Skylight installer: W.S. Nielsen Company
Roofing consultant: Bill Rice – Williamson and Associates
Products: Curb system roof monitors with FCM curb mounted fixed skylights, size 4646 with white laminated glass
Skylight curbs: Curbs Plus, Inc.

The purpose of roof monitors is simple; to achieve a balanced natural lighting environment by bringing daylight through a glazing system and then diffusing the light as it bounces against the back of the roof monitor. By the time the light enters the space below, it is diffused and provides a visually comfortable environment.


The VELUX roof monitor concept:Building owners are conscious of two main factors when considering natural lighting designs: energy efficiency and quality of light. In regards to energy efficiency, there are two elements that are especially important:

  1. How often electrical lights can be turned off.
  2. How heat gain from the skylights can be minimized, so that it doesn’t add to the cooling load of the building.

The YMCA design optimized both elements based on the following concept. A sloped roof monitor with insulated skylights directly facing the sun can garner greater amounts of sunlight in a smaller roof opening than a vertical roof monitor, which requires a larger glazing surface to achieve the same daylight levels.

For example, while most vertical roof monitors (where the glazing surface is vertical) normally require a glazing to floor ratio of between 9% and 15%, a sloped roof monitor with VELUX skylights can harvest as much daylight with a significantly smaller glazing to floor ratio—typically between 3% and 5%. VELUX skylights also meet ENERGY STAR® guidelines nationwide. This means that they provide the ultimate balance between light harvesting capability and solar heat gain protection.