By Lee Askew
Club of Memphis recently engaged ANF Architects to renovate its Athletic
Building and to improve the aesthetics of the lower areas, which until recently, have had little or no natural light.
To solve this
problem ANF made two important changes:
raise the ceilings on the lower level and add Solar Tubes to bring
natural light into the lower level. Now
nearing completion, the difference in the look and feel of the lower area,
mostly the Women’s Locker Room and Spa area, is remarkable. Not only did ANF find a way to raise the new
ceilings in all areas, sometimes almost 18 inches, but ANF also recommended
using innovative Solar Tubes to bring natural light in the new Spa areas.
A solar tube
is a highly reflective tube, about 21
inches in diameter which uses a special lens at the roof level to catch the
sunlight and push it down into the lower areas, some 20 feet.
The reflectivity inside this tube is caused
by a highly reflective anodized aluminum coated plastic film, which loses
no more than 2% of the captured
sunlight. Solar tubes can be bent to
miss ducts, beams and other obstacles without loss of light. At the ceiling level, prismatic lenses are
used to amplify the sunlight and to spread it evenly across the room without heat
gain or hot-spots. The result is
amazing: an abundance of sunlight in the Spa/locker areas!
The Solatube 330
DS has earned an Energy Star rating for its
ability to minimize heat loss in extremely cold climates and heat gain in
extremely warm ones. It offers the
highest level of energy efficiency and can light spaces up to 350 sq. ft.