Solatube International Helps 2008 Olympic Games Go Green

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Olympic Facility in Beijing Illuminated with New Solatube 750 DS Daylighting Systems

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Compared with traditional lighting systems, Solatube Daylighting Systems have a unique advantage with a better progressed view and a wide application field

As China set out to create the first-ever “Green Olympics,” designers turned to Solatube International Inc., the worldwide leading manufacturer and marketer of Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) to provide natural lighting solutions for a new Olympic event-designated gymnasium at the Beijing Science & Technology University. The company announced today that the installation of 148 Solatube 750 DS Daylighting Systems (approximately each 21 in/530 mm in diameter) is now complete.

The gymnasium will host the judo and taekwondo Olympic competitions, as well as the Paralympics wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball events. The Solatube Daylighting Systems illuminate the facility’s main gymnasium, which includes a 2,400-square-meter competition arena that seats over 8,000 spectators.

This is the first public installation of the new Solatube 750 DS, which is the latest product innovation from Solatube International. The Solatube 750 DS collects light through a technologically advanced, transparent dome, transports it down a highly reflective tube and distributes it through a diffuser to provide superior lighting and extend the hours of daylight available within an interior space.

“We are honored to play a role in the greening of the Olympics this year and to help create such a beautiful and energy-efficient facility,” said David Rillie, CEO of Solatube International. “We are particularly proud to officially unveil our latest technological innovations on such a massive worldwide stage.”

The architects designing the facility sought a way to add natural light to the building that would satisfy the needs of athletes and spectators, while reducing the need for artificial lighting. However, with a steel-frame roof, numerous obstructions and a diffusion plane over 55.8 feet (17 meters) high, the building provided many design challenges. Skylights were not an option due to the building’s obstructions, for they would negatively impact light transmission and delivery.

The solution was the Solatube 750 DS Daylighting System. The design challenges were overcome largely due to the high light transmission properties of the Spectralight® Infinity Tubing, which allowed the daylight to be successfully transmitted over 26.1 feet (eight meters) and was angled around construction obstructions. Additionally, the building’s Solatube Daylighting Systems were equipped with OptiView® Diffusers to evenly disperse the daylight throughout the interior space and Daylight DimmersTM, so that the daylight could be adjusted anywhere from 100 percent to two percent for optimum energy efficiency, occupant comfort and changing space requirements.

“Compared with traditional lighting systems, Solatube Daylighting Systems have a unique advantage with a better progressed view and a wide application field,” said Weimin Shuang, architect and dean of the Architecture Design Institute of Qinghua University. “It reduces power usage and exceeds our environmental design goals.”

Coupled with an insulating inner dome, the Solatube 750 DS delivers consistent illumination, visual comfort and thermal performance. Of great importance to all participants within the facility, the product ensures a bright, consistent and comfortable level of daylighting by tempering glints and mixing light in its shaft.

Designers of the project also chose Solatube Daylighting Systems because in the intense Beijing sun of August, it eliminates powerful glare and hot spots, as well as stops UV rays and heat from entering the building. All year long, the product‘s proprietary Raybender 3000® Technology also lengthens the day by gathering early morning and late afternoon sunlight and bringing it into the building.

Lighting, both daylighting and artificial lighting, can often generate heat into interior spaces. However, the Solatube Daylighting System uses Raybender 3000 Technology to reduce the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, which significantly improves energy efficiency because it does not strain the HVAC system during the peak hours of the day. Thus, by installing Solatube 750 DS Daylighting Systems, the Beijing Science & Technology University Gymnasium is able to obtain the highest solar heat gain to visual transmission ratio currently available from any daylighting product (including every window and skylight on the market worldwide).

The Solatube 750 DS is now ready for specification and will be available for purchase and shipment in late summer 2008. All major building code compliances, as well as the coveted ENERGY STAR® rating, are currently pending.

Solatube International Inc., based in Vista, Calif. (northern San Diego County), is the worldwide leading manufacturer and marketer of Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs). The company’s flagship product, the Solatube Daylighting System, provides a revolutionary natural lighting solution for all types of residential and commercial applications and is the only spec-grade TDD currently available on the market. The maxim “Innovation in DaylightingTM” reflects the company’s commitment to the development of breakthrough daylighting technologies, which has resulted in numerous patents dating back to the mid-1980s. Widely recognized as the industry innovator, Solatube International has earned acclaim around the globe for its unrivaled ability to transform interior spaces with the power of daylight. For more information on the Solatube Daylighting System or other products manufactured and marketed by Solatube International, including solar-powered attic ventilation fans, please visit the Solatube website at or call 888-SOLATUBE (888-765-2882).


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