Glass Curb-Mount Sun Tunnel Skylight for Wildland-Urban Interface Zones

Designed to meet growing Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) zone code requirements across the United States, VELUX introduces TZR and TZRL Wildfire Glass Curb-Mount Sun Tunnel Skylights. The new Sun Tunnels feature flame-resistant construction with ignition-resistant tempered diamond wire glass as the standard pane, which meets WUI and Class A Burn Brand requirements.

 About 44 million homes, or a third of all houses in the country, are located in WUI zones, where residential development is close to or immersed in undeveloped wildlands, increasing the need for fire-resilient construction. Wildland fires can jump roads, rivers and even subdivisions when burning debris or embers become airborne and eventually land on, among other things, roofs.

“The ignition-resistant wire glass on the new Sun Tunnel is designed to prevent the glass from dropping to the floor and igniting a fire inside the home,” said Ross Vandermark, director of national product management for VELUX North America. “It is a prime option for homes in WUI zones as flame-resistant construction can help preserve property.”

The new Sun Tunnels combine a 14-inch VELUX Fixed Curb-Mounted Skylight with an adapter that connects to a standard 14-inch reflective aluminum tunnel. There are two options available. TZR 014 is designed for tile roofs and does not include a flashing kit. (Installers wishing to use VELUX flashing can purchase an ECW high-profile tile flashing kit separately.)

TZRL 014 is designed for shingle roofs and comes with a shingle roof flashing kit and adhesive underlayment in the box. 

If installed with VELUX flashing, the TZR and TZRL qualify for the 10-year No Leak warranty on product and installation. Both models include 64 inches of tunnel material, two 12-inch 45-degree elbows, one 24-inch extension and a 16-inch top collar (adapter) and are now available for purchase. For more information, visit www.veluxusa.com.

VELUX Skylights AR App Allows Homeowners to Digitally Add Skylights

VELUX has launched a new Skylight AR app, which enables homeowners to digitally add skylights to any room in their home. Using augmented reality technology, the app makes it easy for homeowners to view different skylight configurations, see day and night sky views, test out blinds and open the skylights.

“Natural light completely transforms spaces, frequently serving as the last design step that completes a room,” said Chan Hoyle, director of national marketing communications for VELUX. “But cutting a hole in the roof can be intimidating for homeowners, so we created the app as an easy and accessible way for people to see how skylights would look in their ceiling and help calm any construction fears that naturally arise during home renovation projects.”

The app features a user-friendly interface and guides homeowners through the process, allowing them to customize preferences including:

  • Pick the type of ceiling (flat or vaulted) 
  • Choose number, size, position and orientation of skylights
  • See day and night sky views through the skylights
  • Try different blinds (light filtering and room darkening)
  • See skylights in the open position
  • Visualize Sun Tunnel skylights, too

Additionally, homeowners can connect with skylight installers in their area via the app and also save and share photo and video results. The VELUX Skylight AR app is free and available for download for Apple/iOS users. For more information, visit whyskylights.com/skylight-app.

Modular Skylights for Commercial Projects

VELUX Modular Skylights (VMS) use a prefabricated system that requires no on-site glazing to save time and allow for installation in nearly any weather condition. The VMS system comes in customizable designs available in both fixed and venting skylights, with both designed to look identical in the closed position. VELUX offers six VMS configurations:

  • Longlight 5-25°: A single series of modular skylights with a low-pitch design that provides a great option for larger rooms, corridors and hallways.
  • Wall-Mounted Longlight 5-25°:A series of skylights that innovatively mount against a vertical wall.
  • Northlight 40-90°: Bands of modular skylights that are raised to allow sunlight into below rooms. The upright design makes it a great choice for installations that face the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Ridgelight 25-40°: Made of two symmetrical rows of self-supporting skylights that allow light and openness into areas below.
  • Atrium Longlight 5-25°: Multiple rows of longlights, supported only by structural beams, create a symmetrical design of venting and fixed units.
  • Atrium Ridgelight 25-40°: Multiple rows of ridgelights, supported only by structural beams, create a symmetrical design of venting and fixed units.

The VMS system comes in three module options including the Fixed Skylight Module; Motorized Comfort Venting Skylight Module, which opens to 410 mm; and the Motorized Smoke Venting Skylight Module, which opens to 700 mm in less than 60 seconds. Each module is watertight, airtight, durable, energy efficient and available in either two- or three-layer glazing options.

For more information, visit veluxusa.com or https://skylightoffers.com/vms.

