Canadian Consulting Engineer

Translucent panels brighten aging spaces

March 28, 2022

Outdated cladding materials can suffer high thermal losses.

Translucent polycarbonate panels

Photo courtesy Rodeca.

Rodeca’s polycarbonate panels are designed to replace single-layer light panels when refurbishing commercial and industrial buildings’ façades and roof structures for improved energy efficiency and enhanced natural lighting.

Many aging buildings are still fitted with outdated dome lights, shed roofs or light bands that do not meet current energy-efficiency standards. Outdated cladding materials often see high thermal losses through the building envelope and correspondingly high energy costs. Further, decades of exposure can cause these materials to become yellowed and brittle, reducing their light transmission and passive solar gains.

Rodeca’s multi-layer panels—ranging from hollow chamber profiles to translucent building elements—use a thermoplastic reportedly 200 times more impact-resistant than glass, but much lighter. Their insulating properties, which depend on panel thickness and number of air chambers, can help minimize thermal bridging. And surfaces that were once opaque can become luminous, providing glare-free natural daylighting rather than using energy for artificial lighting.


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