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Skylight Design Loads

June 7, 2023

Skylight Design Loads

Skylights are an excellent way to bring natural light into any space. Not only do they increase energy efficiency and provide aesthetic value, but they can also positively impact the well-being and productivity of occupants.

There have been several studies showcasing how daylight incursion into a study or workplace has been shown to increase efficiencies. Students show a 19-20% increase in retention due to daylight from skylights, while work efficiencies have increased by over 50%.

However, proper design and installation of skylights are crucial to ensure their structural integrity and safety. Hence, it also impacts the confidence people have in them, especially during bad weather conditions.

Design loads are an essential consideration in skylight design to ensure that the skylight can withstand various loads and forces, such as wind, snow, and seismic forces. In this article, we will explore the basics of skylight design loads and their importance in ensuring the safety and performance of skylights.

What Are Skylight Design Loads?

Skylight design loads are the minimum load requirements that skylights must meet to ensure their structural integrity and safety. These loads are set by building codes and standards, and they vary depending on factors such as location, wind speeds, snow loads, and the type of building.

There are two main types of skylight design loads:

  1. The Uniform Load: The uniform load is the weight that the skylight must be able to support over its entire surface area, and
  2. The Concentrated Load: The concentrated load is the weight that the skylight must be able to support at its weakest point, which is typically the center.

Skylight manufacturers must ensure that their products meet or exceed the required design loads to ensure the safety and reliability of the skylight.

At VTECH Skylights, we take great care to ensure that our skylights meet or exceed all required design loads. We use advanced engineering techniques and high-quality materials to ensure that our skylights can withstand even the most extreme weather conditions.

Factors That Impact Skylight Design Loads

Several factors can impact the skylight design loads, including:

Geographic Location

The location of the building plays a critical role in determining the skylight design load. Areas that are prone to extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and heavy snowfall, require skylights that can withstand high wind and snow loads.

Building Height

The height of the building is another important factor influencing the skylight design load. Taller buildings require skylights that can withstand higher wind loads and lateral forces.

Skylight Size & Orientation

The size and orientation of the skylight impact the amount of sunlight and heat entering the building. Large skylights may require additional support to ensure they can handle the additional weight and wind loads. Skylights facing south receive more direct sunlight and heat than those facing north, requiring different design considerations.

Glazing Material

The type of glazing material used in the skylight impacts its strength and resistance to weather and impact loads. Tempered glass, laminated glass, and polycarbonate are commonly used materials for skylight glazing.

Roof Type

The type of roof on which the skylight will be installed also influences the skylight design load. Flat roofs require more support for the skylight than sloped roofs as they have less natural drainage, leading to potential water accumulation and added weight.

It is essential to consider these factors and more when selecting the skylight design, you’d like implemented on your commercial property. For this, you must also make sure you are choosing a manufacturer that keeps these elements in mind.

VTECH Skylights Ensuring Safety & High Design Loads

At VTECH Skylights, we understand that skylight design loads are crucial to ensuring the safety and performance of our skylights. That’s why we take several measures during the manufacturing process to ensure that our skylights meet and exceed industry standards for design loads.

CAD Technology

We use advanced computer-aided design (CAD) technology to create skylight designs that are structurally sound and optimized for maximum performance. This technology allows us to simulate different environmental conditions and design loads, helping us identify potential weaknesses and make necessary adjustments.

High-Quality Materials

We use only the highest quality materials in our skylight manufacturing processes. For example, our skylight frames are made with Aliphatic Polyurethane, a highly durable and long-lasting material that is resistant to weathering, cracking, and UV radiation.

This material is also highly impact-resistant and can withstand extreme environmental conditions, ensuring the skylight’s structural integrity.

Choosing The Right Glass

We also use tempered glass, which is much stronger and more resistant to breakage than traditional glass. In case of an accident, tempered glass shatters into small, harmless pieces, reducing the risk of injury. Additionally, tempered glass is designed to handle high wind loads and thermal stresses, ensuring that our skylights can withstand extreme environmental conditions.

Ensuring Compliance

Our skylights are designed to meet and exceed all industry standards for design loads, including the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the International Code Council (ICC). We perform rigorous testing to ensure that our skylights can handle various design loads, including wind loads, snow loads, and seismic loads, among others.

Final Words

At VTECH Skylights, we prioritize safety and performance in our skylight manufacturing processes. By using advanced technology, high-quality materials, and rigorous testing, we ensure that our skylights meet and exceed industry standards for design loads, providing our customers with safe and reliable skylight solutions.

We are committed to providing high-quality skylights that meet the safety standards and design loads required for your building. Our skylights are manufactured using the latest technology and the highest quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity.

If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing skylights for your building, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts is always available to help you find the right solution for your needs!

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