Skylights, which provide the ability to bring daylight into a building, have been used as far back as Ancient Rome, with open skylights being used in the Pantheon. Todays modern closed skylights have been used since the Industrial Revolution, and incorporate glass or plexiglass to bring a bit of the outdoors and natural light inside our homes and buildings.
The biggest issue with the introduction of skylights into architecture has been that glass typically is not a good insulator in most cases, so heat transfer happens more readily through skylights than walls or ceiling building materials, additionally issues with condensation and UV are ones that many facility managers have experienced.
Some of the issues that skylights and windows experience include:
- Heat loss and gain
- UV rays penetration
Nanotechnology based thermal insulation coatings (TICs) which were created for building walls, ceilings, and roofs, have been utilized more recently to solve many of the issues that skylights can experience. This patented technology by Syneffex has been in use in industry and buildings for over a decade, and has been adopted by customers specifically to address the needs of windows and skylights, which were not easily addressed in the past.
Spray-On Energy Efficiency
One of the particularly attractive things about our Energy Protect thermal insulation coating is that it is applied like a paint and can be easily sprayed over both the glass and the frame of a skylight or window. The coating does not yet have the capability to remain completely clear over glass, and will give it a somewhat frosted look, but it will remain clear over other surfaces, such as painted walls and aluminum or other framing. The coatings ability to reduce heat transfer in a thin 3-layer application, makes it an attractive solution for increasing a buildings energy efficiency. In independent testing over pane glass, the technology was shown to significantly reduce heat transfer, while also reducing UV rays by approximately 80 percent. Pane glass alone typically allows through 92-94 percent of the visible light, this coating has proven in the same spectrophotometer testing to allow through approximately 90-92 percent of the visible light – which is of course important, since that is the key reason the skylights are installed in the first place.
Light Versus Glare
A LEED recognized energy saving purpose for skylights to be implemented into building designs is to add natural light, thus reducing the need for internal lighting and the electricity it uses. One of the unintended consequences is that in some cases, harsh glare from these daylighting implementations, whether they are skylights or windows, can cause the building occupants to draw the blinds against the glare, and thus negate the intended savings. The coating addresses this issue with its matte finish which diffuses the light and helps to reduce glare, while still allowing through a significant amount of the intended daylight.
Saving Fine Art from UV Fading
The Frost Art Museum located at the Florida International University in Miami, Florida asked architectural firm HOK to solve a rather urgent issue that they were experiencing. The gorgeous skylights in their museum were unfortunately allowing through enough UV light to cause fading and damage of the artwork inside. The contractor in charge of the project, used Energy Protect over the skylights to both diffuse the light and prevent heat transfer, but more importantly to block the harmful UV rays and keep the artwork safe.
Potential Energy Savings
The technology has been tested according to independent testing standards, such as the ISO 8990_1999 Standard Test Method for Steady-State Thermal Performance of Building Assemblies. and the ASTM C518 for Thermal Conductivity over glass at 0 deg. C (32F). The ISO testing This testing showed a 34.8% reduction in heat transmission and the ASTM testing showed a 33% reduction, even at freezing temperatures.
Additionally, thermal imaging shows how Energy Protect insulates in all climates and seasons, both hot and cold.
Thermal imaging (click for larger image)
You can find specific details and ordering information for the Energy Protect thermal insulation coating for buildings, including skylights & windows at www.synavax.com