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skylights, architect on demand, advice without strings

I’ve been working on an overhaul project in Jersey City and writing about its various aspects that fit within this blog’s categories. This week’s theme “passion for details” lends itself to a discussion on skylights. All along, they’ve been a “suggested” on the plans with a dotted line. Today, I want to concentrate on defining what they are and consider them in section.

The loft space on the ground level will heavily depend on the air and light that the skylights will provide. So far, they’re phantom rectangles. Their proportions and placement are based on lose requirements dictated by the space. I am making them as large as possible and hoping that they will not leak.

Actually, these days, leaking skylights are not much of a concern. New designs and better flashing methods have largely put an end to water-infiltration worries. In fact, the Velux skylight system I’m looking into, boasts a 10-year warranty against leakage.

When it comes to skylights, quality is the number one priority

Energy efficiency, water tightness, sound reduction and other factors such as load and wind resistance are important considerations. In addition, one can opt for a built-in shading system, UV coatings and ventilation.

Besides, many manufacturers offer high-quality products made from sustainable materials in an effort to protect the environment. Installing skylights is a serious undertaking, and I want to make sure that my client is satisfied with all of the choices we had made later on, for years to come.

We will go with curb-mounted skylights; they’re the ones that are mounted on a wooden frame, a curb, built around the opening on the roof. Curb-mounted skylights are ideal for flat roofs and up to a pitch of 60 degrees.

Deck-mounted skylights are nailed directly to the roof deck for a low profile. They are best for roofs with a pitch between 14 and 85 degrees.

We’ll install the VELUX Manual “Fresh Air” residential skylight in the master bathroom. It’s designed for both deck and curb mount installations. Hands-free or manual, it opens to allow stale, humid air to be released.

The size is determined by the space available. Since my idea is to work with what’s available instead of going the more expensive and less predictable route of custom-made, I need to refer to a size chart on Velux website. Frankly, there’s plenty to choose from.


Locating the skylights in plan and section

For the main loft space, we’ll specify Velux’s system called Ridgelight. It promises to be a “visually impressive glass structure internally as well as externally.” It’s composed of a series of modular units. Again, there’s no need to spend extra on a custom unit fabricated specifically for this project.

No problem at all!! Choosing skylights does not need to be complicated. There’re tons of options allowing you to add fresh air and natural light to the areas where you can’t put windows. Hopefully, these tips are helpful, but if you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask them here.

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