Recycling Membrane Saves School District Money and Protects the Environment

More than 8,700 pounds of the existing PVC membrane was recycled as part of the Bishop Elementary School re-roofing project as part of Duro-Last Roofing’s Recycle Your Roof program. Superior Services RSH Inc.

When the roof on Bishop Elementary School outlived its warranty, the Lincoln Consolidated School District put the roof replacement project up for bid. The school district already had a specific product in mind, and that made things pretty straightforward for Superior Services RSH Inc., headquartered in Lansing, Michigan.

Founded in 1975, Superior Services focuses on commercial and industrial low-slope roofing. The company also has an architectural metals division and a dedicated service and maintenance department. According to Derek Heins, its vice president, the company works closely with Duro-Last Roofing, and that relationship was key to being awarded the bid to re-roof Bishop Elementary School in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

“The existing roof that was on this building was a Duro-Last roof. It had been on there for more than 20 years, and the school had been very happy with its performance,” Heins says. “Most of the other buildings in the Lincoln Consolidated School District have Duro-Last roofs, so they are really comfortable and really familiar with the product. The school likes the single-ply PVC and the reflectivity of the white membrane, and have been really happy with the performance.”

The recycled material was secured to pallets in a staging area and then taken to the Duro-Last factory on a trailer. The recycled material is used to make products including flooring, walkway pads, and concrete expansion joints.

During the bidding stage, Heins suggested a way the project could save money while putting less stress on the environment. “We suggested utilizing the Recycle Your Roof program with Duro-Last Roofing,” he says. Through the program, mechanically attached Duro-Last PVC membrane can be returned to the manufacturer at the end of its useful life.

Heins explained the benefits of the recycling program to the district, which included a lower installation cost. “You’re reducing landfill costs by not bringing in dumpsters and paying for disposal of the old membrane,” he notes. “We essentially take it directly to Duro-Last’s factory, where they grind up the material and use if for making products including flooring and rooftop walkway pads.”

The school district agreed, and more than 8,700 pounds of the existing PVC roofing membrane was recycled as part of the re-roofing project.

Removal and Replacement

The 77,000-square foot roof featured different elevations. The center area where the two wings met was divided into several sections, most separated by parapet walls. The roof also features a large skylight, which was replaced as part of the project. The site-specific safety plan incorporated for each section included a perimeter warning line system and personal fall arrest systems (PFAS). A guardrail system was set up around the skylight.

The first step was the tear-off. The roof removal process is critical for the recycling program. “When we started the project, we sliced the roof membrane at the fastening rows,” explains Heins. “By doing this, it allowed us to roll up the loose membrane between the fastening rows. The rows were approximately 5 feet wide. After rolling them up, we tack welded the rolled-up material using a hot-air welder.”

Superior Services RSH Inc. installed a new Duro-Tuff PVC roof system. Details included a custom-made Velux skylight and a Bilco roof hatch.

The rolls were removed from the roof with the assistance of a telehandler, stacked on pallets, and secured with straps. Crews then removed the fastening tabs and fasteners from the existing roof system, using screw guns to back out the fasteners from the metal deck.

The next step was inspecting the underlying polyiso insulation for any moisture, damage or deterioration. It was replaced as necessary, but the vast majority of it was reused, which offered additional cost savings.

New tapered drain sets were installed for all of the internal drains on the building. “We used the Duro-Guard insulation tapered drain sets,” Heins notes. “We cut out the existing insulation and put in new wider drain sets to help promote water flow on the roof.”

The tapered drain sets are prefabricated and pre-sloped. They are available in two sizes: 4 feet by 4 feet, and 8 feet by 8 feet. “We try to use larger size drain sets whenever possible,” Heins says. “They unfold to form an 8-foot box around the drain. The marked center circles allow you to simply lay it over the drain sump and cut out the sump opening.”

Crews then installed the 50-mil Duro-Tuff PVC roof system, which was mechanically attached. Enhancements at the perimeter were made using a RhinoBond induction welder.

“We install a hybrid perimeter using RhinoBond induction welding,” Heins explains. “We run two wind rows around the perimeter of the building. Then we roll out the 10-foot wide membrane rolls. With the membrane rolled out, we fasten it down per the manufacturer’s specifications. After we finish putting the membrane down, we go back and use the RhinoBond machine to weld the membrane down to all the perimeter plates for our wind laps.”

Final Details

Crews then installed prefabricated accessories, including custom-manufactured wall flashings, curb flashings, and stack flashings. Drains were fitted with new drain inserts and strainers. Crews also installed a new Bilco S-20 roof hatch.

