Commercial Architecture January/February 2016 - (Page 38)
Tubular skylights transfer daylight to the plant floor of Delta Gear's
repurposed newspaper office and printing facility.
Plant Gears Up With Skylights
Tubular skylights give workers the light they
need when working with close tolerances.
hen Delta Gear, Livonia, MI, purchased
heat. However, the tunnels use an Almeco (Lawrenceville,
an abandoned newspaper office and ad-
GA) specular material that is almost 100% reflective, so
The project team investigated LEED certification for
jacent printing facility, energy efficiency
nearly all the daylight collected on the roof is carried into
the building but decided instead to follow the guidelines
the facility as light.
without claiming LEED credits. "We decided to use the
and high levels of quality of light were major goals for
turer offered a curb kit as well as a self-flashed kit.
the adaptive-reuse project. Working with tolerances of mi-
In the several acoustical-ceilinged offices and confer-
money for LEED certification and throw the dollars into
crons, workers had to have adequate light to do their jobs,
ence rooms, electrically operated daylight controllers were
the building," said architect Lonny Zimmerman of Sie-
and visual comfort was also a consideration.
installed on the bottom of the tunnels to dampen or com-
gal/Tuomaala Associates, Southfield, MI.
To achieve the high level of light in the facility, Delta
pletely block the light during video projection. In the
Although most of the tubes installed in the building
Gear management hired general contractor Joe Ham-
shop areas, where the majority of the tubular devices were
are straight, they have elbows designed to bend around
mond to install 79 Velux America Inc., Fort Mill, SC, Sun
installed, the tunnels are free hanging.
unusual or difficult shapes, according to Zimmerman.
Tunnel skylights. Sun Tunnels are tubular-shaped devices
"We did a lot of research to find out what would be
"We couldn't always have a direct vertical shot down," he
that transfer daylight through a 22-in.-dia. tunnel made of
the most light for the most economical price," said Keith
explained. "Sometimes we had to modify it slightly and
highly reflective aluminum material.
Bonn, facilities manager for Delta Gear, "but number one,
angle it. It gave us flexibility."
Above the tunnel on the roof is a 22-in. round, clear
it had to be OSHA rated." OSHA regulations state sky-
Much of the old newspaper printing plant's interior
acrylic dome, designed to capture low-angle sunlight in
lights must be guarded and capable of withstanding a load
was gutted before Delta Gear occupied the building, al-
the morning and evening hours, while managing the in-
of at least 200 lb.
though some of the front office areas were kept. Some
tense glare of the direct midday sun.
offices were cleaned and carpeted, while other offices were
new. The front of the building was retained but received
some of the photons-or light-wave energy packets-are
Because the Delta Gear building had two different roof
major modifications to the entrance. To allow the weight
absorbed into the interior aluminum material of the tube
types, the tubular system specified needed to allow curb
of some new high-tech manufacturing equipment, part of
with each angular bounce of light and converted into
mount and self flashing directly to the roof. The manufac-
the floor was dropped 3 ft. and in other areas the floor was
The reflectivity of tubular devices is crucial because
COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture January/February 2016
Healthcare Design: Back to Nature
Missoula Aquifer Cools Cancer Center
HVAC & Plumbing Products
Reclaiming The Industrial Past
Exterior Provides Complete System
Plant Gears Up With Skylights
Windows & Doors Products
Jewel Of The Bay
Lighting & Electrical Products
The Whitney Is Wired For Sound, Video
Building Technology Products
Commercial Architecture January/February 2016