Would you like to add natural light to your workplace? Installing skylights in your workplace has numerous benefits, from reducing your energy bills to making your team more focused, productive and healthy.
Many business owners are interested in using skylights to make their workplace a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly place to work. However, they have understandable concerns about the side effects of daylighting systems.
From excess sunlight and blinding glare to degradation caused by exposure to UV rays over a long period of time, many of the concerns of business owners are very easy to understand. However, there’s a simple solution of many of them: glazing.
A wide variety of glazing materials are used in windows and skylights to eliminate glare and reduce heat transfer. In this blog post, we’ll compare the most frequently used skylight glazing options to help you find the best choice for your business.
Acrylic or polymethyl methacrylate glazing is a common glazing material used in plastic skylights. It’s a strong, easily formable material that strengthens skylights and protects them from extreme weather conditions and impact.
PMMA sheets are significantly more durable than glass. A .125 inch PMMA sheet is, on average, four or five stronger than impact resistant wire glass. Double the PMMA sheet’s thickness and it becomes as much as 10 times stronger than wire glass.
This makes PMMA glazing an excellent choice for skylights installed on buildings in areas that experience hail and heavy rain. It’s also a good choice for buildings that are subject to heavy snowfall that could otherwise weigh down a glass skylight.
Polycarbonate glazing is another popular choice on skylights. Polycarbonates are a special type of plastic with a high level of impact resistance. Polycarbonates can be treated with UV coatings to offer a combination of impact and ultraviolet protection.
Most of the time, polycarbonate skylight glazing is used in projects that would like to achieve a high LEED rating. This is because some polycarbonates are produced from 100% recycled materials, making them an environmentally responsible choice.
Silica aerogel is a low-density solid material that is an excellent option for limiting heat transfer. Known as ‘frozen smoke,’ silica aerogel is an excellent insulator that can almost completely prevent heat from transferring into a building.
Although it’s called a gel, silica aerogel is completely dry and has a texture similar to a rigid foam. Most of the time, aerogel is used to prevent heat transfer in areas with high daytime temperatures and constant sunshine.
Most fiberglass used in skylights is an unsaturated polymer resin that’s reinforced with fiberglass for additional strength. One of the most flexible glazing materials, a huge amount of building projects use fiberglass due to its incredibly versatility.
Due to its chemical structure, fiberglass allows UV A radiation and light to pass by without significant reduction. However, it absorbs UV B radiation very effectively and prevents a large amount of heat from being transferred inside a building.
In addition to its excellent versatility and reasonable UV protection, fiberglass has one of the best track records of any glazing material. Used for more than 40 years, it’s an incredibly reliable choice for durable and long-lasting skylights.