How Architects Should Compare Commercial Skylight Manufacturers

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By Jeff Brain

As world governments push for greater reduction of carbon emissions and create tax breaks and incentives to implement sustainable technologies, architects will need to partner with leading commercial skylight manufacturers to provide their clients with the best sustainable lighting technology.

Here are four key qualities architects should look at when comparing different skylight manufacturers.

Quality Control and Consistency

Architect must ensure that the manufacturers they work with can deliver high quality products in a timely manner. Architects should research information about manufacturing policies, procedures, and supply chain. Manufacturers are required to have a thorough knowledge of these in order to be in accord with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This can help prevent wasting time on a manufacturer who cannot keep up with your clients’ needs.

Product Testing

Ensuring that the manufacturers you partner with thoroughly test their product for a range of different harsh weather conditions is important. Architects should obtain paperwork certifying that the skylight product they purchase has been tested for resistance to heavy rain, snow, and falling debris. Also, if you will be working with clients in areas which experience extreme weather patterns, make sure to look for products certified for resistance to hurricane force winds.

Tax Breaks and Subsidies

Leading commercial skylight manufacturers should be well-informed about the potential tax breaks and incentives that their products can earn. There are hundreds of state and federal tax credits that clients can apply for. Particularly in the case of more complex certifications, like the LEED building certification, manufacturers should also be able to explain what specific categories within the certification their system contributes to—from energy and atmosphere to materials and resources.

NFRC Ratings

Above all else, it is important to make sure that the commercial skylight manufacturers you partner with provide the best possible product for your clients. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) provides third-party statistics on a wide range of daylighting products, which helps consumers to compare different products side-by-side. Before partnering with any manufacturer, make sure to ask them for the figures on their system’s visual light transmittance, solar heat gain coefficient, and u-value reports to see how they stacks up against the competition.

Even after you have selected the best skylight manufacturer, it can sometimes be difficult to sell clients on the idea of installing daylighting. If you are looking for a resource to clearly outline the benefits of daylighting for your clients, try showing them our eBook The Power of Daylighting in Building Design.

(Photo: Alan, CC.)

Download The Power of Daylighting In Building Design

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