Nothing impacts the sustainability and usability of a building more than infusing it with natural daylight. The general well-being of people increases along with their productivity, and artificial lighting and energy consumption is decreased. The benefits are clear, and so too, are the risks.


Not understanding how skylights must be designed, is the primary cause of system failure. AWS has studied what works and what doesn’t when it comes to overhead glazing. Utilizing a ‘guttered’ system, ensures that any moisture entering the system is directed to an area where it can be wept to the exterior. The vertical and horizontal framing members must be engineered to allow for expansion and contraction which will naturally occur with the thermal cycle. This allows the sealants to perform as needed with out being torn away.


Understanding how the skylight penetrates the roof is another area that requires expertise and consideration. Because it is difficult to ascertain where leaks occur on any project, it’s imperative to interface the different systems so they are designed to manage moisture once it does enter the system. Keeping in mind that moisture and condensation from dew point
are both culprits from different sources that can affect system performance.


AWS has completed several skylight projects with this approach to moisture management. To see some of our skylight projects, click on the links below:


USDA Labs
Wells Fargo Financial North
Iowa State University Jacobson Athletics Building
Jordan Creek Town Center
Lauritzen Botanical Gardens
State Of Iowa Judicial Building
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

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