Perimeter metal and copings were supplied by Exceptional Metals. “We used their two-piece compression metal,” Heins notes. “We also installed custom scupper collector boxes and downspouts on the project as well. By using Exceptional Metals, a division of Duro-Last, we were able to include everything in their Edge to Edge Warranty.”

Heins points to the large skylight as one of the most difficult details on the project. The existing skylight was replaced with a new custom-made Velux double dome skylight, which was installed after the roofing work was completed. When the new skylight arrived at the site, crew members lifted it to the roof and removed the existing skylight. The temporary flashings were replaced with new flashings as the new skylight was installed.

The biggest challenge on the job was the tight schedule. The project was completed in two weeks during July of 2019. “We had a limited window of time to complete this project,” says Heins. “Like most school construction projects, we were required to complete the roof during the summer break, making it essential to finish as much work as possible each day.”

Recycling

At the end of the project, the old membrane was put on a trailer and returned for recycling.

Heins is proud to promote the Recycle Your Roof program as a win-win proposition. “It’s best for everybody to be conscious of the environment,” he says. “We focus on being environmentally friendly, and we also focus on the cost savings. Recycling the membrane and reusing the insulation that is in in good condition offers a big cost reduction for our customers — and it keeps the material out of the landfill.”

According to Heins, this project highlights some of the strengths of Superior Services. “One of the things this project demonstrates is our commitment to utilizing the latest roofing technologies,” he says. “One example is Duro-Last’s prefabricated accessories. Duro-Last has always been a frontrunner in providing prefabricated and custom accessories, and Exceptional Metals offers further custom fabrication. It is important to us, as a company, to strive to be on the leading edge of technology, both on the roof and in the office. It’s part of our culture, as well as emphasizing sustainability and energy-efficient roofing.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Superior Services RSH, Inc., Lansing, Michigan, https://superiorservicesrsh.com

MATERIALS

Roofing Membrane: 50-mil Duro-Tuff PVC, Duro-Last, www.duro-last.com

Edge Metal: Exceptional Metals, www.exceptionalmetals.com

Roof Hatch: S-20 Type S Roof Hatch, BILCO, www.bilco.com

Skylight: Custom-Size Double Dome Acrylic Skylight, Velux, www.veluxusa.com

Balcony Roof Window Available in Smaller Size

VELUX introduces the Cabrio Balcony Roof Window MK19, which is designed to provide a cost-effective alternative for homeowners looking to open up attics with low, angled ceilings. According to the company, the new size is 20 percent smaller in width than the standard Cabrio Balcony and costs 35 percent less. 

“VELUX is pleased to expand the Cabrio product line and offer a budget-friendly alternative to homeowners wanting to add natural light, fresh air and a private balcony as part of an attic renovation” said Ross Vandermark, director of national product management for VELUX North America. “Installers will also find the smaller size is easier to lift to the roof, while the framing and installation requirements remain the same.”

The Cabrio Balcony MK19’s rough opening size is 32 inches by 101 inches, compared to the Cabrio Balcony PK19, which has a rough opening of 39.5 inches by 101 inches. Both have a clear lacquer wooden interior frame and gray aluminum exterior cover. 

According to the company, Cabrio Balcony Roof Windows are prime options for finished attics because they provide expansive views and abundant natural light and open in seconds into a private balcony, adding fresh air and a rooftop retreat. When closed, the product is flush with the roof, making it a seamless addition to the roofline.

For more information, visit veluxusa.com or whyskylights.com

Soft, Diffused Natural Light Transforms Eagles Nest Outfitters’ Office

VMS Northlights bathe the design and sales work areas in diffused natural light. Photos: VELUX

For years the staff of Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) worked in cramped, dark offices in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Their second office didn’t even have any windows, which isn’t ideal for an outdoor equipment company specializing in portable hammocks and camp chairs.

So, when it came time to move from downtown to a location that could accommodate both the office and a warehouse, the company’s leaders challenged architects to connect the new space to the outside.

“We’re an outdoor company, and we’d all rather be outdoors each and every day,” says Lane Nakaji, general manager with ENO. “No one wants to work in darkness.”

Challenge: Opening Up a 1970s Building

The new building was at first not very promising. Located in a business park with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it dated back to the 1970s with a red brick exterior and a cedar shake mansard roof.

“It was a rabbit warren of an office,” says Charles Krekelberg, the project manager on the ENO project for Samsel Architects. “They had perimeter windows behind arbor vitae trees, so it was oppressively dark.”

“They wanted to radically transform the space,” Krekelberg adds. “They wanted open spaces for people to collaborate, planters and natural light.”

