Roundtable on Lighting, Daylighting and Skylights

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December 2010
Building a commercial structure out of 8-foot by
40-foot by 9 ½ -foot (3-m) containers is a challenge
because the building must still meet all the same permitting codes that a traditional commercial building
requires. To help make it aesthetically appealing, epic
is working with architects Jasleen Sarai and Preetal
Shah of ShapeSpace. Ron Saikowski, PE, is doing the
engineering work on the building, and the mechanical drawings are by Wally Westbrook Designs. The
construction project managers are David and Truman
Cox of Pinnacle Residential Group. Together with
the artists at epic, the building should appeal to the
creative nature of those who will inhabit and visit it.
All of the team members are located in or around The
Woodlands (Houston), Texas area.
When the organization
finds gently used or excess
building materials they
buy them—usually at
a deep discount.
“I want people to be excited and inspired each
day when they come to this unique new space,”
said Cherubini.
As for other materials to be incorporated into the
building, Cherubini said epic will be using a significant amount of R-panel, perlins, wire rope and steel
beams along with some ornamental iron, but they
have not yet determined who they would be working
with as far as suppliers for these materials.
“As a video production company, we are trying to
work out creative trade agreements with our vendors
who need video, photography, or other interactive
media for their products and services,” said Cherubini. “This has worked out really well for all.”
Occupancy is tentatively planned for Jan. 1,
2011. At the time of press, the land was cleared
and foundation was being laid out. The company
is sharing information on everything it learns from
the project so others looking to build with cargo
containers will benefit from their experience. If you
would like to follow epic’s progress on the Creative Co-Op, check out the blog on their website at
Roundtable: Lighting, Daylighting and Skylights
Roundtable on Lighting,
Daylighting and Skylights
By Brendan O’Neill
MA: What are the current trends in lighting,
skylights and daylighting?
Mike McClain, General Manager, Bay Insulation:
: As many are aware, generating artificial light within
our structures, regardless of end use, represents
the single largest demand for electricity within our
country. LED technology is getting a great deal of
attention recently because it potentially offers a more
efficient method of producing and delivering light with
respect to traditional heat gains associated with the
more conventional light sources. Other advances are
being made within the lighting industry to develop
more efficient products and those that can work with
a well designed daylighting scheme. Regardless, it
still requires electricity to create light no matter how
efficient the device may be, so all the more reason to
have them “on” only when necessary and deliver only
the amount of light that is necessary depending on
time of day and requirements within the building.
Skylights have been around for over a century.
New advances in material selection are making significant performance improvements in particular when
it comes to the all important VLT rating (visible light
transmission) and diffusion (the ability to disperse the
light in a manner that does not create hot spots and
distributes the light in a more natural way).
Riaz Hasan, Accessories Marketing Manager,
Firestone Building Products: We are seeing a lot
of interest in daylighting with lighting control in large
big box retailers (e.g. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc.); large
developers, like Duke and ProLogis; and big warehouses and factories. Small office buildings with drop
ceilings are also getting some attraction.
In the near future, some cities will begin requiring
that buildings with certain floor-to-roof ratios (50-foothigh) should have a minimum 3 percent of the roof
with daylighting. The country of Denmark, for example, already requires certain building have 7 percent
minimum daylighting on the roof.
Many building owners have begun to realize that
although there may be some heating and cooling
loss with daylighting, they may be able to save more
energy by shutting their lights off for 70 percent of
the day. This high level of efficiency is gained through
daylighting when sunlight is transferred into the building with the smart design of daylight and maximum
diffusion and filtered UV.
MA: What does the designer, and then the installer, need to know when choosing and installing these types of products in metal buildings?
McClain: There are several key aspects to consider.
Location, quantity and size of the daylighting lenses,
same for the electrical lighting fixtures as they need
to complement or replace the other depending on
time of day and conditions. Lighting controls need
to be installed and located in manner to optimize
the efficiency of the system. An effective method
of installing the lenses to the roof in a manner that
maintains the integrity of same is critical and can be
accomplished with new approaches that have been
recently developed and proven to perform.
Hasan: Contractors are most concerned about installation ease as well as the safety aspects involved with
cutting holes in the rooftop to install daylighting. From
a safety standpoint, the Firestone daylighting system
includes mounting curbs with a pre-installed fall protection screen built in. Also, installation on 24-gauge
structural metal roofs is easy, because no heavy-duty
saws or special blades are required.
MA: How will current and future adjustments to
codes and regulations impact this market (installation and product specs)? McClain: The future is quite clear with respect to
Building envelope performance. The envelope must
provide more than a barrier form the heat and cold of
the environment. There are laws of diminishing return
that are already surfacing as it relates to performance.
In other words, there is only some much insulation you
can place within the envelope to control heating and
cooling costs. These costs, although significant, pale
in comparison the costs of lighting. In order to build a
sustainable structure, a potential Zero Energy Building,
the envelope—in particular the roof—must be a platform to install and deliver natural light into the structure.
Standing seam roofs are also an ideal platform with respect to installing photovoltaic cells. The metal building
industry and its standing seam roof is ideally suited to
accommodate both Daylighting and energy production.
MA: Do lighting, skylights & daylighting play a
significant role in the green building movement?
Please explain.
McClain: Without question, these elements are
absolutely essential and mission critical with respect
to building sustainable structures. The 2030 Initiative
which is driving the DOE to establish a marketable
method to develop, design and deliver an energy
neutral building concept will not be possible without
incorporating these lighting schemes. The buildings
of the future must be interactive structures that at
Mike McLain,
Riaz Hasan,
General Manager,
Bay Insulation
Marketing Manager,
Firestone Building Products
least theoretically generate as much energy as they
consume. That will simply not be possible without
employing the concept of daylighting.
Hasan: Yes, from a green building standpoint, one of
the main concerns for building owners is the return
on investment (ROI). Fortunately, the ROI on most
daylighting installations is three to four years, which is
significantly less than photovoltaic systems. Daylighting
is the most efficient method of harvesting sun energy
and it offers one of the best investment returns in the
industry. For example, on the average morning in Colorado, there are 9,000-foot candles of light from the sun
on the roof. We only need 50- to 70-foot-candles inside
the building. Going forward, daylighting will play a very
significant role in the green movement.
MA: What do you expect to see in this market
over the next couple years?
McClain: Changes in the design standards and codes
will mandate solutions to the challenges we face
regarding energy consumption and the reduction in
green house gasses. Whether or not the global climate
changes we have been experiencing are man-made or
not, we have the capability—and the responsibility—to
do all we can to protect our environment for ourselves
and future generations. The time is now to get engaged
in the process and make a contribution to the process.
It is within our grasp, it is within our capability.
Hasan: I expect the daylighting market to grow substantially in the next 2-3 years, although it is still too early to
say how much. Key factors contributing to the growing
demand for daylighting include advances in new technology; overall cost savings; the EPACT Rebate of 60 cent/
square feet and other municipality rebates.
MA: What sets your company’s product(s) apart
from your competitors? McClain: Bay Insulation has taken the leadership role
with respect to the development of energy saving
solutions for the metal building industry. This includes
the introduction of daylighting concepts that represent
the most contemporary in design and technology. We
are prepared to discuss a myriad of solutions that can
be tuned to your specific requirements.
Hasan: The SunWave Prism technology (4,000 prism
per square foot) that is available through Firestone Building Products transmits 35 percent more light with 100
percent diffusion than any other daylighting systems on
the market. The unique shape is designed to transmit 20
percent more light at sunrise and sunset; it is like having
a 1,000-watt wireless light bulb with no energy cost.
December 2010