Written by Jeremy Latriano - 475's Daylighting Product Consultant
Early in 475’s partnership with Lamilux, there were very few projects utilizing the PR-60 Glass Roof System. In fact, as recently as 2018 there were fewer than 5 PR-60s across North America. One of the best parts of witnessing Lamilux skyrocket in popularity over the last few years has been the number and variety of PR-60 projects we've supplied and supported. Since the beginning of 2019, there has been an explosion in the number of PR-60 projects. In 2020 alone, we saw Lamilux PR-60 Glass Roofs installed on 11 projects across North America (with unit skylights and roof access solutions provided to dozens of additional projects). Among these newly impressive glass roofs, there were several projects in particular that stood out to me as exemplary examples of skylight design and integration. I have listed a few of my favorite projects from 2020 below.
As Lamilux has grown in North America, so has the 475’s Daylighting Department as a whole. It is rewarding now to look back on the history of 475’s partnership and see how much it has transformed over the years. When 475 initially partnered with Lamilux in 2013, the Daylighting was a Department of 1. Given that there were only a handful of small projects being completed each year, and that these projects mostly incorporated some variety of Lamilux’s FE Glass Skylight, there was not as much product support needed. Today, we have couple of exciting personnel developments within the Daylighting Department, with Akshayaa Kariyakkar coming on to serve as a Project Manager and 475 developing the subsidiary Vital Sustainability, LLC to provide installation services. These new team members join Director of Daylighting / CEO Floris Keverling Buisman and I to form the largest and most capable team yet!
With projects growing in both number and size, fresh collaborations blooming, and strengthening relationships; this has been a truly exciting year for Lamilux and we're all looking forward to seeing what’s to come as we continue on our journey.
One of my favorite projects brought to completion earlier last year is this single family residence located in Burnaby, BC, utilizing a PR-60 that spans over the roof ridge. I could tell you about this skylight, but I think Mark Gauvin, the builder/homeowner on this project, covered most of my points well in his glowing testimonial:
“These skylights and particularly the choice of glazing assembly make a considerable improvement in the “environmental comfort” of the rooms below. They are quiet - no noise from wind or rain, and even in a torrential rain/hailstorm we experienced a week ago, very little noise compared to what was going on outside. Initially, seeing the specification of only 43% (Visible) Light Transmission, I was a bit concerned about the level of daylight admitted. That concern was un-founded, as the rooms are well lit, but very noticeable is the quality of light - un-coloured, soft and without any glare or reflection whatsoever. In other words, very easy on the eyes - no sunglasses needed. On hot sunny days, there is no perception of heat coming from the skylights, especially the South and West facing panels. Likewise, no perception of cold during cold nights and mornings. Thermally, they are far more comfortable than typical window/skylight glazing. Overall, I am very happy with my decision to use the Lamilux skylights on my own house, as they truly are a high performance product.”
While we always love to receive feedback, testimonials such as these truly make us feel like our mission to transform the North American construction market is well worth it.
10 Spa Townhouse
Our growth and expansion also means we get to collaborate with some pretty cool architects and builders. This project in particular was an exciting first collaboration between Lamilux, 475, Oliver Freundlich Design and Dowbuilt. Located just a hop, a skip and a jump away from our very own HQ office, this townhouse renovation in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood featured three PR-60s, equipped with various accessories for operation and automation. Each skylight on this project utilized a chain drive actuator for motorized venting of a glass field. These actuators are automated using a wind/rain sensor to ensure durability and performance.
This project also featured an epically large 10’ x 5’-4” glass field over the staircase. The curved edges created by the interior sheetrock frames this giant glass field providing an expansive and impressive view of the open sky!
This project marks a third highlight as perhaps the highest performance project in 2020 to feature a PR-60. Another townhouse retrofit close to our office, this project in Brooklyn Heights by Baxt Ingui Architects and SMR Craftworks, was targeting Enerphit Certification. Baxt Ingui is an award-winning firm focused on Passive House and Sustainable projects, and we’re happy to say, a regular collaborator with 475 having prior experience with Lamilux.
This project actually featured the Passive House Institute Certified PR-60 Passivhaus, which is rated as a phA Advanced Component - the highest level of component performance certified by PHI. This PR-60 is a substantial 17’-9” x 8’-0” and is separated into 5 glass fields. In addition to the PR-60, this project also featured four PHI Certifiied FE Passivhaus skylights and an FE Exit Hatch for roof access, marking a landmark project for the year.
For more on this project, see the site walkthrough featured on Passive House Accelerator in November 2020
Three PR-60s span the roof ridge of this custom home in Nisswa, MN by Mark Suess Design and B-Dirt Construction. These PR-60s were installed in October over a span of two weeks, but it might as well have been the dead of winter with persistent snow and cold throughout the week. Ben Leer of Vital Sustainability braved the cold and managed to set up a beautiful PR-60 and capture some amazing views at the same time.
The largest PR-60 on this project is 27'-8" long and is separated into 14 glass fields that were carefully designed to align with interior timber framing. Despite the inclement conditions, the PR-60s performed to expectations, immediately enhancing the performance of the envelope and the interior comfort of the home.