The building was gutted down to the exterior walls and a new roof constructed. Inside, the maze of hallways and offices became open space. And to solve the lighting problem, architects turned to two VELUX products: VELUX Modular Skylights (VMS) – Northlight Configuration and Fixed Curb Mounted skylights.

The VELUX Modular Skylight system eliminates the need for on-site glazing and can be installed quickly in varying weather conditions, which for this project included freezing rain and snow.

Ridgelights 25-40° have the classic A-frame look: two rows of self-supporting skylights mounted on standard steel profiles. The skylight installer, JP Ross & Co., installed 320 Ridgelight modules on the Burkert building configured into four rows over the center of the manufacturing space.

“We only turn the lights on when it’s raining or very cloudy,” says Allison Ettinger, ENO’s credit manager. “Natural light is generally more relaxing. It’s definitely softer than turning on the electric lights.”

The skylight units are all fixed with dimensions of 39.4 inches in width by 47.2 inches in height and high-efficiency glazing. The LowE3, argon-filled dual paned glazing assembly consists of a high-strength outer tempered pane and an inner laminated pane. The system is equipped with electrically controlled shades, which employees say are only drawn on weekends to optimize the building’s energy efficiency.

The office also has nine VELUX Fixed Curb Mount skylights (FCM 2246) with LowE3, laminated glazing and solar-powered remote controlled shades installed over offices, hallways and conference rooms. The building is topped by a 24-gauge standing seam metal roof system manufactured by Englert Inc., which was installed by DLV Roofing.

Quick Installation

Like other VMS configurations, the Northlight system arrives on the jobsite palletized for easy staging. Its plug-and-play installation method takes less time than custom, site-glazed skylights. It took the crew from JP Ross & Co. one week to complete the installation.

“We focus only on skylight design, sales and installation and have over 20 years of experience,” notes Jason Peterson, project manager with JP Ross &Co. “The only difference with the Northlight was that the panels were installed vertically.”

A vapor barrier wraps around the skylight modules and lines the interior roof rough opening for an airtight seal between the skylight modules and the building, creating a very energy-efficient building envelope.

Natural light bathes the sales department and product development area throughout the day, and employees are happy to have it. “When we don’t have that glare from artificial lights, it creates a calm,” says Julia Schell, manager of e-commerce at ENO. “Things get hectic round here. Sometimes when we come in after the weekend and the blinds have been closed, we forget and turn the lights on and it’s like ‘What’s wrong?’”

The Northlights also give the building’s exterior a unique look. “The owner wanted the skylights to be as much of an exterior expression of the design as an interior lighting device,” Krekelberg says. “They truly liked the look of the skylights and wanted them on the roof.”

TEAM

Architecture/Design: Samsel Architects, Asheville, North Carolina, https://samselarchitects.com

General Contractor: Heritage Restoration & Construction, Asheville, North Carolina, www.heritage-restoration.com

Roofing Contractor: DLV Roofing, Asheville, North Carolina, www.dlvroofing.com

Skylight Installer: JP Ross & Co., Charlotte, North Carolina, www.jprossskylights.com

MATERIALS

Skylights: VELUX Modular Skylight system – Northlight Configuration and Fixed Curb Mounted skylights, VELUX, www.veluxusa.com

Metal Roof: 24-gauge mechanically fastened standing seam roof system in Charcoal Gray, Englert Inc., www.englertinc.com

Roof Windows Provide Fresh Air and Natural Light in Easy-To-Reach Spaces

VELUX offers roof windows for in-reach applications in both top- and side-hinged options for attic and bonus room renovations. With easy maneuverability, roof windows also provide a point of egress, which can help structures comply with building codes requiring two points of escape in case of fire. 

“Roof windows offer convenient, practical options for homeowners who want easy roof access but also want to transform their space with natural light,” said Ross Vandermark, national product manager for VELUX America. “Plus, unique safety control features let homeowners rest assured they don’t have to sacrifice safety for fresh air ventilation.”

With convenient side or bottom handles for easy operation, homeowners can increase the amount of natural light and fresh air ventilation in their spaces, all while enjoying panoramic views. Plus, roof windows allow homeowners to rely less on electrical lighting, which helps to boost the home’s energy efficiency. VELUX also offers a variety of blind options for roof windows that give homeowners complete control over the amount of natural light they want in their rooms.

For more information, visit www.veluxusa.com

The VELUX Group Announces Creation of a Single Operational Management Team for North America

The VELUX Group announced the formation of Group North America, a new organizational structure for the United States and Canada, naming Timothy B. Miller as CEO. Miller, who has led VELUX America, LLC, since 2000, will oversee residential and commercial sales and production for the United States and Canada.

