Solatube International Case Study: The Emery Hotel

Client: The Emery Hotel in Minneapolis, Minn. Challenge: Provide energy-efficient natural lighting deep into a dark lobby that receives no direct natural light to create a biophilic connection (connection to nature). Results: Natural light delivered with Solatube daylighting systems create a thriving, tropical oasis in the heart of Minneapolis. Product: 14 SkyVault M74 DS units with Collectors and Amplifiers Solatube Distributor/Installer: Designer Speciality Products Architect: McCaren Designs BACKGROUND: The Emery Hotel is situated in the heart of downtown Minneapolis in the historic Midland Bank building. Thinking outside the box, the ownership’s vision for the hotel was to revive and beautify the historic space by filling it will natural light and greenery, creating an urban oasis and biophilic design to enhance the guest experience while improving well-being and health. CHALLENGE: One of the most significant challenges encountered with this project was how to deliver direct natural light to a building surrounded by parking ramps and high-rise buildings, as well as how to capture the low-angle sunlight during the winter months. The design team needed to determine a way to capture and redirect enough sunlight deep into the building to keep the plants alive and accomplish the ownership’s goal to create a green oasis in the middle of the city. SOLUTION: To ensure a proper amount of daylight, the landscape architect used Solatube’s proprietary Design Calculator to determine the number of units needed and the amount of light that the Solatube Daylighting Systems would bring into the space. Fourteen Solatube SkyVault M74 DS units were used to capture sunlight at the rooftop and transfer natural light deep into the historic bank lobby — on both sunny and cloudy days. The SkyVault Collector and Amplifier extensions were also added to improve the delivery of daylight to the lobby floor. Featuring proprietary Raybender HD, LightTracker and INFRAREDuction technologies, the SkyVault Collector maximizes daylight delivery by capturing and redirecting low-angle light downward into the system and minimizes solar heat gain by preventing heat-carrying infrared rays from entering the system. The cone-shaped SkyVault Amplifier, with 36 highly reflective facets made of proprietary Spectralight® Infinity material, reorients daylight to the visual task plane in occupied areas and converts daylight, traditionally delivered at inefficient angles, into useable light for increased optical efficiency. RESULTS: The Solatube Daylighting Systems achieved even light levels and good plant growth, creating a dreamy, lush, comfortable and inviting naturally lit dynamic space for people to live and work in. In addition, the Solatube Daylighting Systems allowed the Emery's transformed design to embrace the spirit and nostalgia of the past by integrating seamlessly into the ceiling and highlighting the building’s bones of marble and granite, producing a beautiful and one-of-a-kind environment that will stay with the guests long after they leave the hotel. “Our goal was achieved which enabled the plants to be planted, which accomplished the ownership’s goal to create that oasis in the middle of the city” said Pat O’Neal, Designer Speciality Products. “It was a world of difference. I never thought it [the Solatube units] would bring in that much light,” said Kelly Snyder, general manager, The Emery Hotel. “It is amazing.”

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