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Plaza of the Americas

Skylight retrofit project

Location: Dallas, TX.
13 arrays & 292 skylights
Application:170′ high rise commercial
Architect: Amtech
General Contractor: Empire Roofing

The atrium of this commercial complex in downtown Dallas is world-famous for its natural lighting, much of which pours directly through the ceiling that soars
170 feet above the floor. The original construction was completed in 1980, and the building has withstood a lot of wear and tear in the meantime; Dallas is
known for high winds and large hail, which wreak havoc on traditional skylights. But the building’s owner wasn’t about to give up the natural light for a more
durable roof.

Fortunately, with the VTECH system, they didn’t have to compromise.

VTECH skylights are-hands down-the most durable skylights available. Using reaction injection molding, the frame is chemically bonded to impact-resistant,
insulated glass as a single, solid piece. The aliphatic polyurethane material is lightweight, flexible, and stands up to decades of weather, sunlight, and abuse.
And it comes with an unrivaled, 20-year, full system guarantee.

While glazing options run the gamut from fall-protection to ballistic glazing, Plaza of the Americas was installed with hurricane glass, to stand up to Dallas’
famous hailstorms.


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VTECH Difference?
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Installing VTECH skylights is simple. Each light installs in a few minutes, with no assembly required.

Installing skylights in a 24′ array, however, is a bit more involved. Our San Antonio-based partner, Skylights Over Texas, designed and fabricated the adapters specifically for the existing openings. Seam-welded aluminum on an engineered structure promises unrivaled quality and longevity, and they’re custom-crafted for ultimate versatility and fit. Every consideration is taken, from span loads to corrosion resistance to water runoff. After dozens of smaller executions with custom adapters, building them for the purpose was all in a day’s work.


3’x 3’CMC

Hurricane Glass

Aliphatic Polyurethane

VTECH Skylights
Houston, Texas


Max Array Dimensions
24′ x 24′ (567 SF)
12′ x 81′ (972 SF)

Skylights Over Texas
San Antonio, Texas

Installing skylight adapters on a high rise

The largest adapters for Plaza of the Americas needed to span 24′ – a bit too big for the freight elevator. And at 15 stories, the roof is too high for a crane. We opted to fly them up with a helicopter.

Navigating an urban landscape in a helicopter is serious business. Doing it with a thousand pounds of metal dangling from a cable is much more so. We enlisted the expertise of the seasoned operators at 5 State Helicopters, and committed a generous crew of our finest installers. Waiting for clear weather with minimal wind was an unfortunate reality, but was necessary to the project’s safety and success.

With a team on the ground, a team on the roof, a pilot in the air, and constant communication going on between all parties, we were able to execute a safe and seamless lift. The helicopter bore the adapters from a nearby parking lot – closed off to all but our ground crew – up to the roof, and with remarkable precision, lowered it directly into place over the 24′ square opening. The rooftop crew was on-hand to guide the apparatus and complete the installation. Six trips in all, the plan went off without a hitch.

With the adapters in place, completing the installation of the 292 skylights was business as usual. VTECH skylights install in minutes. They come out of the box in one piece and attach with polyurethane adhesive and a handful of stainless steel fasteners.

The atrium at Plaza of the Americas now has a beautiful, robust skylight system that is guaranteed to far outlast the roof it’s installed on.


Ready to Experience the
VTECH Difference?
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