
offer high-impact strength with thermal insulation efficiency.




Milgard Windows Let the Sun Shine In

wpeB.jpg (14585 bytes)Whether your customers want more heat or less, Milgard Windows of Tacoma, Wash., offers skylight products suitable for both applications. Curb-mounted operable and fixed skylights are available for residential use with a variety of glazing options including Milgard’s SunCoat™ low-E2, high-performance glass as either tinted or reflective. The company says SunCoat helps block warm temperature heat while retaining indoor heat in cold weather. In addition, it also helps protect interiors from UV effects such as furniture or carpet fading.

While low-E glass reduces ultraviolet rays by 54 percent, low-E2 can decrease such rays up to 85 percent.

Milgard skylights are framed in bronze, anodized aluminum and multiple-lite models are available in sizes up to 16-by 16-feet. Single-lite models can be opened manually, by electric wall switch or wireless remote control.


Major Industries Spotlights
a Recent Accomplishment

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A recent accomplishment is no small flicker for Major Industries.The Wausau, Wis., company’s Auburn™ series glass skylight system has recently passed the ASTM requirements test as well as the AAMA/WDMA 1600/I.S. 7-2000 “voluntary specifications for skylights.” Testing procedures included air infiltration, static water penetration, structural loading and simulated field-testing.

The system now has a SKG-HC40 (heavy commercial) rating, and has met the standard’s outlined criteria. According to the company, products which meet the standard will perform well under real-world conditions, while at the same time providing the benefits of natural light.

In addition, Auburn Skylights, a division of Major Industries, manufactures a wide range of glass, acrylic and polycarbonate skylights and has installed more than 6,000 systems across the globe.

Bringing in the Light

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For more than 40 years Metcoe Skylight Specialties Inc. of Gardena, Calif., has proven to architects and designers that uniquely detailed skylights are not beyond grasp. The San Diego Convention Center, phase II, for example, features one of Metcoe’s intricate skylight systems.

The company’s engineering team, in conjunction with the project architect and general contractor, designed the structure with a 3-D CAD System, while in-house designers utilized computer design programs to bring ideas to life. “We standardize details and select from our many extrusion shapes depending on the project and what the architect or designer is looking for,” said Andre Sarai, company president.

In addition to the San Diego Convention Center, Metcoe skylights can also be seen in projects across the country, including sites in Maryland, Ohio and Nevada.


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