John W. Pillman, president and CEO since 1996 of VELUX Greenwood, LLC, the company’s U.S. manufacturing arm, will retire effective December 31, 2019. 

“I extend gratitude and appreciation to John for his extensive contributions to the growth and success of VELUX and wish him happiness in his retirement,” said David Briggs, CEO of the VELUX Group based in Denmark. “Creating a single operational management team for North America builds on the 2018 acquisition of Wasco Products, and positions VELUX for growth and leadership in the residential and commercial skylight segments in the United States and Canada.”

With Miller promoted to this new role, current VELUX America Director of Sales Stephan Moyon has been appointed president of VELUX America, LLC, the company’s U.S. sales and marketing company. Current Director of Product Development Chuck Rimsky has been named president of VELUX Greenwood, LLC. 

“The new management team is filled with experienced and passionate purveyors of daylight for homes and commercial spaces that promote health and wellness,” Miller said. “I look forward to working with this strong and capable team to continue to grow the skylight category and to develop world-class operational efficiency.”

The organizational changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2020. Nels Moxness, president and CEO of VELUX Canada, Inc., will report to Miller as part of the new North America Group.

For more information, visit veluxusa.com or whyskylights.com.

Skylight Automation System Designed to Make Modern Indoor Living Healthier

VELUX offers VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO to help homeowners by automating their skylights to more easily infuse natural light and fresh air into the home.

Indoor air is five times more polluted than outdoor air, and with people spending so much time inside, VELUX recognized the need to help homeowners use natural ventilation to air out their homes on a regular basis.

“VELUX ACTIVE is indicative of our commitment to healthy, energy efficient homes,” said Ross Vandermark, national product manager for VELUX America. “Every homeowner deserves clean air, and this automation system will help reduce the risk of health hazards, such as asthma, that are aggravated by poor indoor air quality. This system will automatically open the skylights for fresh air, so homeowners can worry less about the air they and their families are breathing.”

VELUX ACTIVE, which is compatible with Apple HomeKit, allows homeowners to automate their skylights to more easily infuse natural light and fresh air into the home. The product supports the growing desire for smart home technology in the United States, with some projections showing the number of connected homes exceeding 35 million by 2021.

In an average home, the pollutant level is normally at a low level when people first enter the home or after effective ventilation. However, after an extended period of time, daily activities can raise the level of pollutants to unhealthy levels that can cause headaches, dizziness and sleepiness. Proper ventilation removes unwanted toxins, lowers CO2 levels and promotes an overall healthier lifestyle.

The system ensures a healthier indoor climate by automatically opening the skylights to air out the house two to three times daily. Here’s how it works: Smart sensor technology monitors CO2, humidity and temperature in the home, while the system also connects to online weather forecasts. It automatically opens the skylights if fresh air is needed inside.

It also automates blinds to help control indoor temperature. For example, the system will extend the blinds to block sunlight during the day in the warmer months or extend them at night during the winter for an added layer of insulation. Homeowners can also use the VELUX ACTIVE smartphone app to control their skylights even if they are away from the house.

For more information on VELUX ACTIVE and the federal tax credit, visit whyskylights.com.

Skylights Designed for Flat Roofs Feature Curved, Edge-to-Edge Glass

Designed to meet the growing demand for skylights in house extensions with flat or low-pitch roofs, VELUX introduces CurveTech Skylights and Roof Access Skylights. CurveTech Skylights combine elegant design with exceptional daylighting for design- and quality-conscious architects and builders in the United States.

Designed for use on flat or low-pitch roofs, CurveTech Skylights feature a curved edge-to-edge glass cover that allows rain water to disperse off the glass while installed on a zero-degree pitch roof. 

“Because of the attractive glass design, this product is ideal for flat roof home extensions where the extension roof is visible from upper stories,” said Ross Vandermark, national product manager for VELUX. “The refined, modern appearance of the curved glass also complements the popular mid-century modern architectural style and modular homes with a modern aesthetic.” 

The new flat roof skylights, which will be available for purchase in Summer 2019, come with a PVC curb with polystyrene filling. The Fixed Flat Roof Skylight (CFP) is available with CurveTech or polycarbonate dome cover options. The Flat Roof Exit Skylight (CXP), available for polycarbonate dome covers, has a clean interior appearance and opens to a 60-degree angle to allow for roof access. 

The highly energy efficient design features an insulated PVC curb, double glazed skylight and a protective cover that keeps the inner pane warmer. These flat roof skylights can be installed on roofs with pitches between 0:12 and 3:12 (0 to 15 degrees).

For more information, visit www.veluxusa.com.